[Watch Video Below] It may be known in the B-52 community as BUFF, the Big Ugly Fat Fellow, but officially it is the B-52 Stratofortress. That title alone gives the visual that this jet-powered strategic bomber is every bit of a behemoth. Its length is 158 feet. That’s as long as three city transit buses. The wingspan is 185 feet from tip to tip. That’s another four and a half buses in width. With a wing area of 4,000 sq feet, you could park approximately 35 full-size pickup trucks on the wings.
744 aircraft were produced since the B-52 was introduced to the U.S. Air Force in February of 1955, and the long-range, subsonic bomber is still in service today. It has a crew of 5: a pilot, copilot, weapon systems officer, navigator, and an electronic warfare officer.
The Stratofortress has a range of 8,800 miles without refueling. In January 16, 1991, seven B-52Gs set a record for the longest-distance combat mission when they flew for 35 hours, a distance of 14,000 miles round trip. They took off from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana and struck the first targets during Operation Desert Storm, becoming the first combat sorties of that war.
The B-52 carries a very hefty payload under its wings or internally. BUFF can haul a total of 70,000 pounds of weaponry at a time. Watch this video to see the various options it has. What a powerful tool that can fly a long distance, deliver a devastating payload, and then return to its base halfway around the world!