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Old 09-27-2019, 08:38 PM
  #17576  
Ernie P.
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Bealeton, VA
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Originally Posted by FlyerInOKC View Post
Ernie, it was the twin tail wheels that did the trick for me. I was confident enough to start thinking of a new subject.

What Warbird do I describe?
1. This airplane was overshadowed by one of its contemporaries with the general public but provided superior results.
2. The first two initial designs were refused and after the second refusal more design work was completed and was able to get an order for a prototype based on a scale model.
3. It would be another year before the airplane would have its official first flight and another two after the fisrt flight before it would be introduced to the field.
The first thing that comes to mind is the B-52. Thanks; Ernie P.


Introduction

Although the B-52A was the first production variant, these aircraft were used only in testing. The first operational version was the B-52B that had been developed in parallel with the prototypes since 1951. First flying in December 1954, B-52B, AF Serial Number 52-8711, entered operational service with 93rd Heavy Bombardment Wing (93rd BW) at Castle Air Force Base, California, on 29 June 1955. The wing became operational on 12 March 1956. The training for B-52 crews consisted of five weeks of ground school and four weeks of flying, accumulating 35 to 50 hours in the air. The new B-52Bs replaced operational B-36s on a one-to-one basis. Early operations were problematic; in addition to supply problems, there were also technical issues. Ramps and taxiways deteriorated under the aircraft's weight, the fuel system was prone to leaks and icing, and bombing and fire control computers were unreliable. The split level cockpit presented a temperature control problem the pilots' cockpit was heated by sunlight while the observer and the navigator on the bottom deck sat on the ice-cold floor. Thus, a comfortable temperature setting for the pilots caused the other crew members to freeze, while a comfortable temperature for the bottom crew caused the pilots to overheat. The J57 engines proved unreliable. Alternator failure caused the first fatal B-52 crash in February 1956; as a result, the fleet was briefly grounded. In July, fuel and hydraulic issues grounded the B-52s again. In response to maintenance issues, the air force set up "Sky Speed" teams of 50 contractors at each B-52 base to perform maintenance and routine checkups, taking an average of one week per aircraft.
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