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NASA's Workhorse Gets New Markings

By Gray Creech
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
NASA's B-52B aircraft

NASA 008 shows off its new markings. NASA photo by Tony Landis.

NASA Dryden Flight Research Center's venerable B-52B mothership, known as NASA 008, got a new paint job - well, sort of.

"Dryden Flight Research Center" appears in black lettering and "NASA" is painted in larger red script on the starboard (right) side of the nose. The new livery reflects for the first time identification of the workhorse aircraft as a NASA Dryden asset.

Most of the aircraft's markings are the original U.S. Air Force markings dating back to the mid-1950's. A prominent yellow band with "NASA" in black on the aircraft's vertical tail dates back to that time, and has been used on many NASA aircraft from the Agency's birth in 1958 through the early 1970's.

NASA 008 turns 50 years old and is slated for retirement next year. In the meantime, the historical aircraft will launch the last scramjet-powered X-43A this fall.