Resurrected B-52 Returns to Flight After Eight Years in Storage



A US Air Force Boeing B-52H is back in flight after spending eight years parked in storage in the Arizona desert.

The regenerated Stratofortress, nicknamed Ghostrider, completed first flight on 30 August at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, rising into the sky without a painted livery.

The base’s Air Logistics Center was tasked with restoring the airworthiness of the un-retired B-52H, reversing a normally one-way trip for aging military aircraft to the “boneyard” at Davis-Monthan AFB near Tucson, Arizona.

The air force will use Ghostrider to replace another B-52H severely damaged by fire in 2014, restoring the strategic bomber fleet to approved levels. The air force maintains of fleet of 58 B-52s in the active duty force and 18 more in reserve units.

Ghostrider, tail number 61-007, arrived at Tinker last fall before entering the bomber’s firsts programmed depot maintenance cycle in 12 years.


By serial number she’d be the 7th B-52 ordered in FY1961. Not sure when she was actually built though.


55 years old?

Is that right?

The B-52A first flew in 1954, and the B model entered service in 1955. A total of 744 B-52s were built with the last, a B-52H, delivered in October 1962. The first of 102 B-52H’s was delivered to Strategic Air Command in May 1961.


A few years ago I read an article claiming that the USAF’s long range plan would have the B52 in service into 2065, airframes being operated over 100 years. If I recall correctly we’re already at the point that all of the aircraft are older than any pilot currently flying them.


USAF ordered 13 B-52s in FY61, so if the last one was delivered in October 1962 then I’d guess she was delivered sometime in the early part of that year. So, yeah, about 54 years old.


There’s at least one third generation B-52 crewman.


Dang it, we REALLY need a like button.


I thought there were 32 or 34 B-52H procured in 1961. There were 3 construction blocks for B-52s in Witchita with Ghost Rider mid series of the 1st block. Looking up her serial number and it looks like she was built in mid 1961 and entered service in 1962. According to reports from when she was pulled from the boneyard last year, her airframe is actually in betters shape than a number of others still in active duty. This still leaves something like 10 or 12 other B-52s in the boneyard that could be reactivated.


What a workhorse! I worked on B-52’s in 1975 and the old girl was 20 years old even then. No doubt about it, Boeing can make one good plane.


There is a kind of “like” button.

If you visit the top of this page, you can “rate” this thread. Up to five stars.


I know that threads can be rated; I was referring to that specific comment.


The B-1 was supposed to replace the B-52.

Nick-named The Bone … **

Numbers are down; getting old, as well.

But here it is:






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