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USAF B-52's getting upgrade to carry more smart bombs

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posted on Nov, 19 2017 @ 10:14 PM
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The venerable B-52 will get an upgrade that will allow it to carry more smart weapons

The upgrade is a matter of simply changing out the existing three-fingered bomb rack for a yoke in the front and aft of the bay that will connect to the CRL, a process that only takes a few hours per aircraft, Goosen explained. Some of the B-52s here are currently going through the upgrade, and the entire squadron is expected to complete the modification in the next few months.aviationweek.com...


This upgrade will also allow it to deploy the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile. Sometime the plane designers just get it right. The B-52's in question were produced in 60's and are still a potent weapon system. They really should just bite the bullet and put 4 CMF-56 on it. These things will still be in the air for decades




posted on Nov, 19 2017 @ 10:22 PM
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a reply to: FredT

A four engine upgrade would radically decrease the remaining life of the airframes. When they did the engineering study, the added power and weight of the engines would cause stress failures of the pylons and wing to fuselage joins. The way they hang the TF33s, it spreads the weight around more than a straight engine pylon does. It also reduces the strain from the thrust of the pod. With them having tuned down the engines, it's a pretty safe configuration. The CFM56 is a straight pylon, so it would put all the weight and strain on a more limited area of the wing.

They're looking at a number of options, but the best bet is a one for one, with CF34s or something similar. Something that has a similar weight and thrust rating, but better fuel burn.



posted on Nov, 19 2017 @ 10:42 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

When thinking of fuel (gas for the US.) the civilians think of Litres (Gallons) and the Airforce thinks in metric Tons.

But that is not why they want better fuel burn. Better fuel burn = greater range. Greater range is good ... da!

P



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 04:23 PM
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originally posted by: pheonix358
a reply to: Zaphod58

When thinking of fuel (gas for the US.) the civilians think of Litres (Gallons) and the Airforce thinks in metric Tons.

But that is not why they want better fuel burn. Better fuel burn = greater range. Greater range is good ... da!

P


When I was in the US Air Force, as a fuels guy (note we weren't called gas guys) we most commonly talked in terms of gallons. Occasionally we would have to talk about barrels. Even with our large storage tanks, we would still go by gallons, even if it went into 6 or 7 figures.

When foreign aircraft came in, they never asked for metric tons. They usually requested a certain fuel load in liters, and then we would have to convert it to gallons for our own accounting purposes (there are 3.785 liters in a gallon). The US pilots and aircraft maintenance went by pounds, for instance we would get a call that such and such tail number at x location wants 20K, meaning the aircraft was requesting 20,000 pounds of fuel.

When I was stationed in the UK some of our fuel systems were labeled in cubic meters. That was a #ing nightmare to convert. As I recall a full fuel truck, which was 6,000 gallons, took 22.71 cubic meters to fill, depending on the temperature of course.
edit on 20 11 17 by face23785 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: face23785

You must have never dealt with the Luftwaffe then. We had one of their 707s come in, and asked how much fuel they needed, and they gave it to us in tons. Screwed everyone up. Finally parked someone in the cockpit and handed them a radio and had the crew point out on the totaliser where to stop, and had the guy on the radio talk them into the right amount.
edit on 11/20/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 06:27 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: face23785

You must have never dealt with the Luftwaffe then. We had one of their 707s come in, and asked how much fuel they needed, and they gave it to us in tons. Screwed everyone up. Finally parked someone in the cockpit and handed them a radio and had the crew point out on the totaliser where to stop, and had the guy on the radio talk them into the right amount.


No I don't recall ever getting to work with the Germans. I could see how that would be a problem if they didn't make clear what unit they were giving you. Mostly I've just dealt with the UK and Australia, Canada sometimes and we had some South Koreans come over when I was at Elmendorf. Occasionally I would have someone forget to give me the unit but you could usually figure out by the number they requested that they meant liters. The most awkward thing I remember was when I was in Qatar, one of the 747s that brought cargo in would have a Russian crew sometimes. They didn't speak English, so we pretty much just had to wing it giving each other hand signals.

Nothing sucked like when someone wanted to pay cash for their fuel.



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 06:38 PM
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originally posted by: face23785
Nothing sucked like when someone wanted to pay cash for their fuel.


You never know. One of my dads favorite stories was from his time in Africa. They were flying from Pretoria to Cairo with a fuel stop somewhere in the middle. The plane in Pretoria had an issue so they took a different one. When they landed it was not the plane or registration the airport had on their manifest so they refused the credit card or the prearranged fueling. The captain went on the overhead, explained the situation, and then they collected the cash needed to pay for the fuel, issued a signed receipt, and they paid and were on their way. They were reimbursed when they landed. The airport in question was apparently pretty bad and the local security could not guarantee the plane or its occupants overnight LOL



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 06:45 PM
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a reply to: FredT

I have to believe there was a little less red tape back then. Nowadays the cash sale procedures are a pain in the ass, at least for US Air Force. And we do it so rarely almost none of our people knew how to do it, to the point where I would get called in on my time off to do them because there often wouldn't be someone on shift who was trained on it. One time I had to come in to do this cash sale, which took forever, then right when I was about to leave the base got locked down because of an active shooter situation.
Lousy night.



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 08:14 PM
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Speaking of B-52 modifications, the Air Force is planning an industry day to discuss possible engine upgrades.



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 10:44 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
AGAIN........
By the time they actually choose it will be retirement day for the BUFF.



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 11:02 PM
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a reply to: thebozeian

They've talked about having industry days before, but they usually canceled them.



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 11:04 PM
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a reply to: face23785
Litres and Gallons? In over 10 years of refuelling civilian airliners I have never been handed a fuel load request in a volumetric figure, always by weight. Mostly metric so KG's, but for some operators like say KAL, or UA it would be US centric so obviously in lbs. Thee is no reason why the flight crew couldn't calculate it volumetrically but why would you? Everything else regarding the load sheets, MTOW, takeoff settings, runway length, weather etc will be done around mass. The only time volume comes into it for me is when I get the fuel docket from the fuel trucks which pump in litres(or lbs if required). And of course its pretty simple to cross check for errors that way when you multiply out your pumped volume by the days SG and compare with the FOB and the uplift required for your final fuel figure. I'm curious as to why that is.


edit on 20-11-2017 by thebozeian because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 11:19 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
Speaking of B-52 modifications, the Air Force is planning an industry day to discuss possible engine upgrades.


I saw that. P&W is pitching an upgrade of the the existing engine. They also speculate that a derivative of the current G-650 engine aka the BR725 would be pitched. The engine would have 16000 lbs of thrust versus 17000 for the existing with significant improvements in fuel burn and reliability.
edit on 11/20/17 by FredT because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 11:21 PM
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a reply to: FredT

The reduced power will be good. They already brought the TF33 down somewhat. That reduces the strain on the airframe, which gets you more life. If they do replace them, instead of upgrade them, those have a similar dry weight too.


edit on 11/20/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)

edit on 11/20/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 11:31 PM
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Not an upgrade, but an interesting story anyway. Barksdale just assembled and loaded the last 31 M-117 General Purpose Bombs in the Air Force inventory. At least one of them was built in May of 1973.

www.barksdale.af.mil...



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 11:35 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: FredT

The reduced power will be good. They already brought the TF33 down somewhat. That reduces the strain on the airframe, which gets you more life. If they do replace them, instead of upgrade them, those have a similar dry weight too.



Yeah and the fuel burn improvement extends loiter time and reduces the number of time it might need to tank thus taking a small load off of the tankers



posted on Nov, 21 2017 @ 03:43 AM
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Any way the algorithm for drag reduction can be made to help with fuel burn reduction?Fairings,streamlining,paint removal etc?



posted on Nov, 21 2017 @ 06:35 AM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

It's being worked on.



posted on Nov, 21 2017 @ 07:12 AM
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a reply to: thebozeian

Well you just answered your own question. The fuels guys go by gallons (or liters in other countries) because all of our measurements on the supply end go by volume. We charge by the gallon, do our inventories and accounting in gallons. So of course when aircraft maintenance requests x many pounds we naturally convert the request to gallons so we know how many trucks to send them or roughly how much of a single truck it will take to give them what they need.

It would be nice if supply and operations both went by the same measurement, but we're working around different needs.

On topic, I've always found this plane interesting in that it's so old, but we just keep upgrading it rather than replacing it. Of course we have newer bomber platforms, but the 52 still has a role. The designers did one hell of a job.

The KC-135s are pretty old too, as I recall some of them were built in the 50s.



posted on Nov, 30 2017 @ 06:00 PM
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The Air Force is studying starting the engine replacement program for the B-52 fleet in FY2020.

www.flightglobal.com...




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