Massive B-52 Stratofortress Looks Flimsy Flying Over the Mighty Alps

The B-52H Stratofortress is one of the largest aircraft out there. It is 159 feet (48 meters ) long, measures 185 feet (56 meters) from wing tip to wing tip, and weighs 185,000 pounds (over 83 tons). By airplane standards, it’s huge. By mountains standard, it’s puny.
B-52 Stratofortress over the Alps 14 photos
Photo: USAF/Airman 1st Class Zachary Wright
B-52 Stratofortress over the AlpsB-52 Stratofortress on a refueling mission near GuamB-52 Stratofortress at the Changi Air BaseB-52 Stratofortress taking offB-52 StratofortressB-52 StratofortressB-52 StratofortressB-52 StratofortressB-52 StratofortressB-52 StratofortressB-52 StratofortressB-52 StratofortressB-52 Stratofortress after refueling op
You can see that in the main image of this piece. It was snapped back in the beginning of March as one of the bombers, deployed with the 69th Bomb Squadron from Royal Air Force Fairford in the United Kingdom, was flying over the Alps.

The instance was snapped from an unidentified airplane as it was on an undisclosed Bomber Task Force operation. These are "predetermined deployments with NATO partners and allies to demonstrate and strengthen the shared commitment to global security and stability," according to the U.S. Air Force (USAF).

The Alps are Europe’s highest and most extensive mountain range. They cross eight countries (France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia), and at their highest (Mont Blanc), measure 4,809 m (15,778 feet). In fact, the range has no less than 128 peaks that reach above the 4,000-meter (13,123-feet) threshold.

With those numbers in mind, it’s easy to understand why even the beast with eight engines hanging by the wings is just a spec of dust on nature’s playground.

With all the horrors taking place in Ukraine, the Stratofortress seems to be popping up more and more often in USAF’s releases. The Big Ugly Fat Fella made its comeback to Europe just a week or so before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Simple math shows that, if need be, these bombers could easily reach any targets on this Earth – the thing’s range is rated at 8,800 miles (over 14,000 km), but that's before aerial refueling.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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