Made by Boeing, the plane has been in service for about 70 years now, with over 700 of them being fielded since production began. A good chunk of them will continue to fly at least until the 2050s, as the U.S. Air Force (USAF) just announced in early May it tasked Collins Aerospace to come up with a new wheel and carbon brake design for these planes.
Also earlier this May, a massive exercise called Northern Edge 21 took place in Alaska. A great number of military hardware was part of the drills, including the brand new F-15EX Eagle II, and of course, the Stratofortress.
You can see one of the B-52s that were part of Northern Edge in the pic attached to this piece (click photo to enlarge). It is an airplane assigned to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, seen here as it takes off from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam during a Bomber Task Force deployment.
And it’s literally frightening if you’re on the wrong side of the bombs it carries, that is.
If you feel the airplane looks absolutely huge, that’s because it is. The thing has a wingspan of 185 feet (56 meters), which is about the height of the Tower of Pisa, and weighs, empty, 185,000 pounds (over 83 metric tons)—when loaded with bombs and whatnot, it can get to 265,000 pounds (120 metric tons).