Edwards Volunteers Give Old Bomber a Lift

About 30 volunteers from the 412th Maintenance Group, the 95th Civil Engineering Division, and the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum at Edwards AFB, Calif., recently lifted an 185,000-pound vintage bomber off its wheels and placed it on steel stands in an effort to prevent the aircraft’s massive weight from causing it permanent damage. The old NB-52B bomber, decorated with colorful cartoons and humorous verbiage, was the eighth B-52 to come off the assembly line. It also was one of two bombers used for launching flight research vehicles, according to a release. Both aircraft were eventually pulled out of service and modified for the X-15 program, said George Welsh, AFFTC Museum curator. NASA recorded the 106 X-15 flights credited to the bomber and numerous other test vehicles, including its final launch of the hypersonic X-43, along the right side of the fuselage. “Its history runs from nose to tail,” an AFTCM specialist said.