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A modern B-52

uk 75

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The B52H looks set to carry on in service indefinitely.. .Makes one wonder if they shouldnt have kept the Gs as well or even the big bomb payload Ds.
Modern development is focussed on the B21 but given how useful the B52 (and in its day the Vulcan B52) is at providing long range massive payload delivery with room for lots of electronics, should the US and even the UK look.again at such a long range platform.
With all the progress in civil airliner development since the 1950s it ought to be possible to produce an aircraft at least as capable as a B52.
Or is it just easier to keep the BUFFs flying.
 

Grey Havoc

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One could argue that progress in civil airliners has actually gone backwards in recent times...
 

Fluff

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Is it worth a new aircraft?

Huge design and test cost, to achieve what?

Has there been any major aerodynamic improvements in subsonic area? B737 from 1960 looks pretty much like a new build B737, except in the engines and the systems you cant see.

I'm sure a few % points could be found, but would it pay for itself v design cost?

B52 dont exactly 'zoom' around, so fatigue should be minimal and with so many to cut up, well understood.

Only areas worth looking at, are being looked at, avionics, engines, and weapons.

Possibly some arguments that eventually you should build new B52 with B21 cockpit and systems, new engines etc. Maybe once B21 is built this becomes possible, just to keep the design cycle going?
 

Pioneer

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Only areas worth looking at, are being looked at, avionics, engines, and weapons.
Fluff, may I add refined modern aerodynamics, modern structural materials and a fly-by-wire system.....

Regards
Pioneer
 

Ravinoff

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One could argue that progress in civil airliners has actually gone backwards in recent times...
Not exactly backwards, more like diverged from military applications. Airports are closer together so giant long-haul things like A380s and 747s are less practical than smaller regional airliners.
 

isayyo2

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@Grey Havoc @uk 75

I believe fatigue life was a serious issue on the pre-G models, but perhaps they could've gone on till 90s if properly funded. Any reason why the H's couldn't receive the Big-Belly mod?

It was very penny-wise pound foolish to not upgrade the B-52Gs and KC-135s with TF33s during the 70s; though at least in the 80s the PW F117 engine was proposed for G models, and presumably Hs as well.
B-52-with-C-17-Nacelle_001.jpg
-Credit to Bill S' 2013 post
 

uk 75

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Been watching the old black and white film scenes from Dr Strangelove on You Tube. The B52 was around when I was a little boy.
I have grown up with this plane and the RAF V bombers.
 

Archibald

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193 B-52G and 102 B-52H build so 295 airframes. Why the G never got turbofans ?
 

isayyo2

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193 B-52G and 102 B-52H build so 295 airframes. Why the G never got turbofans ?
Same reason why it took so long to update the KC-135s, never enough cash. FB-111s, AMSA, B-1A, B-1B, B-2, and who knows whatever else black-projects sucked funds for the "nice to haves" unfunded priorities. Just like all of our discussions on the F-14A, the B-52G was good enough, not perfect, to do the job.
 

PMN1

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With the suggestion of replacing two older engines with one modern one, weren't there potential issues with engine out situations?
 

riggerrob

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I also seem to remember reading once that the USAF had replacements for those engines stacked up like firewood.

Perhaps the USAF used up all their inventory of spare engines.
 

TomcatViP

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The problem is that those airframes are not new and have been flying many hours in the present configuration with 8 engines grouped in 4 engine Pods. Altering the mass and balance of the wings with new larger Pods that will induce different aerodynamic forces on those old wings is an invitation for a litany of minor to severe structural failures that will in effect ground the plane more often than what the old engine configuration would do without any change.
So the long lasting question for the USAF was to see if a modernization effort was needed before embarking on something complicated as this.
As I have written often, the delay in progress is not to be faulted on the USAF but on the industry that didn't do a proper job building a representative design model, only seeing here an opportunity to sell quickly hundred of engines without much of an integration study.

Then of course, you have all the airframe limitations with for exemple yaw stability in various configuration. But once again, if the job had been done correctly, the need to rebuild some fuselage sections would have told everyone that it wasn't the easy path it seemed to be.

IMOHO, as such things would be needed anyway in the future, it would probably be a proper investment for some to embark on such project, rebuilding each rear section from the Bomb bay to the tail, incrementally (bypassing step by step current limitations).
 
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In_A_Dream

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Once the defense budget blooms and the digital engineering advancements really take off, we'll probably see a more cost-effective conventional bomber take form to replace the B-52. We're just not at that point yet.
 

TomcatViP

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@In_A_Dream : It's a possibility but I would urge caution given that the more complex a platform is, the more extensive and time consuming a digital engineering approach is.

There might be simply not enough time and money available around to drive the launch of a new B-52 before very long.
 

Archibald

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Circa 2002 there were rumours of an A340-600 strategic bomber.
On April 1 2006 Air & Cosmos april's fool was an arsenal plane A380.
Nowadays a 777 could do the job with 18 000 km range or moren..
 

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