Dec. 14, 2004
Dryden Flight Research Center
P.O. Box 273
Edwards, California 93523
NASA Dryden Public Affairs
firstname.lastname@example.org John Haire/Capt. Kelly George
U.S. Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB
NASA'S FAMED B-52B "MOTHERSHIP" RETIREMENT THIS FRIDAY
The end of an era in aerospace history will be marked this Friday,
Dec. 17, when NASA retires its venerable B-52B "mothership"
heavy-lift launch aircraft.
Image Right: NASA's B-52B launch aircraft takes off carrying the third
X-43A hypersonic research vehicle on a captive carry evaluation
flight September 27, 2004.
Having launched advanced flight research vehicles over a lengthy
career spanning nearly a half century, the venerable air-launch
aircraft is being decommissioned in formal ceremonies at NASA's
Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Jointly hosted by the Air Force Flight Test Center and NASA Dryden,
the observance will begin at 10 a.m. PST and will include a formal
transfer of the B-52B by NASA Dryden center director Kevin Petersen
to Brig. Gen. Curtis M. Bedke, commander of the Air Force Flight Test
Center, for its final disposition. Several present and former pilots
of the aircraft, including NASA research pilots Gordon Fullerton,
Fitz Fulton and Ed Schneider, and Air Force Flight Test Center
historian Dr. James Young will also participate in the retirement
Operated by NASA Dryden for most of its lifetime, the eight-engine
aircraft has participated in some of the most significant projects in
aerospace history, ranging from launching the X-15 rocket planes of
the 1960s to the hypersonic scramjet-powered X-43A of the 21st
century. At retirement, the historic aircraft holds the distinction
of being NASA's oldest aircraft, as well as being the oldest B-52
still flyable. Tentative plans call for placing the aircraft on
permanent display at Edwards AFB.
Media representatives planning to attend should contact NASA Dryden's
Public Affairs office for accreditation immediately by calling (661)
276-3449, by e-mailing requests to email@example.com, or by
faxing a request on company letterhead to (661) 276-3566. Please
include full name, media organization represented, place and date of
birth, driver's license number and state of issue, and the last six
digits of your social security number.
NOTE: This special event is only open to those individuals already
authorized access to Edwards AFB and due to long-standing security
restrictions is not open to the general public. Photos of the
ceremony will be made available on www.edwards.af.mil and