Losses and Aviation Safety

B-52 bomber Makes Emergency Landing due to Engine Fire, No Crew Injured

B-52 Emergency Landing

Early on Feb. 23, 2024 a B-52H bomber at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. executed an emergency landing due to an engine fire.

All crew members are unharmed, a base spokesperson told Air & Space Forces Magazine. Asked if the base’s runway remains open, the spokesperson declined to comment but said bomber operations at the base are continuing as usual as of Feb. 27.

According to the base’s host unit, the 5th Bomb Wing a single engine fire led the pilot to land the bomber at approximately 12:52 a.m., and the base fire department arrived on the scene and extinguished the aircraft fire. The bomber is powered by eight engines and is designed to fly and land safely in the event of up to two engine failures.

The incident was first reported by the popular unofficial Facebook page “amn/nco/snco” with an anonymous, unconfirmed post that “a CSD (Constant speed drive that runs the generator) caught fire on landing and burned through that engine and part of the wing.” The page later posted a purported image of the engine, showing extensive damage.

It is currently unknown what caused the fire, and the incident is under investigation.

2017 Minot B-52 Emergency Landing after engine fell of the aircraft

The last major public B-52 mishap was in 2017, when one of the Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-3/103 turbofan engines fell off the aircraft during a training flight at Minot. The pilot successfully landed the bomber without incident and all Airmen on board were unharmed.

A B-52 bomber was destroyed in May 2016 during a routine training mission at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. The pilot, from the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron sensed issues during takeoff and initiated abort procedures. However, the drag chute failed, causing the aircraft to exceed brake energy limits, overshoot the runway, and catch fire. All seven aircrew members escaped, with one receiving treatment for minor injuries.

Commercial Engine Replacement Program Rapid Virtual Prototyping

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. B-52H Stratofortress 2nd BW, 20th BS, LA/60-0008 “Lucky Lady IV”.

The Air Force anticipates upgrading B-52 engines in the late 2020s or early 2030s with Rolls Royce’s F130 engine intended to be a one-to-one replacement of its current TF33 engines.

The B-52 re-engining project name has also evolved from the Commercial Engine Replacement Program (CERP) to CERP RVP, for Rapid Virtual Prototyping, the Air Force said in its 2024 budget request.

The USAF said that the re-engining effort was launched as a mid-tier acquisition in order to save time and get capability sooner. The program will become a Major Capability Acquisition at the end of the RVP effort.

According to the US Air Force’s fiscal 2024 budget documents, once they receive their new Rolls Royce F130 engines, B-52Hs will become B-52Js.

Besides the new Rolls-Royce F130 engines, the BUFF will receive a new radar in the form of the new APG-79B4 active, electronically scanned array radar (AESA).

This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force and Facebook page “amn/nco/snco”

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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