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In 1947, the United States Air Force introduced the B-52 bomber, a massive aircraft (its wingspan was 185 feet and it weighed 450,000 pounds) designed to carry thermonuclear weapons at high altitudes while employing a minimum of personnel. Throughout the Cold War, the B-52 became the symbol of America's nuclear capability and the workhorse of the Strategic Air Command, but as America's intense rivalry with the Soviet Union and China became a thing of the past, the massive planes became obsolete, and are...more

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