B-52 bomber moved from Davis-Monthan’s boneyard to return to service

A B-52H Stratofortress bomber built in the early 1960s and put into retirement in the “boneyard” at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base more than 10 years ago is returning to service.

A crew on Tuesday flew the plane nicknamed “Wise Guy” to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana from Tucson where it had been in the sprawling aircraft storage area, the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at D-M.

Officials said it was the bomber’s first flight since 2008 and only the second time that a B-52H has been taken from the storage area and returned to service.

According to news report, the bomber is destined for the 307th Bomb Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit that flies both the B-1B and B-52 bombers.

It took months of work to make the bomber airworthy again, and additional restoration work is required to put it back in service.

The bomber will replace one destroyed in a 2016 fire at a base in Guam.

With more than 17,000 flight hours and 11 years at the “boneyard,” it took about four months to get it ready to fly again, Air Force officials said.

“The jet had cracks in the rear landing gear and was missing two engines,” said Master Sgt. Steven Sorge, of the 307th Maintenance Squadron, at Barksdale Air Force Base.

The bomber will have to undergo an extensive restoration project that will cost about $30 million and take until early 2021, according to an Air Force report.

This note was found inside the cockpit of “Wise Guy.” The B-52 Stratofortress bomber will replace one destroyed in a 2016 fire at a base in Guam.

U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Burgess, 307th Operations Group commander, gives a thumbs up after flying a B-52 Stratofortress, nicknamed “Wise Guy,” to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, May 14, 2019. The bomber had been at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona since 2008. It took a team of Reserve Citizen Airmen and their active duty counterparts four months to prepare “Wise Guy” for flight after its decade long hiatus at AMARG.

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