Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Battlefield:Vietnam
historytimelineguerrilla tacticsair warkhe sahnresources
introf105f100f4a1eb52uh1p
 
b52 stratofortress

The B-52 set many records in its 25-plus years of service. On Jan. 18, 1957, three B-52Bs completed the world's first non-stop round-the-world flight by jet aircraft, lasting 45 hours and 19 minutes with only three aerial refuelings en route. It was also a B-52 that made the first airborne hydrogen bomb drop over Bikini Atoll on May 21, 1956. In June 1965, B-52s entered combat when they began flying missions in Southeast Asia. By Aug. 1973, they had flown 126,615 combat sorties with 17 B-52s lost to enemy action. b52

Specifications

  • Span: 185 ft.
  • Length: 156 ft. 6 in.
  • Height: 48 ft. 4 in.
  • Weight: 450,000 lbs. max.
  • Armament: Four .50-cal. machine guns in tail plus bombs--nuclear or 43,000 lbs. of conventional
  • Engine: Eight Pratt & Whitney J57s of 12,100 lbs. thrust ea. with water-alcohol injection
  • Cost: $7,000,000

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 638 mph.
  • Cruising speed: 526 mph.
  • Range: 8,338 miles unrefueled
  • Service Ceiling: 49,400 ft.

 
The US flew 124,532 B52 missions in Vietnam, expending 2,633,035 tons of ordnance

Battlefield:Vietnam
HISTORY  |  TIMELINE  |  GUERRILLA  |  AIR WAR  |  KHE SANH  |  RESOURCES