IKE MANY OF AMERICA’S legendary aircraft,
the B-52 was built to offset the Soviet threat
that characterized the Cold War. The U.S.
needed a bomber to reach far-f lung Soviet
targets, defeat their air defenses, and carry
a massive atomic payload.
Boeing’s initial 1948 designs included
swept wings and six massive turboprop engines—a
nod to the Soviets’ long-range bomber, the Tupolev
Tu-95 Bear. But when one brash Army officer
fielded Boeing’s proposal and told the aeronautical
designers to ditch the props, they came back with
an all-new, eight-engine jet bomber. One Boeing ▶
and the Most
// B Y A L E X H O L L I N G S //