When the US Air Force lost one of its B-52 bombers in 2016 to a crash, they needed to find a replacement.
This B-52, nicknamed ‘Wise Guy’ is only the second B-52H ever to be taken from the 309th AMARG for active service. AMARG is often referred to as the ‘Boneyard’ because aircraft sent to the desert environment are normally picked over for parts.
Most B-52s sent there never fly again, said the U.S. Air Force.
With more than 17,000 flight hours in its history and more than a decade baking in the desert, this wasn’t going to be easy however.
“This was a command wide effort, with reservists and active duty offering a great deal of experience,” said Col. Robert Burgess, 307th Operations Group commander and pilot for the flight in a release.
“It took four months to get ready, so it was really a small effort on the aircrew side and a major effort on the maintainer side. The jet had cracks in the rear landing gear and was missing two engines. It also needed all its fuels cells and hoses replaced, as well as its tires.”
Once the maintainers completed the necessary repairs, they ran multiple tests on the engines, landing gear, fuel and egress systems to ensure the jet was flight worthy.
From there, it was all up to the air crew to get the bomber to Barksdale AFB say the U.S Air Force in a release.
“The three-man crew, with more than 10,000 flying hours between them, flew the B-52 low and slow all the way to Louisiana. With the bomber safely at Barksdale AFB, Barnhill had time to reflect on his role in saving ‘Wise Guy’ from becoming a historical footnote.”
The aircraft is expected to be completely restored by early 2021.