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


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

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

As usual, one of the highlights of RIAT 2023’s flying display this year was the U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bomber. The aircraft that took part in the flying display on Sunday Jul. 16, 2023, was airframe 61-0029/BD belonging to the 307th Bomb Wing/93rd Bomb Squadron, an Air Reserve Component of the United States Air Force, stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.

Flying as SURGE 22, the strategic bomber took from runway 27, spent some time in a holding to the east of the airfield then carried out a flypast with tanker KC-135R QID 71 from Mildenhall in the lead and eventually returned for an overhead break for a visual landing. The most impressive part of the display (most probably cut short because of the weather that affected RIAT throughout the weekend) came after landing, as the BUFF (Big Ugly Fat Fellow) taxied down the runway using its peculiar steerable dual-bicycle landing gear to face the strong crosswinds at RAF Fairford.

Interesting, during the “crabwalk”, the outrigger wheel of the Stratofortress aircraft hit some of the runway lights (18).

The video below, taken by our friend Misael Ocasio Hernandez, shows the full display of the B-52 including the taxi part. You can clearly see the lights “fall victim” to the the outrigger wheel, designed to keep the wing tanks from skidding on the runway.

Here’s a description of the peculiar swiveling landing gear of the B-52 from a previous article:

In fact, the U.S. Air Force iconic B-52 bomber was designed in such a way the landing gear can be set up to 20 degrees left to right of centerline for both takeoff and landing.
As explained by NASA (that has been a BUFF operator) on its…

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