There are planes and there are planes that are “trully legendary”. The American strategic bomber, Boeing B-52d Stratofortress, definitely achieved the legendary status. That is due not only to its immense size but also to its capabilities.
This humongous bomber was designed with one single thing in mind: the thermonuclear conflict and became operational in mind 1950s, during the beining stage of the Cold War. Its main role was to fullfil the USAF role in the nuclear deterence against the Soviet Union. Multiple B-52 were to penetrate the air defenses of the Soviet Union and deliver their doomsday cargo to the targets. There were more than 700 B-52s build and production ended in the mind 1960s.
Since then, the B-52 was modernized multiple times and performed combat missions during oprations delivering conventional ordinace during Vietnam conflict and Desert Storm.
B-52 proved to be very flexible platform, changed and adapted during more than half of the century to be still relevant. Furthermore, this “Cold War” warrior will be still in the fight for another few years.
Here are other posts from the National Museum of USAF (Cold War Opponents: MiG-15 and F-86A Sabre (Winter 2013), B-29 “Bockscar”, modern military airplane, Cold War and Vietnam Era Planes and WW II aircraft), posts from the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center – this place is not getting old 🙂 (Boeing B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay”, Aichi M6A1,Vought F4-1D Corsair, Horten HO III F, Panoramas of Museum, Restoring the glory, WW II airplanes, Modern Military aircraft). Enjoy!