B52 in Darwin

21 06 2010

Spent the weekend up in Darwin, and finally found the time to drop into the Darwin Aviation Heritage Museum. Featuring a variety of both civil and military aircraft, from Gyrocopters to a Spitfire replica and even an original RAAF Tiger Moth all under the one roof, the museum specialises in Australias military aviation history, with one notable exception also being its most well known exhibit : a B52(G) heavy bomber as flown exclusively by the US since 1955.

Somehow managed to leave my camera behind, although the scale of the thing meant it probably wouldn’t have made a lot of difference to the quality of photos, which subsequently, are all from the Iphone.

**NOTE** You’ll need to click on each photo to get the whole picture(s) :

Dwarfing every other display, the B52, or BUFF as they’re widely known (big ugly fat f*kr), took up the entire length and height of the hangar. Getting an actual shot of the wingspan took some doing, but had to get something showing the iconic twin  pairs of engines per side…

Another exercise in scale, this time with an ex-RAAF Mirage in the foreground. This Mirage actually went down just a few hundred metres from the museum, which backs onto the RAAF base which in turn is at the back of Darwin Airport. The French-built Mirage was Australias predecessor to the F18 Hornet strike aircraft used today. The pilot ejected safely, but the aircraft was trashed, before being rebuilt for this display.

Able to carry near 32 tonnes of ordnance, the B52 has held several heavy-bomber records over the years. As in integral part of the US “nuclear triad” deterrent (subs, land-based missiles and bombers), the BUFFs have been in active service now for over 50 years. Next shot, the bomb bay, literally inside the belly of the beast…

And a closing shot, this time the “other” business end of the craft – quad .50 cal machine guns, swivel mounted under the tail, controlled by the gunner at the front under the guidance of the targetting radar dome seen just above the guns. The use of these weapons during the Vietnam war in an earlier version (a B52D) to shoot down two Russian MiG 21’s lead to another B52 record, that of the largest aircraft ever to be credited with air-to-air kills.

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6 responses

22 06 2010
Dr Yobbo

Astonishing bit of kit, just unfathomable scale to the thing.

22 06 2010
bangarrr

The B52 was a great piece of kit. The acronym I know is BUFF, Big Ugly Flyin’ F*ck.

22 06 2010
yankeedog

Nice pics!

The Buff is impressive! I’ve walked around a few of them in my time and they’re quite a machine. The C-5 Galaxy-ditto. A person could kick a football around in one of those and not hit anything.

Looks like a good collection of birds there. More pictures!

29 06 2010
drej08

Thanks boys. Bangar, you may be right, Havock actually reminded me of its nickname, and I had to wiki it from where I got my version…
YD, yep, checked out a Galaxy many years ago back in NZ, impressive to say the least!

26 07 2010
havock21

fkn top piece of kiet they are Drej, good job. YEP..Big Ugly Fat Fkr….. or…..HORNED FKN WANNABE ACTIOON HERO!

28 07 2010
drej08

H – lol!

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