As the fourth model of the B-52 built the B-52D was the second most produced version of the Stratofortress. As they were first built the "D" model was virtually identical to earlier models of the aircraft except that it lacked the reconnaissance ability of earlier B-52s and was intended purely as a bomber. In 1965, modification of B-52D aircraft began to increase their conventional bomb load. The "Big Belly" modifications resulted in the ability to carry 108 conventional bombs both internally and externally. This means that one aircraft could carry 54,000 pounds of bombs, roughly the equivalent of three World War Two B-17s. B-52s dropped thousands of tons of bombs on targets in Vietnam becoming the symbol of American air power during that war.
By kjfitz @ 2007-11-18 13:07:45