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GOV/MIL The Air Force Resurrects Another B-52 From the Boneyard
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  1. #1
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    The Air Force Resurrects Another B-52 From the Boneyard

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/mil...b-52-boneyard/ (fair use)
    By Kyle Mizokami May 15, 2019

    The U.S. Air Force has returned a B-52 bomber retired eleven years ago to active duty service, only the second time in history that has happened. The bomber, nicknamed “Wise Guy,” was brought out of storage at the aircraft “Boneyard” in Arizona, refurbished, and returned to service at Barksdale, Louisiana. The bomber could easily spend another two or three decades on active duty.

    “Wise Guy”, a B-52H bomber, was retired in 2008 and sent to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monathan Air Force Base in Arizona. The facility, known as “the Boneyard”, is home to over 4,000 military aircraft in various states of storage. The hot, dry air of the southwestern desert prevents stored aircraft from developing rust or other corrosion issues. Some aircraft are stored for quick recall, while others are in pieces and slowly stripped of parts to support active duty planes.

    Wise Guy was stored for a relatively quick return to service if needed. The War Zone blog states that the bomber will replace a B-52H that crashed and burned in 2015 at Andersen Air Force Base, on the island of Guam. Bringing the bomber back from Arizona will boost the B-52 fleet back to the desired number of 76 aircraft.

    According to a local Baton Rouge, Louisiana news report, the bomber is destined for the 307th Bomb Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit that flies both the B-1B and B-52 bombers.

    Not all B-52s are capable of carrying nuclear weapons, but it appears Wise Guy will operate in the nuclear role. The report states that the 307th includes “nuclear certified combat squadrons”, and the B-1B no longer carries nuclear weapons. A recent Federation of American Scientists report says the B-52H no longer carries nuclear gravity bombs but still carries the Air Launched Cruise Missile armed with the W80-1 thermonuclear warhead. The W80-1 has a variable yield of 5 or 150 kilotons’ explosive force.

    According to The War Zone the bomber was flown back from Arizona to Louisiana with the same MT tail code that it had when retired in Minot Air Force Base in 2008. The aircraft missed some upgrades in the eleven years it has been out of service and will need to be brought to the latest configuration before going back onto active duty. The bomber also sported some graffiti left behind by the previous crew or maintainers when the giant bomber was retired.



    “Wise Guy” is only the second B-52H ever brought back into service, with “Ghost Rider” leaving the Boneyard and joining the 307th Wing in 2015. An estimated dozen or so B-52Hs remain in Arizona, ready for re-enlistment if necessary.

    FORTE EST VINUM, FORTIOR EST REX, FORTIORES SUNT MULIERES:

    SUPER OMNIA VINCIT VERITAS.


  2. #2
    surprised it took 3 years for the USAF to decide to replace a loss - not like they intend to change the B52 mission anytime soon ....
    Illini Warrior

  3. #3
    And I think that pic was taken in the forward main gear well, port side, upwards near the tunnel entrance. Thats' why my airshow pics sometimes leave people scratching their heads. They jog my memory and strengthen it.

    GLAD to see a BUFFasaurus get put back on active duty. If our military had the funding I'd love to see every flyable one pulled out and put on chrome dome alerts again.

    MASDC is an air buff's died and gone to heaven dreamland. And there is so much stuff that's flyable there. We could have refurbished all the F-15's there and upgraded them to Boeing's new standard for them and saved billions designing/building/giving the ChiComs the computer codes and buying the F-35.

  4. #4
    How long does it take to refurbish a 52 out of the boneyard. Can it be done in two weeks, two months, two years? Once focused on rehabing a dozen, what would a knowledgable one guess for a time frame, how fast can such a program get up and functioning. Is it set up for thousands of workers to gear up, or is it limited to a greater degree?

    Any thoughts? Are there parts stored as well, or is it canablizing for the most part?

  5. #5
    I didn't know until recently that they built around 700 B-52's. Hard to believe there aren't more in service.
    It isn't the job of our government to take care of you, but to create and maintain the environment in which you can take care of yourself.

  6. #6
    The SALT 1 and SALT 2 treaties sent most of the bombers to the graveyard; the B-52's had to be either cut in half, or wings cut off the fuselage so they could be confirmed via satellite as being unusable. And those B-62 pieces still in the boneyard are verified as still being unusable on a regular basis either by plane or satellite (open skies RC-135s are used by us for Russian verifications.

    Refurbishing a flyable storage B-52 for flight duties could be done in a week by the normal MASDC crews. Scrape off the spraylat (the white coating that covers the windows and openings on the plane-it's like cement!) , purge the fuel lines (that were nitrogen filled when stored) and tanks; blow out the hydraulic system (also filled with inert Nitrogen) replace the storage oil in the engines (a light mineral oil) with regular oils again, do a systems checkout on the electrical system. Make sure the tires have air in them, check all the control surfaces. Fuel it, take it out to the runway and do a full system check and engine runup. If it passes all these things, next time it goes to the runway it's flying to it's new base.

    To do all the ones in flyable storage, think 3 months with the current crews working on nothing else. If you bring in more folks you could shorten that to a month. Wouldn't take much to ramp up the refurb operation; lots of contractors out there would love to have a contract like this.

    And parts from the broken up planes are stored-the TF-33 engines off the H models are common to the E-8 Joint Stars and KC-135 E models. All kinds of parts from the broken up planes are stored; remember the production line for the BUFF closed in 1963-56 years ago. Most of the parts manufacturers are no longer in business. The electronics are stored too; a G model nav/bomb system could be used in an H if needed. But it would take a LOT of work and rewiring.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Ractivist View Post
    How long does it take to refurbish a 52 out of the boneyard. Can it be done in two weeks, two months, two years? Once focused on rehabing a dozen, what would a knowledgable one guess for a time frame, how fast can such a program get up and functioning. Is it set up for thousands of workers to gear up, or is it limited to a greater degree?

    Any thoughts? Are there parts stored as well, or is it canablizing for the most part?
    Depends on the birds status. "Wise Guy" was Type-1000 storage, meaning it was stored in a manner and method to make it readily flyable almost immediately. Air Force Magazine has a nice little piece that explains the storage types and work required to regenerate a bird; http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineA...3boneyard.aspx

    In total AMARG directly employs 500 civil personnel, 200 contractors and the 576th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Squadron. Realistically, the AF could place as many maintenance and support squadrons onto rehab and refit as needed, just a matter of mobilizing them to Davis-Monthan. DoD could also contact out to other companies if needed, right now companies like AECOM are contacted to provide CFT's (Contract Field Teams) to perform support maintenance, retrofit and reclamation both CONUS and OCONUS.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    one renewal can set a precedent for a hundred..and same protocol can be applied to other retired assets...some one some where is applying critical thinking
    I applaud such thinking.

  9. #9
    God I hope so. Just think how many F-16s are there!


    Quote Originally Posted by pirate View Post
    one renewal can set a precedent for a hundred..and same protocol can be applied to other retired assets...some one some where is applying critical thinking
    I applaud such thinking.

  10. #10
    Very reassuring. Thank you all for the insight. I'm pleasantly surprised by the way. One week, amazing..... I suspect if they are called, there will be some serious rock n roll in the background.

  11. #11
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    I first flew B-52H 60-034 in December 1964 on a 24 hour airborne alert mission (Hard Head to Thule orbit with gravity nukes). Last flight in her was July 1967. All out of Grand Forks AFB - I was the Electronic Warfare Officer.
    Glad to see they are taking such good care of a great old bomber.

  12. #12
    There is video at this link showing the resurrected B-52 landing and already in service.

    https://www.ksla.com/2019/05/13/deco...turn-boneyard/
    It isn't the job of our government to take care of you, but to create and maintain the environment in which you can take care of yourself.

  13. #13
    There is video at this link showing the resurrected B-52 landing and already in service.

    https://www.ksla.com/2019/05/13/deco...turn-boneyard/
    It isn't the job of our government to take care of you, but to create and maintain the environment in which you can take care of yourself.

  14. #14
    I was on a tour of the boneyard 7 or 8 years ago and the 'tour guide' on the bus showed us 17 B52's that were being destroyed on the orders of Obama... a sad sight to see..

  15. #15
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    GAWD He's GORGEOUS!!!

    except he looks like he spent a rough liberty in a rough neighborhood in Hell.
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  16. #16
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    I love good news with my first cup of coffee in the morning.

  17. #17
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    Always good to see something useful put back into service!!! Kudos to all involved.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellsworth848 View Post
    I first flew B-52H 60-034 in December 1964 on a 24 hour airborne alert mission (Hard Head to Thule orbit with gravity nukes). Last flight in her was July 1967. All out of Grand Forks AFB - I was the Electronic Warfare Officer.
    Glad to see they are taking such good care of a great old bomber.
    Wow

    How cool is that.
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

    Member: Nowski Brigade

    Deplorable


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellsworth848 View Post
    I first flew B-52H 60-034 in December 1964 on a 24 hour airborne alert mission (Hard Head to Thule orbit with gravity nukes). Last flight in her was July 1967. All out of Grand Forks AFB - I was the Electronic Warfare Officer.
    Glad to see they are taking such good care of a great old bomber.
    Stories. We demand them
    III

  20. #20
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    Once upon a time, we lived in Airway Heights, just across the eastern most end of Fairchild AFB, Spokane, Washington.
    I grew up listening to them - and other AF aircraft - fly at all hours of the day and night.
    Attached Images
    III

  21. #21
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    Because 'Murica
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