NASA's B-52H #025 (61-0025) sits on the ramp
at Dryden just before its last flight to
Sheppard AFB, TX 5/9/08
Photo: Matt Graham
5/9/2008 - NASA's B-52H #025 (61-0025) departed the
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at 10:56 PDT on May
9, for what would be its last flight. The aircraft was
returned to the USAF by way of Sheppard AFB, TX.
There, the aircraft will be utilized as a ground
maintenance trainer. In an ironic twist, the crew had
to wait to takeoff while two of the last flying F-117s
from the 410th FLTS worked the Edwards pattern.
Apparently the old girl had other ideas, as the
flight was originally scheduled for an 0800 takeoff,
but that was postponed due to a leaking pressure
switch in the flight controls, which had to be
checked. Maybe she knew what was in store for her at
the other end. Once the problem was fixed the flight
was otherwise uneventful, with an arrival time of
18:12 PM CDT at Sheppard.
Originally the plan was for #025 to takeover the
captive carry mission at Dryden after the famous NASA
#008 B-52 was retired. However, a refocus by the
current administration towards space programs
diminished the budget for aeronautical programs.
Because of this, it was decided that NASA's B-52 would
be going back to the USAF, thereby ending a long
tradition of B-52 assisted air launch ability at
ŠThe North Spin