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In 1954, Secretary of the Air Force Donald Quarles looked up at the immense Boeing B-52 Stratofortress and described it as “the most formidable expression of air power in the history of military aviation.”
Much the same could still be said today.
No other combat aircraft has remained in first-line service as long as the B-52. The Stratofortress first took off with the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command in the Cold War 1950s, ready to deliver nuclear strikes at any time and any place in the world. It would remain on alert for that possibility until 1991, in addition to flying conventional bombing missions over Vietnam in the 1960s and early 1970s. In the 1990s, it flew conventional bombing missions against targets in Iraq and the Balkans. In 2001, nearing its fiftieth anniversary, the B-52 began punishing al-Qaeda terrorists hiding in Afghan caves.
Bill Yenne, author of The American Aircraft Factory in World War II, covers the whole story, from the strategic needs that called for a new bomber to the drawing board, the flight tests, and decades of operations and upgrades that have kept the B-52 going strong into a new century. He illustrates this one-of-a-kind story with more than 200 eye-catching photos from throughout the B-52’s history.
Finally, B-52 Stratofortress looks to the future. With continuing upgrades, the U.S. Air Force expects to keep the B-52 flying through the middle of this century, a stunning nine decades since the first model entered operational service.
|Product dimensions:||11.10(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Bill Yenne is the author of more than three dozen nonfiction books on historical topics. His books on aviation and military history have included Area 51 Black Jetswhich T. D. Barmes, formerly with NASA High Range and Area 51 Special Projects, described as "not a book that the reader will lay down and not finish. It holds one's interest from front to back." Yenne has also contributed to encyclopedias of World War I and World War II and has been featured in several documentaries which have aired on the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel, the Smithsonian Channel, and ARD German Television. The Wall Street Journal notes that Yenne writes "with a cinematic vividness." Yenne has also authored ten novels and has penned several books on beer and brewing history, including Beer: The Ultimate World Tour.