Watch A B-52 Destroy Runway Lights While Taxiing Askew During ‘Crabwalk’ At RAF Fairford

B-52 lights


B-52 lights
The B-52 through the crabwalk on Jul. 16, 2023. (Picture: screenshot from Misael Hernandez Ocasio video)

After its show at RIAT (Royal Worldwide Air Tattoo), the B-52 Stratofortress bomber hit 18 runway lights with the outrigger wheel.

As ordinary, one of many highlights of RIAT 2023’s flying show this yr was the U.S. Air Power B-52H Stratofortress bomber. The plane that took half within the flying show on Sunday Jul. 16, 2023, was airframe 61-0029/BD belonging to the 307th Bomb Wing/93rd Bomb Squadron, an Air Reserve Part of the USA Air Power, stationed at Barksdale Air Power Base, Louisiana.

Flying as SURGE 22, the strategic bomber took from runway 27, spent a while in a holding to the east of the airfield then carried out a flypast with tanker KC-135R QID 71 from Mildenhall within the lead and finally returned for an overhead break for a visible touchdown. Essentially the most spectacular a part of the show (most likely reduce brief due to the climate that affected RIAT all through the weekend) got here after touchdown, because the BUFF (Massive Ugly Fats Fellow) taxied down the runway utilizing its peculiar steerable dual-bicycle touchdown gear to face the sturdy crosswinds at RAF Fairford.

Curiously, through the “crabwalk”, the outrigger wheel of the Stratofortress plane hit a few of the runway lights (18).

The video under, taken by our buddy Misael Ocasio Hernandez, exhibits the complete show of the B-52 together with the taxi half. You possibly can clearly see the lights “fall sufferer” to the the outrigger wheel, designed to maintain the wing tanks from skidding on the runway.

Right here’s an outline of the attribute swiveling touchdown gear of the B-52 from a previous article:

The truth is, the U.S. Air Power iconic B-52 bomber was designed in such a means the touchdown gear might be set as much as 20 levels left to proper of centerline for each takeoff and touchdown.

As defined by NASA (that has been a BUFF operator) on its web site, “the touchdown gear of the B-52 is of the identical bicycle association as employed on the B-47 however has 4 two-wheel bogies as a substitute of the 2 bogies used on the sooner plane. As in contrast with their location on the B-47, the outrigger wheels are positioned a lot nearer the wingtip on the B-52. An attention-grabbing function of the B-52 touchdown gear enormously eases the issues posed by crosswind landings. Each the entrance and rear bogies might be set at angles of as a lot as 20° to both facet of the straight-ahead place. In a crosswind touchdown, consequently, the plane might be headed straight into the wind whereas rolling down a runway not aligned with the wind.”

The rationale for this peculiar function is primarily because of the construction of the airframe that incorporates a very long and relatively slender fuselage with an enormous tail and large excessive wings that bear the load of the plane. As a consequence of such design, the plane is sluggish to react to pilot inputs on the flight management surfaces, particularly at low altitude and velocity. Furthermore, the wings are so giant that the everyday strategy in crosswind [that is normally flown applying a Wind Correction Angle (WCA), hence “crabbing” the plane to align nose and tail with the wind direction to counter the drifting effect of side winds and “de-crab” once the main landing gear touches the ground (or shortly before)], is solely not potential.

David Cenciotti is a journalist primarily based in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and skim navy aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and plenty of others, masking aviation, protection, battle, trade, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with completely different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Power, a non-public pilot and a graduate in Pc Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.


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