Why US Pilots Rush to Their B-52s and Takeoff at Full Throttle

This feature discusses some facts about the B-52 aeroplane and the importance of scramble take-off, including the military aviation technique of interception and the general concept of air combat training.

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One comment

  • John William CLARKSON January 19, 2023  

    That is a good article and describes the presence of military aircraft of the day. As the dialogue said, the B52, in its various stages of modifications, has been around since the 1960s, and in fact was one of the heavy bombers of the Vietnam era. They talk about doing a scramble of this aircraft, as they were required to be airborne in less than 10 minutes from any given alarm. Today’s high tech aircraft would have buckley’s chance of getting airborne in 10 minutes from any given alarm, due to the complexity of the avionic systems.
    The RAAF has been in a similar position with its aircraft of that era. When we had fighter aircraft in Malaysia (during the Confrontation) and Thailand (during the early Vietnam years), each squadron had to supply two aircraft , fully armed, every day for about 5 or 6 years. This was done with the outstanding CAC Sabre aircraft, once it was fully armed and fuelled, could be airborne within 4 minutes of any given alarm. Many of the scrambles which took place were accomplished with about 150 seconds, which was remarkable. Even our bomber aircraft of the day, the wonderful Canberra aircraft could be airborne if necessary within 10 minutes or less. In later years, the closest we came to those figures was with the F111 aircraft, which, if connected to a ground power unit could be airborne within a short time. So, thank you Ray for that very interesting article on the B52 aircraft.

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