The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History will tell the story of the longest serving aircraft in United States military in the special exhibition, “BUFF: The B-52 Story,” on display June 8 through December 29, 2019. This temporary exhibition explores this iconic Boeing aircraft’s past, present and future as an American strategic bomber. It is a substantial history, as this aircraft came into existence sixty years ago to deliver a nuclear payload on the Soviet Union during a possible World War III, and its lifespan is projected to extend beyond 2040.
Visitors will be guided through the B-52’s history of modifications and upgrades, from development by the Boeing six-man “dream team” in 1948 who designed the first prototypes to the aircraft’s role in Iraqi Freedom in 2003. The B-52 played an important role in nuclear weapons testing, starting in 1956, and this special exhibition highlights many strategic operations. It also displays information on Chrome Dome, a seven-year initiative featuring airborne alert missions where B-52 units rotated on flying routes over the Arctic and Mediterranean. Pop culture even plays a role in this engaging exhibition, displaying multiple B-52 themed movie posters throughout the years.
“BUFF: The B-52 Story” also takes time to focus on the achievements of the museum’s own B-52B Stratofortress, serial number 52-0013, newly restored and on display in the museum’s nine-acre outdoor exhibit area. This aircraft is Albuquerque’s airplane - delivered directly from Boeing to Kirtland Air Force Base in 1955, never assigned to another Air Force Base – and it was used for atomic testing in the Pacific during Operation Redwing, 1956, and Operation Dominic, 1962. It remains the only B-52B in existence that has dropped an atomic bomb - dropped during testing. A number of missiles carried by B-52 through the years will also be on display, including the broken arrows accidentally dropped in 1966 by a B-52 off the coast of Spain as well as a Short-Range Attack missile (SRAM).
“The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is proud to celebrate the incredible military service of the B-52, and we are thrilled to have one here that is so tied to Albuquerque’s military history,” said Jim Walther, Museum Director. “I hope many visitors will come to see our B-52, and learn about the history of this iconic aircraft and its important missions.”
“BUFF: The B-52 Story” will be on display at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History June 8 through December 29, 2019. This special exhibition is included with the price of admission into the museum. For more information, please visit nuclearmuseum.org.
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Enjoy the 1964 film, Godzilla vs. Mothra, in an outdoor screening at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History on Friday, November 1. Doors open at 5 pm to enjoy local food trucks and brewery, Japanese Taiko drumming, and information on the history of Godzilla from a UNM film and digital arts lecturer. The movie will begin at dark in the nine-acre outdoor exhibit area, and museum admission applies.Learn More
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