Round-the-World Flights

Operation Power Flite - Three B-52's Round-the-World Flight

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B-52 on Ramp B-52 Take-Off James Morris LeMay Awards Crew In-flight Refueling
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Operation Power Flite - Three US Air Force B-52's Fly Non-Stop Round-the-World
The B-52 jet bomber was designed to provide a high-altitude strategic bomber with intercontinental range which was extended with in-flight refueling to permit missions anywhere in the world. The B-52 was nicknamed BUFF (Big, Ugly, Fat Fellow). On January 18, 1957 in a dramatic display of air power sufficient to strike fear to the heart of any potential enemy, the Strategic Air Command (SAC) sent three of its B-52 jet bombers round-the-world. Two B-52's participated as back-up aircraft. Their trip round-the-world was non-stop with four in-flight refuelings by KC-97 tankers flying from Canada, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, and Guam. Operation Power Flight became the first jet aircraft to circle round-the-world non-stop. They flew 24,325 miles in 45H 19M at an average speed of 534 mph from Castle AFB (January 16, 1957) landing at March AFB (January 18, 1957). They demonstrated to the world that the US could fly the B-52 and hit any target in the world at any time. The aircraft commanders of the three planes were Lt Col James H. Morris, Major George Kalebaugh and Capt Charles W. Fink. The planes were named, Lucky Lady III, La Victoria and Lonesome George. They bore Serial Numbers 53-0394, 53-0397 & 53-0398. Finks' crew was made up as follows: Capt Charles W. Fink Aircraft Commander Lt Col Marcus Hill Jr Pilot Capt Jay G. Bachman Pilot Capt Cyril H. Dingwell Radar Operator Capt Michael Stevens Navigator Capt Edward M. Hollacher Navigator Lt Joseph Tyra ECM Operator Staff Sergeant James L. Busboom Tail Gunner Tech Sergeant Joseph D. Armstrong Crew Chief Visit the United States Air Force Museum.

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