This Is What Eight Turbofan Engines Do to the Air Behind the B-52 Stratofortress

Nestled at the top of our planet, over northern Canada, Greenland and a good chunk of Russia, sits the world’s smallest and shallowest of oceans, the Arctic. It’s also the coldest large body of water on the planet, but that isn’t stopping nations on this planet to have (so far) legal battles over portions of it.
B-52 Stratofortress over the Arctic Ocean 15 photos
Photo: USAF/Airman 1st Class Zachary Wright
B-52 Stratofortress over the Arctic OceanB-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
Although cold as frozen hell, and not very friendly to humans, there are settlements there, including military ones, like the American Thule Air Base in Greenland, and the Russian Arctic Trefoil installation in the Franz Josef Land archipelago.

Despite the fact that there are bases there, and there’s a war going on in Europe that may end up with the two nations more actively involved in a fight with one another, we don’t get to hear all that much of what’s happening over there, as opposed to the constant flood of info about military movements and exercises taking place elsewhere.

So, having the U.S. Air Force (USAF) publish a photo of one of its airplanes flying over the Arctic is something of an event, one we couldn’t let go unnoticed and not featured in our Photo of the Day section. Especially given how it involves one of the most potent bombers currently in operation, the B-52 Stratofortress.

We see it in this photo published last week by the USAF as it was in mid-March, just a few weeks into the war in Ukraine. The plane, deployed with the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron stationed at Royal Air Force Fairford in the United Kingdom, was there on a routine mission together with undisclosed American allies, in a bid to “demonstrate the bomber’s ability to operate over long ranges.“

On paper, the B-52 can go for distances of 8,800 miles (14,162km) on a single load of fuel, but aerial refueling can, of course, keep it up there for much longer.

As the conflict in Ukraine continues, we’re likely to see even more of the B-52, leaving the long trails of its presence in the sky, but also other high-profile American assets, as all sides try to calm the other through displays of force.
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Editor's note: Gallery shows other B-52s.

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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