Designation: B-52A

Boeing B-52A

Boeing NB-52A (B-52A) Stratofortress

A picture of the Boeing B-52A Stratofortress

Designed as a long-range heavy bomber to carry nuclear weapons deep into Soviet territory, the B-52 has proven to be a highly adaptable and versatile aircraft.  Serving as a strategic nuclear bomber, conventional heavy bomber, and as a test aircraft, the B-52 has flown in the U.S. Air Force for more than sixty years and late models of the Stratofortress are expected to serve until 2040.  Design work for what would become the B-52 Stratofortress began in 1945.  After several major design changes, the first of the eight-engined bombers took to the air on October 2, 1952.  The first of the eight major production variants of the B-52 were built in 1954 with production of the last versions ending in 1963.  Only three of the “A” model Stratofrtresses were built and all served solely as test aircraft for both Boeing and the Air Force.  The oldest B-52 in existence, this is the third “A” model built.  This is one of two B-52s modified to carry the X-15 rocket plane.

Wingspan 185 ft


Length 156 ft


Height 48 ft


Weight 450,000 lbs (loaded)


Max. Speed 650 MPH

Maximum Speed

Service Ceiling 50,000 ft

Service Ceiling

Range 6,000 miles


Engines Eight Pratt & Whitney J57-P-1W turbojets with 9,000 pounds of thrust each


Crew 6



Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB, California, 1960s

Serial Number

B-52A “The High and Mighty One”

Continue reading

Pima Air & Space Museum

Creating unlimited horizons in aerospace education through the preservation and presentation of the history of flight.

Charity EIN: 86-6031135

Copyright ©
Website by CS Design Studios

Contact Info


6000 E Valencia Rd, Tucson, AZ 85756

Operating Hours:
Open 9 AM – 5 PM Daily
Last Admittance at 3:00 PM