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1/72 B-52D with Big Belly Mod, Operation Arc Light

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  • Member since
    November 2010
  • From: Lafayette, Indiana
Posted by Son Of Medicine Man on Thursday, January 17, 2013 5:49 AM

That looks pretty cool Russ!  I can't wait to see it fully loaded!  Awesome!  Yes  Yes 

Ken

  • Member since
    April 2012
  • From: USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Thursday, January 17, 2013 9:42 AM

Pawel

Hello Russ!

So before each bombing run how many such clips were loaded? I guess three, right? That sure is a lot of ordnance. Great progress, keep it up and have a nice day

Paweł

Hi, Pawel,

You are correct. Each bomber held three clips for a total of 84 500-lb bombs in the bomb bay. It could also hold 12 750-lb bombs on each wing pylon for a grand total of 108 iron bombs.

Thanks for stopping by Big Smile

Russ

 

  • Member since
    April 2012
  • From: USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Thursday, January 17, 2013 9:51 AM

Son Of Medicine Man

That looks pretty cool Russ!  I can't wait to see it fully loaded!  Awesome!  Yes  Yes 

Ken

 

Thanks, Ken!  You and me both! Smile BTW, I've decided to go ahead and build all three clips with full bomb loads.

Cheers,

Russ

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, January 17, 2013 11:00 AM

Yow, now I can understand what I've seen of film footage of carpet bombing- 84/108 of those suckas will ruin not just your day but your whole friggin' week!!! Dead

This is just plain cool Russ, thanks for allowing us to follow along with your photos. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    April 2012
  • From: USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Thursday, January 17, 2013 11:09 AM

My pleasure, Cliff. And thank you for watching Big Smile

Russ

 

  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: Spartanburg, SC
Posted by subfixer on Thursday, January 17, 2013 12:59 PM

I am enjoying your build immensely.

   I grew up with B-52s and B-47s as a kid as my Dad was in SAC. Then I saw B-52s (actually didn't really "see" them because it was dark) in action over North Vietnam during Operation Linebacker II when I was in the Navy off the coast of Haiphong. I vividly remember the SAM 2s rising into the night sky  and the flash of them exploding. Most of the ones that I saw missed, but five times I saw them hit their targets. I can't say whether the ones I saw get hit crashed or not, I know we lost sixteen of them in that operation and nine were damaged. My ship lost an A-7E Corsair II along with the pilot.  

 Later on, 1979, my ex-wife and I were stationed on Guam and our base housing was just below the landing approaches of Andersen AFB so I got another dose of B-52s. Ten years ago I went back to Guam to do some submarine repair and went on up to Andersen to see the Arc Light Memorial again. I was happy to see that it was still being well kept and pretty (as pretty as you can get a BUFF).

Thanks for keeping us posted with your progress, Russ, you are really doing a great job on it.

Lee

I'm from the government and I'm here to help.

  • Member since
    April 2012
  • From: USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Thursday, January 17, 2013 2:57 PM

Thanks for the good words Lee!

And thanks for sharing your wartime experiences. I don't think the average person realizes just how dangerous those flights over North Vietnam were, even with our defensive systems. The NVA fired thousands of SAMs at our formations. A lot of them were programmed to go off at altitude, or on command from the ground using optical trackers, or used proximity fuses, so there was little an invidual bomber could to avoid them.

Russ

 

  • Member since
    February 2010
  • From: Ontario, Canada
Posted by Bockscar on Thursday, January 17, 2013 3:42 PM

Russ, Lee:

I heard about an electronic system to confuse the SAM radar.

I'm sorry if I can't get all of this right. my recollection is that

it would cover a number of aircraft in a relatively tight formation

and obviously all flying the same speed and little relative

movement between them.

When the bombers went to turn, however, that would upset the

balance in the system and then they would become visible, or more visible,

to the SAM radar.

What I can't remember is how the crews finally got it across to

the commanders that they could fix the problem and save crews and

aircraft. It might have been a directional change, or different procedure

when the formation made the turn.

I remember a pilot saying something like this about the SAM, "if you saw the

flash moving you were okay, but if it wasn't moving, you were dead."

Reminds me of what guys used to say about tracer ground-fire in WWII.

Dom

  • Member since
    February 2010
  • From: Ontario, Canada
Posted by Bockscar on Thursday, January 17, 2013 4:02 PM

Striker8241

I've been itching to see how a bomb clip is going to look mounted in the bomb bay so I dismounted the clip I built previously from its trailer and installed it temporarily (I will dismantle it later and rebuild it since the panels are not the right shape). BTW, I noticed in the last image that all the bombs need to be closer to the bottom of the panels. That will improve the overall look.

The detail that appears at each end of the bomb bay is not really physical detail - I copied some photos and scaled them to fit. It gives the impression of some detail there instead of just blank walls. It would be too much work to put in actual detail and not much of it would be seen anyway.

Cheers,

 Russ

  

 

Russ:

Given it is 1/72, that is going to look very sweet when completed.

I have an Idea for you, no obligation to use it of course.

Rather than put a piece of glass under your BUFF so people can see the fab bomb-bay, wheel-wells, and nose bay detail, here's a solution:

Build one or two of those yellow utility carts collapsed, maybe even a tow-car, and instead of using an expanded metal floor, put in a fitted mirror instead. That way you could move them around under your BUFF so folks could see all the great work you did, and your tarmac remains tarmac.

Just a thought.

Dom

  • Member since
    April 2012
  • From: USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Thursday, January 17, 2013 5:14 PM

Bockscar

Russ, Lee:

I heard about an electronic system to confuse the SAM radar.

I'm sorry if I can't get all of this right. my recollection is that

it would cover a number of aircraft in a relatively tight formation

and obviously all flying the same speed and little relative

movement between them.

When the bombers went to turn, however, that would upset the

balance in the system and then they would become visible, or more visible,

to the SAM radar.

What I can't remember is how the crews finally got it across to

the commanders that they could fix the problem and save crews and

aircraft. It might have been a directional change, or different procedure

when the formation made the turn.

I remember a pilot saying something like this about the SAM, "if you saw the

flash moving you were okay, but if it wasn't moving, you were dead."

Reminds me of what guys used to say about tracer ground-fire in WWII.

Dom

Hey, Dom,

Yes, there were ECM systems that could jam or fool incoming SAMs. I can't really talk about what was on the buffs, but like any kind of technology, there were limitations due to weather and proximity to other aircraft that made some planes more vulnerable than others. 

I don't know about this particular tactic you're describing but many of the ideas that improved survivability and effectiveness came from the crews themselves - even modifications to our equipment.

Russ

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2012
  • From: USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Thursday, January 17, 2013 5:27 PM

Bockscar

Given it is 1/72, that is going to look very sweet when completed.

I have an Idea for you, no obligation to use it of course.

Rather than put a piece of glass under your BUFF so people can see the fab bomb-bay, wheel-wells, and nose bay detail, here's a solution:

Build one or two of those yellow utility carts collapsed, maybe even a tow-car, and instead of using an expanded metal floor, put in a fitted mirror instead. That way you could move them around under your BUFF so folks could see all the great work you did, and your tarmac remains tarmac.

Just a thought.

Dom

Lol, Dom, you're trying to make more work for me!  I'm counting on viewers not being able to see too far up into the bomb bay, since I'm not fully detailing it Big Smile.

That's a cool idea though. If I ever build another one of these D models, I will probably go all out on the bomb bay detail, and that will be a great way to show it off.

Thanks!

Russ

 

  • Member since
    February 2010
  • From: Ontario, Canada
Posted by Bockscar on Thursday, January 17, 2013 5:34 PM

Russ:

Don't be deterred by your own modesty.

Why not pull it off now, before everyone else?

Hey, give me the dimensions you need, and I will cut the mirror,

it would be great for people to see the details you put in under there.

The bombs will hide most of the ceiling anyways, and why hide

15 tons of iron bombs? Why hide those clips, I say go for it....lol

Seriously, I will cut you the mirrors N/C.

Dom

  • Member since
    April 2012
  • From: USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Thursday, January 17, 2013 5:45 PM

Bockscar

Russ:

Don't be deterred by your own modesty.

Why not pull it off now, before everyone else?

Hey, give me the dimensions you need, and I will cut the mirror,

it would be great for people to see the details you put in under there.

The bombs will hide most of the ceiling anyways, and why hide

15 tons of iron bombs? Why hide those clips, I say go for it....lol

Seriously, I will cut you the mirrors N/C.

Dom

Hey, Dom, If you can cut the mirror, I'll build it into a stand. But it has to be as light as possible because these stands are really tiny and fragile.

I'll PM you with the measurements.

Thanks! Big Smile

Russ

 

  • Member since
    February 2010
  • From: Ontario, Canada
Posted by Bockscar on Thursday, January 17, 2013 6:43 PM

Hmmmmm......Iron, humidity, and vegetation......nice salad......:

Teaser:

Link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88jrZjsNHPc

Dom

  • Member since
    April 2012
  • From: USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Thursday, January 17, 2013 6:56 PM

Tossed salad Big Smile

 

  • Member since
    February 2010
  • From: Ontario, Canada
Posted by Bockscar on Thursday, January 17, 2013 7:06 PM

17 tons of high explosives.

A very short video, but your ears ring afterwards,

Teaser:

Link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIhGYu5Uc08

Dom

  • Member since
    February 2010
  • From: Ontario, Canada
Posted by Bockscar on Friday, January 18, 2013 8:57 PM

Here is a bit of BUFFology:

Link:

www.airvectors.net/avb52_1.html

Dom

  • Member since
    April 2012
  • From: USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Saturday, January 19, 2013 8:41 AM

Cool! Thanks, Dom!

 

  • Member since
    April 2012
  • From: USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 7:51 PM

Hi, All,

I finally found a photo that showed a combat-ready B-52D with fully loaded flare dispensers so I decided to try and model them. Unfortunately, I didn't find a picture that gave me the exact placement for the dispensers so I had to make a best guess. The flare dispensers were mounted under the horizontal stabilizers as shown below.

Each B-52D had an AN/ALE-20 flare dispensing system that consisted of 6 flare dispensers, three on each side of the aircraft, and at least one control panel (I can't remember if there were more) at the EWO station. There were also six rotating stepper switches (shaped like top hats), one for each dispenser, that were mounted under the horizontal stabilizers, three to a side. They were behind panels so they don't show in the picture. The EWO control panel operated the stepper switches which fired the flare cartridges.

Each dispenser held 8 AN/ALA-17A flare cartridges and each cartridge held two flare pellets, for a total of 96 flares. A single flare dispenser is shown below with a flare cartridge cut in half just in front of it.

As ECM technicians in the Avionics Maintenance Squadron (AMS), we were responsible for ensuring that the dispensing system worked correctly. The Munitions Maintenance Squadron (MMS) folks were the only ones who loaded or handled the flare cartridges.

Cheers,

Russ

 

  • Member since
    November 2010
  • From: Lafayette, Indiana
Posted by Son Of Medicine Man on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 8:46 PM

Very cool Russ!  I really enjoy reading your descriptions and detailed information on the BUFF!  Nice work on duplicating it on your model!

Ken

  • Member since
    February 2010
  • From: Ontario, Canada
Posted by Bockscar on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 10:21 PM

Dang Russ!

Wish I knew how you did that!

That detail not only looks great, it answers a lot of questions about where those units were placed.

No worries about the precise placement..."If it looks right, it is right"

The presentation of the individual units is very crisp, and looks embedded.

Another fantastic evolution RussStick out tongue

Thanks for your pics and the flare unit shot, put away safely in my BUFF file.

Courtesy of:

http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?172435-Military-Helicopters-amp-Planes-Flares/page3

Dom

  • Member since
    April 2012
  • From: USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Thursday, January 24, 2013 6:43 AM

Thanks for the good words, Ken! Big Smile.

 

  • Member since
    April 2012
  • From: USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Thursday, January 24, 2013 6:54 AM

Thanks for the good words, Dom!  Actually, they are embedded, in a way. I cut out a shallow slot for each dispenser then glued short pieces of styrene rod in place. Once they were set, I trimmed off the rod even with the surface and painted them. They look a little ragged though because I made the slots a bit too wide. 

Cool pictures of that Buff, BTW [D:]

Russ

 

  • Member since
    March 2009
  • From: Middletown, OH
Posted by Buffirn on Thursday, January 24, 2013 10:49 AM

If my memory hasn't failed me.  The flares look to be in the right spot.  All my time was in G's and H's.  Those have 6 dispensers under each stabilizer.  There are some pretty decent pictures on pg 57 of the Walk Around B-52 Stratofortress book.  THere is also a not so good picture of a D model taking off that shows the flare dispensers on pg 19 of B-52 Stratofortress in action.

Jim Williams

 

  • Member since
    April 2012
  • From: USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:43 AM

Hi, Jim!

Thanks for that confirmation. I used three different photos but all were at pretty extreme angles so it was difficult to estimate where the row of dispensers began and ended. Also, thanks for the tip on the B-52 Stratofortress in Action book; I'll check that out.

Russ

 

  • Member since
    February 2010
  • From: Ontario, Canada
Posted by Bockscar on Thursday, January 24, 2013 6:06 PM

Those flares look like they are two stacked per 'tube'. They look like magnesium bodies, and some kind of thermite flare mixture and ignition wires inside. That would make 16 individual flares per unit/pod. But I can't be sure, unless I start looking them up. I can't see the 'ejection' mechanism either, shotgun shells or some kind of blasting cap in the floor?

Dom

  • Member since
    April 2012
  • From: USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Thursday, January 24, 2013 7:17 PM

Dom,

Yes, there were two pellets per cartridge. I would think with one of those things igniting in that confined a space, the combustion gas alone would force it out at a pretty high rate of speed.

Russ

 

  • Member since
    April 2012
  • From: USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Friday, January 25, 2013 5:24 PM

Hi, All,

Since I added the flare dispensers, I thought I would go ahead and build some D-21 chaff magazines for the chaff dispensers. I apologize if the following description gets a little long winded.

Updated 7/21/19.

The chaff system on the B-52D was the AN/ALE-27 dispenser system, made by Lundy Corp. It consisted of 8 electrically-operated dispensers, 4 on each side of the 47-section in the tail of the airplane. There were 8 chaff ports on each side with 1 dispenser servicing 2 ports (chaff ports shown below).

The picture below shows 4 chaff dispensers, each holding 2 D21 chaff magazines.

A single chaff magazine is shown in the photo below. There were 16 of these on each aircraft. The magazines were inserted into the dispensers using the two curved hooks at the bottom and rotated to a vertical position, then locked into place with clamps.

The chaff magazines were metal cases about 4 1/2 feet long and each magazine had two chaff channels. Each channel could hold a variety of different chaff bundles. These bundles were different thicknesses so the total number varied depending on the mission. Each magazine had two U-shaped handles that were used for carrying and mounting.

The magazines had spring-loaded "feeders" in each channel that were latched to the top during loading. After loading, the feeders were released. The feeders forced the chaff bundles down to the "gate" of each channel. The gate was a movable plate that held each bundle ready to be ejected. Each plate contained a cutter that ripped open the bundles as they were ejected. The plate could be adjusted for different sized bundles.

Each dispenser had an electric motor that drove four pawls mounted on a shaft, two for each chaff port, as shown below. The pawls had serrated edges that gripped the bundles and forced them out the chaff port. Each dispenser was programmed and activated by its own control panel at the EWO's position. 

 

One of the many jobs of the ECM tech was to load the chaff magazines prior to a mission. There were 16 chaff magazines per plane and they usually flew 4 planes in a cell, so there could be a lot of magazine loading to do depending on how much they were used.

Once the magazines were loaded at the shop, they had to be carried out to the plane and manually heaved up into the 47 section. This usually involved two technicians. One tech on the ground passed a magazine to a tech on a B-4 stand under the 47-Section hatch and that tech would then heave the magazine up into the aircraft and onto a catwalk that ran through the 47 section.

Each magazine weighed about 40 lb fully loaded, so after heaving 8-16 of these, you were ready for a break. Fortunately, we didn't have to load magazines for every mission since chaff wasn't always used. But if any dispenser was used, its magazines had to be reloaded.

Below is a photo of some of the 8 magazines I made.

Cheers,

Russ

 

 

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Friday, January 25, 2013 5:43 PM

Hello!

Great info here! Isn't it amazing, how much work goes into keeping such a weapons system operational? This modelling project is already very special, good luck finishing it, and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    November 2010
  • From: Lafayette, Indiana
Posted by Son Of Medicine Man on Friday, January 25, 2013 5:56 PM

Hi Russ,

Once again I am spell bound reading your description of how all this worked.  Thank you for taking the time to write it all down and share it with us!

Great job again on the detail!  Looks just like your picture!  Yes Yes 

Ken

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