• Review: Captain Sim - B-52 Driver

    B-52 Driver

    Publisher: Captain Sim

    Review Author:
    Wisnu Prabowo

    Suggested Price:
    $32.75

    Buy Here

    First Flight

    April 15, 1952, was the first flight of the USA's latest warplane, an eight engine high wing bomber, the great B-52. The maiden flight took place from the company's airfield outside Seattle, Washington. Boeing designated the B-52 "Stratofortress", continuing the "Fortress" designation that started with the B-17 "Flying Fortress" and continued with the B-29 and 50 "Super Fortress". The enormous bomber was also nicknamed as Monkeyknocker and Coconutknocker during the Vietnam War, probably because of its carrying carpet bombing of jungles. BUFF is the most popular name ("Big Ugly Fat Fellow"), and the last F is arguably denoting the impolite four F words, thus, Fellow is a friendlier term used.

    After 63 years since its first flight, the big ugly fat fellow still has a bright future ahead. It is beyond anyone's expectation when it was initially developed. In the fourth quarter of 2014, the US Air Force was breathing a new life for the bomber when they announced an upgrade its Nothrop Grumman APQ-166 strategic radar system developed and used in the 1950s. Just a few months since the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) announcement, the US Air Force also released a statement to upgrade its weapon bay in order to carry satellite-guided conventional armaments.

    General Characteristics:

    Primary Function: Heavy bomber
    Contractor: Boeing Military Airplane Co.

    Power plant: Eight Pratt & Whitney engines TF33-P-3/103 turbofan
    Thrust: Each engine up to 17,000 pounds

    Wingspan: 185 feet (56.4 meters)
    Length: 159 feet, 4 inches (48.5 meters)
    Height: 40 feet, 8 inches (12.4 meters)

    Weight: Approximately 185,000 pounds (83,250 kilograms)
    Maximum Takeoff Weight: 488,000 pounds (219,600 kilograms)

    Fuel Capacity: 312,197 pounds (141,610 kilograms)
    Payload: 70,000 pounds (31,500 kilograms)

    Speed: 650 miles per hour (Mach 0.84)
    Range: 8,800 miles (7,652 nautical miles)
    Ceiling: 50,000 feet (15,151.5 meters)

    Armament: Approximately 70,000 pounds (31,500 kilograms) mixed ordnance -- bombs, mines and missiles. (Modified to carry air-launched cruise missiles)
    Crew: Five (aircraft commander, pilot, radar navigator, navigator and electronic warfare officer)
    Unit Cost: $84 million (fiscal 2012 constant dollars)
    Initial operating capability: April 1952
    Inventory: Active force, 58; ANG, 0; Reserve, 18

    From 744 B-52s built from 1952-1962, only the H variants are still in service in the USAF inventory. The B-52 can perform strategic attack, offensive counter-air, close-air support, and air interdiction. The BUFF's golden age was when twelve B-52s were flying 24 hours a day, 365 days in the Operation Chrome Dome - a cold war high state readiness to counter Russian's pre-emptive attack.

    The B-52 is often called The Punisher. However, in a more peaceful time, it is now the USAF that is being punished by its demanding fuel burn. The USAF is now looking for a private company to fund new upgraded engines, and they will pay them back by fuel savings instead of funding the development or advance payment. The latest news is that they will likely consider the Boeing 757 engines.


    5 Comments
    1. flibinite's Avatar
      flibinite -
      Solid and accurate review. I do suggest installing the user mods on the Capt Sim web site to depower the aircraft to something more reasonable. There are lots of quality repaints out there. The VC is still pretty crisp by today's standards.
    1. chausler49's Avatar
      chausler49 -
      Did you have issues loading it? I can see the aircraft in the menu but it will not load to fly.
    1. irish3's Avatar
      irish3 -
      Is this the same aircraft from 4 or 5 years prior, or a mild rehash of improvements?
    1. schumi's Avatar
      schumi -
      Does the crab system work? As far as I know, it's just eyecandy and you skid off the runway when using it...
    1. CaptJazz's Avatar
      CaptJazz -
      Chausler49, I am sorry to hear that, fortunately, the a/c loads normally on my end.
      Irish3 - Correct, the same aircraft, no new improvements implemented.
      Schumi - the crab system seemed working, honestly, I just set a mild corsswind and landing using crab system is far from crappy, meanig, the wheels are heading to what I wanted to, which is aligned with the runway.
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