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

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

by Bill Yenne

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610586726
Publisher: Zenith Press
Publication date: 12/15/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 810,412
File size: 29 MB
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About the Author

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.www.billyenne.com

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Most Formidable Expression 6

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 We've 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 9 A Storm in the Desert 120

Chapter 10 A Decade of Changes 132

Chapter 11 Twenty-First-Century 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

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