Bucks for BUFFs

B-52 money tops Air Force’s 2009 wish list

The nation’s fleet of B-52 bombers would be fully funded and in store for repairs and upgrades under the Air Force’s “unfunded priority list” for fiscal year 2009.

Some $183.1 million would maintain the B-52 fleet, mostly at Barksdale Air Force Base here, according to the just-released document sent to Congress to help it decide how much to invest in military programs and what priorities the Pentagon would pursue if more federal dollars become available.

“It is critical for the United States to have a robust long-range strike system like the B-52,” said Col. Ed Walker, commander of the Air Force Reserve’s 917th Wing at Barksdale, which has both B-52 bombers and the A-10 Thunderbolt II, another airplane that would benefit under the request.

Murdoc’s for anything that benefits B-52s and A-10s.

B-52 at Minot AFB, North Dakota

A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress aircraft sits on the flightline to be prepped for flight by its crew on Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Jan. 8, 2007. The base experienced low visibility, sub below temperatures and gusts of wind up to 50 knots. (U.S. Ai r Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Boitz)


  1. Now wait just a gd minute…why the holy hell would the USAF be interested in funding not one, but TWO, systems that are both effective and can take a beating? Is this a dispatch from the bizarro Air Force?

  2. It would be great to see them reengine the B-52 with CF-6 engines flat rated to whatever the wing spars would take (40,000 to 50,000 lbs thrust). Those engines would give the Buff about a 20% improvement in unrefuled range, and probably shorten take off roll quite a bit, especially on hot, humid days out of high altitude fields.

  3. There have been several studies on what it would take to reengine the BUFF’s. Everything I’ve seen makes it a good deal. Especially the side benefit of redoing the cockpit and replacing the umm uncomfortable seating arrangements.. So far the reengine idea, most think its a great idea, but its a budget threat. The BUFF is just too capable, and if you upgrade its engines, increase its internal power and systems – it could dominate the board and then you would lose your funding for pet project X. Personally, if push came to shove, ditch the B-1b, reengine and upgrade the entire BUFF fleet.

  4. Yeah, the B-1B is a turkey. Once they dicked up the engine intakes for their ‘stealth’ that never was, they ruined that airplane. Now it does nothing well. It does not fly faster than the B-52, but potentially uses a lot more gas to go the same speed. If they’d have left it alone as a Mach 2 bomber, then I’d say keep it, but it’s useless as it is. A reegined B-52 would be many times the airplane it is. Of course, the USAF will never do that because the B-1B is so purty. They’ve got no use at all for an airplane without a pointy nose.