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B-52

B-52H

NASA obtained a B-52H bomber from the U.S. Air Force in 2001, intending to use the aircraft as an air-launch and testbed aircraft to support NASA, Air Force and industry flight research and advanced technology demonstration efforts at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB, Calif.

The B-52H replaced Dryden's famous B-52B "008" following that aircraft's retirement on Dec. 17, 2004. However, with no research projects requiring its capabilities on the horizon under NASA's restructured aeronautics research programs, the decision was made to return the aircraft to the Air Force.  B-52H Fact Sheet

B-52B

NASA's venerable B-52B launch aircraft, operated by the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, participated in some of the most significant projects in aerospace history. At retirement in December 2004, the air launch and research aircraft held the distinction of being NASA's oldest aircraft, as well as being the oldest B-52 on flying status. At the same time, it had the lowest number of flying hours (2443.8) of any B-52 in operation, having been used exclusively in the role it continued to perform so reliably for nearly 50 years.  B-52B Fact Sheet

B-52 Project Home Page

DFRC Photo # Photo Date Image Description
  Skip links in main table B-52 Photo Collection Contact Sheet
ED04-0362-08 December 17, 2004 Dryden Center director Kevin Petersen shakes hands with AFFTC commander, Brig. Gen. Curtis Bedke, at the retirement ceremony for NASA's B-52B.
ED04-0362-07 December 17, 2004 DFRC director Kevin Petersen speaks to an audience of NASA and Air Force visitors, employees and special guests at the retirement ceremony for NASA's B-52B.
ED04-0362-02 December 17, 2004 NASA's venerable B-52B mothership launch aircraft served as the backdrop at its retirement ceremony on Dec. 17, 2004.
EC04-0197-4 June 15, 2004 NASA Dryden Flight Research Center's workhorse B-52B launch aircraft, known as NASA 008, displays markings.
ED04-0362-01 December 17, 2004 Retired NASA Dryden research pilot Ed Schneider served as master of ceremonies at the retirement ceremony for NASA's B-52B, on Dec. 17, 2004.
EC04-0327-39 November 16, 2004 Shadowed by two F/A-18s, NASA Dryden's venerable NB-52B is saluted by employees as it makes its final flyover after the last X-43A launch in November 2004.
EC04-0194-19 June 15, 2004 A newly constructed pylon (green) for carrying aerospace vehicles aloft flies attached to the wing of NASA Dryden Flight Research Center's B-52H aircraft.
EC04-0092-43 March 27, 2004 NASA's B-52B aircraft over the Dryden Flight Research Center after the successful launch of the second X-43A hypersonic research vehicle.
EC03-0258-04 October 7, 2003 NASA's B-52H is seen here on the ramp at the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California.
EC03-0258-12 October 7, 2003 Ready to go, NASA's B-52H waits as NASA B-52B 008 taxis back from flight.
EC03-0258-16 October 7, 2003 NASA's B-52H mothership at the ready, with renowned NASA B-52B 008 poised beside.
EC03-0258-19 October 7, 2003 NASA's B-52H is seen here on the ramp at the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California.
EC02-0083-1 April 16, 2002 NASA Dryden's B-52H lands at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
EC02-0083-2 April 16, 2002 B-52H over NASA Dryden Flight Research Center.
EC02-0083-3 April 16, 2002 NASA Dryden's B-52H in flight.
EC02-0083-12 April 16, 2002 NASA Dryden's B-52H in flight.
EC02-0080-38 April 12, 2002 NASA's veteran silver B-52B, foreground, joined the B-52H in NASA markings for a ceremony in Wichita, Kansas, April 12, 2002, marking the 50th anniversary of the B-52 aircraft.
EC02-0080-63 April 12, 2002 NASA's white B-52H, destined to join a veteran B-52B mother ship at Dryden Flight Research Center, was exhibited at the Boeing plant in Wichita, Kansas, April 12, 2002 during the 50th anniversary commemoration of the B-52 series of aircraft.
EC02-0080-93 April 12, 2002 NASA's white B-52H, shared ramp space with the veteran NASA B-52B mother ship in Wichita, Kansas, April 12, 2002 during the 50th anniversary of the B-52 aircraft.
EC01-0223-1 August 1, 2001 A newly arrived B-52H is seen here alongside NASA Dryden's venerable B-52 "B" model during its arrival ceremony on August 1, 2001.
EC01-0220-1 July 30, 2001 A B-52H, on loan to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, makes a pass down the runway prior to landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
EC01-0220-3 July 30, 2001 A B-52 "H" model, on loan to NASA Dryden from the U.S. Air Force, touches down at Edwards Air Force Base, California, July 30, 2001.
EC01-0220-6 July 30, 2001 A B-52H, tail number 61-0025, arrives at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center after landing July 30, 2001.
EC01-0220-8 July 30, 2001 A B-52H, tail number 61-0025, arrives at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center after landing July 30, 2001.
EC01-0084-2 March 30, 2001 B-52 Launch Aircraft in Flight
EC01-0084-5 March 30, 2001 B-52 Launch Aircraft in Flight
EC01-0084-9 March 30, 2001 B-52 Launch Aircraft in Flight
EC00-0198-1 June 22, 2000 Aerospace industry representatives view actual and mock-up versions of 'X-Planes' intended to enhance access to space. L-R: NASA's B-52 launch aircraft, Boeing's X-37, and the Boeing X-40A behind the MicroCraft X-43 mock-up.
EC00-0198-2 June 22, 2000 On display during a technical exposition at Dryden are NASA's B-52 launch aircraft, Boeing's X-37, Boeing's X-40A behind the MicroCraft X-43 mock-up, Orbital Science's X-34 and the modified Lockheed L-1011 airliner that will launch the X-34.
EC96-43808-1 November 1996 Dryden B-52 Launch Aircraft in flight over Dryden
EC96-43808-2 November 1996 Dryden B-52 Launch Aircraft on Dryden ramp
EC96-43808-4 November 1996 Dryden B-52 Launch Aircraft on Edwards AFB runway
EC93-01211-2 January 2, 1993 B-52 flight mission symbology on side of craft
EC93-03081 March 8, 1993 B-52 flight mission symbology - close up
EC96-43814-1 November 14, 1996 B-52B cockpit instrumentation panel
B-52 STS Drag Chute Tests
EC90-225-1 1990 B-52 testing developmental Space Shuttle drag chute
EC90-225-28 August 2, 1990 B-52 testing developmental Space Shuttle drag chute
EC90-225-30 August 2, 1990 B-52 testing developmental Space Shuttle drag chute
EC90-257-32 August 2, 1990 B-52 testing developmental Space Shuttle drag chute
EC90-262-27 September 12, 1990 B-52 testing developmental Space Shuttle drag chute
B-52 with F-111 Chute Drop Test
EC88-0032-03 February 19, 1988 B-52 testing F-111 drag chute
EC89-0126-03 May 16, 1989 B-52 testing F-111 drag chute - chute deploy
X-15 and the B-52 Mothership
EC88-0180-4 mid 1960s X-15 mated to B-52 captive flight
E-4935 1959 X-15 mated to B-52 captive flight
E-4942 1959 X-15 launch from B-52 mothership
EC61-0034 September 1961 X-15 on lakebed after landing with B-52 mothership flyover
M2-F2 Lifting Body and the B-52 Mothership
E-13865 September 23, 1965 M2-F2 mated to B-52 mothership on ramp
ECN-1436 1966 M2-F2 lifting body being carried aloft by B-52 mothership
EC66-1154 February 28, 1966 Jay L. King, Joseph D. Huxman, and Orion D. Billeter assist pilot Milt Thompson into the M2-F2 attached to B-52 Mothership
ECN-1146 1966 Research pilot Milt Thompson in M2-F2 aircraft attached to B-52 Mothership
M2-F3 Lifting Body and the B-52 Mothership
EC71-2774 1971 M2-F3 in-flight launch from B-52
X-24 Lifting Body and the B-52 Mothership
ECN-2511 1970 X-24A in powered flight after drop from B-52 mothership
Spin Research Vehicle (SRV) and the B-52 Mothership
EC81-15480 1981 Spin Research Vehicle (SRV) in B-52 captive flight
ECN-3804 1973 F-15A RPRV attached under the wing of the B-52 mothership in flight
DAST and the B-52 Mothership
ECN-8113 1977 DAST mated to B-52 in flight - close-up from below
ECN-10247 1979 DAST mated to B-52 on ramp - close-up
HiMAT and the B-52 Mothership
ECN-14283 1980 HiMAT subscale research vehicle mated to B-52 mothership in flight
ECN-14284 1980 HiMAT subscale research vehicle mated to B-52 mothership in flight, closeup view
Pegasus and the B-52 Mothership
EC94-42690-7 1994 Pegasus mated under wing of B-52 mothership - closeup
EC89-0309-3 November 1989 Pegasus mated to B-52 - First flight
EC91-348-3 July 1991 Pegasus mated to B-52 mothership - front view
Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster Drop Test Vehicle (SRB-DTV) and the B-52 Mothership
EC84-30263-FR10 July 19, 1984 Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster Drop Test Vehicle (SRB-DTV) release from NB-52B
EC84-32107 December 17, 1984 Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster Drop Test Vehicle (SRB-DTV) mated to NB-52B in snow
EC79-10168 January 29, 1979 Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster Drop Test Vehicle (SRB-DTV) with chutes open after release from NB-52B
EC78-9874 September 8, 1978 Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster Drop Test Vehicle (SRB-DTV) mated to NB-52B
EC77-8184 August 13, 1977 Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster Drop Test Vehicle (SRB-DTV) first release from NB-52B
EC77-7428 June 10, 1977 Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster Drop Test Vehicle (SRB-DTV) captive flight on NB-52B
X-38 and the B-52 Mothership
EC00-0318-1 November 2, 2000 B-52 008 landing on runway 04 at Edwards Air Force Base after first free flight of X-38 vehicle #131R
EC99-45080-12 July 9, 1999 X-38 Ship #2 mated to B-52 Mothership in flight
EC99-45080-25 July 9, 1999 X-38 Ship #2 in free flight after release from B-52 Mothership
EC97-44319-8 November 19, 1997 X-38 on B-52 wing pylon - view from observation window
EC97-44163-16 July 30, 1997 X-38 - First captive carry flight on B-52
EC97-44163-17 July 30, 1997 X-38 - First captive carry flight on B-52
EC97-44105-29 July 6, 1997 X-38 mounted on pylon of B-52 mothership
EC97-43910-1 1997 Closeup of wing fit check of pylon to carry the X-38 on B-52 launch aircraft
EC97-43910-2 1997 Closeup of wing fit check of pylon to carry the X-38 on B-52 launch aircraft
EC97-43910-3 1997 Closeup of wing fit check of pylon to carry the X-38 on B-52 launch aircraft
EC97-43910-4 1997 Closeup of wing fit check of pylon to carry the X-38 on B-52 launch aircraft



Last Modified: May 7, 2007
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