Warplanes: September 18, 2001


NASA is to receive a new B-52H bomber to replace the ancient B-52B "Balls 8" which has been providing "drop services" since 1959. The B-52B has become a maintenance nightmare as it uses systems and controls installed on no other aircraft in US service. The newly assigned B-52H will have a pylon installed between the fuselage and right inboard engines, but without the special reinforcement installed in Balls 8, the new aircraft will only be able to carry 25,000 pounds (half as much). When the new plane's wing is reinforce, it will be able to carry 70,000 pounds.--Stephen V Cole


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