What is B-52 bomber? Why this US bomber roaming skies over Gloucestershire?



What is B-52 bomber? Why this US bomber roaming skies over Gloucestershire?


The B-52 bomber of the US Air Force is flying above Gloucestershire. It took off from RAF Fairford and then circled constantly after transmitting the emergency “squawk” code. Let’s see what is B-52 bomber and what is happening in Gloucestershire in detail

  • Over Britain, a B-52 bomber equipped with nuclear weapons is flying.
  • At RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, the US Air Force fighter took off.
  • After uttering an emergency Squawk, it began to circle continuously.
  • Following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the aircraft was sent to the UK.

What is a B-52 bomber?

The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber. Boeing is the company that created the B-52 and has since continued to support and upgrade it.

Since the 1950s, the United States Air Force (USAF) has been running it. The bomber has a typical combat range of around 8,800 miles (14,080 km) without aerial refueling and can carry up to 70,000 pounds (32,000 kg) of armaments.

The B-52 design changed from a straight-wing aircraft powered by six turboprop engines to the final prototype YB-52 with eight turbojet engines and swept wings starting with the successful contract bid in June 1946. April 1952 saw the first flight of the B-52.

Designed for crucial purpose

The Convair B-36 Peacemaker was superseded by the B-52 Stratofortress, which was designed to transport nuclear weapons for Cold War deterrence missions. The B-52, a veteran of multiple conflicts, has only ever used conventional weapons as combat drops. Officially known as the Stratofortress, the B-52 is more frequently referred to as the BUFF (Big Ugly Fat Fucker/Fella) in informal settings.

Since 1955, the B-52 has been in use by the USAF. There are currently 76 aircraft in the inventory, of which 58 are used by active forces (2nd Bomb Wing and 5th Bomb Wing), 18 are used by reserve forces (307th Bomb Wing), and about 12 are kept in long-term storage at the Davis-Monthan AFB Boneyard. The bombers were operated by the Strategic Air Command (SAC) until it was disbanded in 1992 and its aircraft were absorbed into the Air Combat Command ( (AFGSC).

Despite the development of later, more sophisticated strategic bombers like the Mach 2+ Convair B-58 Hustler, the canceled Mach 3 North American XB-70 Valkyrie, the variable-geometry Rockwell B-1 Lancer, and the stealth Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, their superior performance at high subsonic speeds and relatively low operating costs have kept them in service. In 2015, the B-52 celebrated 60 years of uninterrupted service with its original operator. The final airplanes are anticipated to operate until the mid-2050s after being modified between 2013 and 2015.

What purpose did the B-52 bomber serve?

It is capable of carrying nuclear weapons or conventional ammunition that has been precisely guided throughout the planet.

The B-52 is capable of strategic attack, close-air support, air interdiction, offensive counter-air, and maritime missions in a conventional fight.

Why US bomber roaming skies over Gloucestershire?

As of right now, a B-52 bomber is flying over Gloucestershire after departing from RAF Fairford earlier in the day (September 13). Since taking off from the Gloucestershire base, the US Air Force jet with the call sign SPICY22 has been continuously looping.

The path the jet is traveling along includes parts of Gloucester’s northern end, Churchdown, Bishop’s Cleeve, Newent, Tewkesbury, and Cheltenham. Throughout 2022, the B-52 Stratofortress, also referred to as BUFFs, was a common sight and sound in Gloucestershire.

Earlier this year, the planes were sent to Gloucestershire as part of a coordinated reaction to the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war. Regular training and reconnaissance flights over Europe and other NATO countries were conducted by the planes.

The bombers returned to Fairford in August after leaving for the US and are still stationed there. Residents on the ground are describing the “extremely loud” sound they are hearing over the city as one of them is currently looping in the sky over Gloucester. This year, the B-52s were not the only aircraft based in Gloucestershire; earlier in the year, brand-new, cutting-edge F35s and U2 spy planes were also seen flying into the airfield. The latter is employed for information collection and can fly at 70,000 feet; the former is stationed at Lakenheath.


Reports an engine has failed

It is being reported that the problem facing the B-52 is that one of its engines has failed.

Its continuous loop over Gloucestershire is understood to be down to the need to burn off fuel before it can land.

A Squawk 7700 code: what does it mean?

According to reports, a Squawk 7700 code, which is often used to signal an emergency, was released by the B-52. When in an emergency, a pilot will do this, either on instruction from air traffic control after declaring an emergency or silently.

This will make it crystal apparent to all tracking ground controllers that the aircraft is experiencing a crisis and needs assistance.

‘Emergency’ code sent from B-52

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