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News: Youngest Boeing B-52 Stratofortress achieves 50 years of service

By Gary Parsons on 26 October 2012, 16:25

B-52H 61-040 today. US Air Force

Boeing has marked 50 years since the company delivered its last B-52 Stratofortress to the US Air Force.

B-52H 61-040 was assigned to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota on October 26, 1962 where it remains in active service. Boeing built 744 B-52s, in eight different models, from 1952 to 1962.

The air force fleet today comprises 76 H-models - two test aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and 74 operational aircraft assigned to Minot and to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. All the H-models were built in Wichita.

The Boeing B-52 has been the backbone of the United States' manned strategic bomber force for nearly 60 years. Modern engineering analyses show the B-52's expected life span extending beyond 2040.

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