23ABC spent the day at Edwards Air Force Base just south of California City to check out the B-52 Stratobomber and watch personnel use an inspection drone to check on external parts of the plane.
Click on parts of the B-52 below to learn more about the plane and see the footage from the inspection drone.
The B-52 is one of the most lethal bombers. The B-52A first flew in 1954 and the B model entered service in 1955.
A total of 744 B-52s were built.
The following are general characteristics of the B-52 from the U.S. Air Force website:
- Primary function: heavy bomber
- Contractor: Boeing Military Airplane Co.
- Power plant: eight Pratt & Whitney engines TF33-P-3/103 turbofan
- Thrust: each engine up to 17,000 pounds
- Wingspan: 185 feet (56.4 meters)
- Length: 159 feet, 4 inches (48.5 meters)
- Height: 40 feet, 8 inches (12.4 meters)
- Weight: Approximately 185,000 pounds (83,250 kilograms)
- Maximum takeoff weight: 488,000 pounds (219,600 kilograms)
- Fuel capacity: 312,197 pounds (141,610 kilograms)
- Payload: 70,000 pounds (31,500 kilograms)
- Speed: 650 miles per hour (Mach 0.84)
- Range: 8,800 miles (7,652 nautical miles)
- Ceiling: 50,000 feet (15,151.5 meters)
- Armament: approximately 70,000 pounds (31,500 kilograms) mixed ordnance: bombs, mines and missiles. (Modified to carry air-launched cruise missiles)
- Crew: five (aircraft commander, pilot, radar navigator, navigator and electronic warfare officer)
- Unit cost: $84 million (fiscal 2012 constant dollars)
- Initial operating capability: April 1952
- Inventory: active force, 58; ANG, 0; Reserve, 18