B-52 Stratofortress: The Complete History of the World's Longest Serving and Best Known Bomber

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MBI Publishing Company, Dec 15, 2012 - History - 192 pages
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The B-52 is the longest serving and most versatile of the United States Air Force's combat aircraft. The Stratofortress entered active service in 1955 and is scheduled to continue as part of the air force's inventory through 2040. The jet-powered bomber was a mainstay of America's Cold War nuclear-deterrent strategy, providing air power that balanced the land and sea military forces. The massive plane also served as the launch platform for the experimental X-15 hypersonic rocket aircraft. Due to its versatility as an aircraft, the B-52 has seen combat service in all of America's military conflicts since it came on active duty: Vietnam, the first and second Gulf wars, and the War in Afghanistan. B-52 Stratofortress also covers every aspect of the aircraft's development, manufacture, and modification. These technical details set the stage for its military service, starting with its role as a nuclear bomber in the Cold War even though only conventional weapons have been used during its combat duty. The airplane’s service in key campaigns in Vietnam is covered, followed by the quieter years after it. The B-52 returned to prominence in the Gulf Wars and Afghanistan, taking part in massive bombing campaigns in both conflicts. Finally, the book ends with the constant  upgrades that will keep the B-52 an integral part of U.S. airpower for decades to come.

 

 

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Contents

Chapter 1 The Origins of Strategic Air Power Doctrine
12
Chapter 2 Boeing Bombers Before the Stratofortress
18
Chapter 3 The Strategic Air Command and a Jet Bomber Fleet
22
Chapter 4 What Weve Been Waiting For
26
Chapter 5 Production and Model Evolution
38
Chapter 6 The Strategic Air Command and Other Stratofortress Missions
52
Chapter 7 War in Southeast Asia
80
Chapter 8 Back to the Cold War
100
Chapter 10 A Decade of Changes
132
Chapter 11 TwentyFirstCentury Warrior
144
Chapter 12 Back to the Future
158
Appendix 1 Specifications by Stratofortress Model
174
Appendix 2 Stratofortress Production by Model and Block Number
177
Appendix 3 Stratofortress Combat Wings and Assigned Squadrons
180
Bibliography
186
Index
189

Chapter 9 A Storm in the Desert
120

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About the author (2012)

 

Bill Yenne (San Francisco, CA) is the author of three dozen works of biography and historical nonfiction, including many books on military history, and he has been a contributor to encyclopedias of both World Wars. His previous books on combat aviation and the Boeing Company include Superfortress: The B-29 and American Airpower in World War II (written with legendary U.S. Air Force commander General Curtis E. LeMay), The Story of the Boeing Company, and The American Aircraft Factory in World War II.DIV www.billyenne.com/div

 

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