US Air Force B-52 sustains ‘significant’ damage after bomber’s right wing strikes fence while being towed at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana
- U.S. Air Force B-52H bomber has been damaged during an incident
- It happened as the $84 million bomber was being moved on the ground at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana
- Aircraft’s right wing hit a fence while it was being positioned for static display
- Damage could be costly to repair – last B-52 bomber’s were built in 1962
One of the U.S. Air Force’s Boeing B-52 bombers has been damaged after its wing clipped a fence while it was being moved around on an airbase in Louisiana.
The bomber, also known as the Stratofortress, was being positioned in order to be put on display when the driver of a tow misjudged the distance between the plane’s right wing and a metal perimeter fence.
The fence appeared to have penetrated through the skin of the aircraft and punctured the right wing leaving a significant amount of structural damage and its starboard fuel tank on display.
The right wing of a U.S. Air Force B-52H bomber has been damaged during an incident
Substantial damage to the wing occurred as the bomber was being moved on the ground at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana
The aircraft’s right wing hit a fence while it was ‘being positioned for static display’ The damaged fence can be seen in this photo
‘While positioning the aircraft for static display on the site, the aircraft collided with the fence directly in front of the MXG [maintenance] building,’ a statement from the 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron explains.
‘No personnel were reported injured. All pieces were recovered from the fence and the aircraft and there is significant damage to the right wing tip and the leading edge wing outboard of the right external tank.’
Offices working in Barksdale’s public affairs department confirmed to The War Zone that an incident had occurred on the base.
If the damage is significant, the cost of repairs is also likely to be substantial given that the last B-52H bombers came off the production line in 1962.
There are currently 76 of such bombers in operation with some additional airframes and spare parts at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona.
Barksdale Air Force base is home to the active-duty 2nd Bomb Wing and the Air Force Reserve’s 343rd Bomb Wing.
The details were mentioned in a maintenance log with the right wing and external fuel tank hit
The bombers are often moved around in order for various PR exercises. Munitions are on display here which show off the full capabilities of the B-52H Stratofortress
Damage could be costly to repair – last B-52 bomber’s were built in 1962
B-52H Stratofortresses from the 2nd Bomb Wing line up on the runway at Barksdale Air Force Base, in Louisiana in October 2020
The B-52 is a long-range, heavy bomber that can perform a variety of missions and has been the backbone of U.S. strategic bomber forces for more than 60 years
The B-52 Stratofortress: America’s long-range strategic bomber
A US Air Force B-52 Stratofortress heavy bomber drops bombs in this undated file photo
The United States Air Force currently has 76 B-52 Stratofortress bombers in service today.
Designed and built by the Seattle-based Boeing Company, the B-52 is a long-range strategic bomber that has been used by the Air Force since the 1950s.
It is capable of carrying up to 70,000 pounds of weapons while flying at a combat range of more than 8,800 miles without aerial refueling.
This heavy bomber is powered by 8 turbofan engines manufactured by Pratt & Whitney.
Each engine is capable of producing 17,000 pounds of thrust to propel the plane forward in the air.
The B-52 also boasts a wingspan of 185ft. Each aircraft has a length measuring 159ft4in.
The plane stands at a height of 40ft8in.
The aircraft weighs approximately 185,000 pounds. It can take off at a maximum weight of 488,000 pounds.
To fly its long-range bombing missions, it needs fuel – a lot of it.
Each B-52 has a fuel capacity of 312,197 pounds.
The plane is a subsonic aircraft that can reach speeds of 650mph.
It can also fly at a top altitude of 50,000ft.
Source: Boeing Company