Yesterday afternoon at work I was very surprised to see a tall tail B-52 parked on the ramp at Travis AFB. It was in the modern ACC colors of overall dark gray (FS 595 36118). Where the heck did this thing come from and where is it going? AFAIK the only Buffs still in active service are the Hs, and this was no H or G model. It definitely had a tall tail. And NO, it was not the Travis Museum D model either. Not parked out on the C-5 ramp. Later, Dave Shreeve
hmm...a bunch of sites claim the "H" is the only one left in service, with 85 in the active force and 9 reserves, which jibes with what you said.
There is a note that one airframe is assigned to the Air Force Material Command and it is used by the Flight Test Center at Edwards. I wonder if what you saw was that one, and it has been modified for some reason?
Can't find any thing more on the fellow assigned to Edward's...like a recent photo
The B model that was at Edwards was retired a few years back. The serial number ended with 0008 and it's nickname amongst the flight crews was 'balls eight'. It was replaced with an H airframe from Minot. The particular vehicle in question was a hangar queen at Mindrot and it RARELY flew due to constant problems in all systems. My idiot brother-in-law was one of the crew for it (which might be why it had so many problems, he _IS_ an idiot...). There is something going on in the 'museum world' where in airframes are being painted in whatever colour is available rather than the actual FS numbers. The best ex- ample would be an F-84 at the Ellsworth museum which is painted in SAC SIOP colours. Absolutely incorrect, but it was paint that was available and if the a/c were not painted it would rot.
What you saw might be an airframe moved onto the ramp to make room in a hangar. Said a/c might be under 'restoration' for a static display, who knows?
My thought was it might be headed to a museum somewhere. It was not on the ramp because of lack of hangar space. I work out of the largest hangar on base. When I got into work yesterday it was already gone, so who knows. The Travis Museum's D model is in SEA colors and was repainted in the last 10 years.
A co-worker who has a second job that takes him out onto the parking ramp was surprised to see it out there as well. He did not notice the serial number, but said it did have NM codes on the tail. I checked and that belongs to an ANG F-16 unit out of Kirtland. Another co-worker who recently retired checked with his contacts at Job Control and they claimed not to have any information on it. Maybe it is one of those "If we told you we would have to kill you" things. The Buff was gone on Thursday, but back again on Friday. I won't be back to work until Monday, so I am not sure if it will still be there. This just get curiouser and curiouser! Later, Dave Shreeve
Hey Curt, I had occasion to go on base yesterday to gas up. I made a quick run by the museum to make sure that some other base wasn't trying to steal the B-52 like they have with some other aircraft (A-26 and T-37). The Travis Museum Buff was still there. I then drove down the road that runs parallel with the C-5 ramp and finally saw the thing. Damn, it is an H! From the area where I work it looked all the world as a tall tail Buff! Several other people agreed. Oh well. Never Mind!