The Seoul B-52

Korea > Seoul >War Memorial

December 2010


This is truly a pleasant surprise. On a fine bitterly cold morning last week, we took a walk (yeah, crazy idea at -5C) from our hotel in Yongsan towards Itaewon, and there next to the road, sat a B-52 in the compound of the War Memorial of Korea. I’d always wanted to see this (in)famous beast up close, so I just couldn’t believe my luck. I was excited like a kid!

The awesome and fearsome Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bomber, with the iconic Seoul Tower in the background. This is believed to be one of the only three B52s being displayed outside the USA. – the other two are in Darwin (Australia) and Duxford (England).
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You can climb up to view the flight deck …
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… but only if you are not acrophobic, otherwise vertigo can set in. :)
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It’s quite a nice spot for a pose, esp. in the bright morning light.
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Details on the displayed B-52, moved here March, 2009. Actual model is ‘Boeing B-52D-65-BO Stratofortress’; C/N 17221, original USAF S/N 55-105.
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Yes, I go up to peek into the cockpit, but the lighting is bad. Looks cramped inside there, considering the huge size of the plane.
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I glance at the wingspan of 53m. This ‘D’ model started flying in 1956. It played a major in carpet-bombing Vietnam during the Vietnam War (1955-75). Bad, bad bird!
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The huge fuselage is almost 50m long, shorter than the winspan.
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It has a short stubby nose, and the flight deck has two floors – only the pilot and co-pilot occupy the top floor. The bottom floor is the office for the navigator, electronic warfare officer, and radar navigator cum bombardier.
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On each wing, two pods carry two powerful Pratt & Whitney engines each. Cruising speed is 850km/h, up to max altitude of almost 50,000ft. Combat radius is 7,200km, while ferry range is about 16,000km.
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The wing is huge and long, and the weight of the four engines plus the fuel will make it sag when not flying. So it’s necessary to install a small landing gear, called the outrigger, at the end of the wing to support it when the plane lands and is on the ground.
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Massive main landing gear. This mafaka weighs more than 200 tonnes when full of bombs.
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That’s where they store the fireworks, which brought misery to thousands of unfortunate people down below.
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The four engines on the port wing.
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Close-up of the outrigger at the tip of the port wing.
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There’s a pod at the wingtip next to the outrigger. Am not sure what it is for; some radar stuff, or extra fuel?
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The fuselage is slender top-bottom, so when you look at the B-52 from the front, it looks rectangular.
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The majestic tail and stabiliser.
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Tail repainted with reg. USAF 50-1512. So now I can tick off B-52 from my list of planes to see. :)
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> THE END

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