Cold War B-52 named 'Wise Guy' flies again after being rescued from aircraft 'Boneyard' where it sat for 10 years to be stripped for parts - but was called back into service to replace crashed bomber

 A B-52H nicknamed ‘Wise Guy’ has become only the second Boeing Stratofortress bomber to ever be restored out of the Boneyard and returned to the fleet after it was videoed taking to the skies once again last week.

The B-52, tail number 60-034, was filmed by Redbone Aviation taking flight at Oklahoma's Tinker Air Force Base where it had arrived back in April to undergo programmed depot maintenance (PDM) – the final part of a three-phase process to regenerate an aircraft to return it to active service.

The Wise Guy is being prepared to return to action with the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, after a 12-year hiatus from active service.

It’s only the second B-52H bomber ever to be regenerated from the famed aircraft cemetery known as ‘Boneyard’ at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, in Arizona, according to the Aviationist. The first was a Stratofortress named Ghost Rider’ back in 2015. 

The B-52, tail number 60-034, was filmed by Redbone Aviation taking flight at Oklahoma 's Tinker Air Force Base where it had arrived back in April to undergo programmed depot maintenance

The B-52, tail number 60-034, was filmed by Redbone Aviation taking flight at Oklahoma 's Tinker Air Force Base where it had arrived back in April to undergo programmed depot maintenance

The Wise Guy is being prepared to return to action with the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota , after a 12-year hiatus from active service

The Wise Guy is being prepared to return to action with the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota , after a 12-year hiatus from active service 

Wise Guy was subjected to a series of extensive checks, during which the aircraft was almost completely disassembled, with each component inspected and all defects fixed before it was rebuilt

Wise Guy was subjected to a series of extensive checks, during which the aircraft was almost completely disassembled, with each component inspected and all defects fixed before it was rebuilt

'The Wise Guy is back!' B-52H 60-0034 plane returns to the skies
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The Wise Guy was retired at the Boneyard in 2008 after logging more than 17,000 flight hours.

The pilot who flew the jet to Davis-Monthan left a note on the panel in the cockpit which read: ‘This is 60-034, a Cold Warrior that stood sentinel over America from the darkest days of the Cold War to the global fight against terror. Take good care of her... Until we need her again,’ as reported by The Drive.

The aircraft was intended to remain in the cemetery to be cannibalized for parts, however it’s destiny was altered in May 2016 following the crash of a B-52H bomber belonging to the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron in Guam.

While all seven aboard the doomed jet survived, its crashing left the US' fleet of Stratofortress one short of its Congressional-mandated 76 aircraft. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center was then tasked with selecting an aircraft from storage to restore and fill the void.


Soon after, in 2018, Wise Guy was selected to fill the vacancy after spending 10 years at the Boneyard. However, the aircraft reportedly needed a lot of work. 

The Air Force only revealed that it was in the process of regenerating Wise Guy in April 2019, but it is unclear if that's when the process actually began.

A team of 13 to 20 maintainers worked on the B-52 at Boneyard, before it was moved to Barksdale AFB, in Louisiana for further repairs in May 2019.

Col. Robert Burgess, 307th Operations Group commander and pilot who flew Wise Guy from Davis Monthan to Barksdale said at the time that the jet ‘had cracks in the rear landing gear and was missing two engines.’ 

‘It also needed all its fuels cells and hoses replaced, as well as its tires,’ Burgess said.

The paint was also stripped off the entire airframe so technicians could assess every part of the aircraft to determine where further repairs might be needed

The paint was also stripped off the entire airframe so technicians could assess every part of the aircraft to determine where further repairs might be needed

It¿s only the second B-52H bomber ever to be regenerated from the famed aircraft cemetery ¿Boneyard¿ at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, in Arizona (above)

It’s only the second B-52H bomber ever to be regenerated from the famed aircraft cemetery ‘Boneyard’ at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, in Arizona (above)

The aircraft was intended to remain in the cemetery to be cannibalized for parts, however it¿s destiny was altered in May 2016 following the crash of a B-52H bomber belonging to the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron in Guam (above)

The aircraft was intended to remain in the cemetery to be cannibalized for parts, however it’s destiny was altered in May 2016 following the crash of a B-52H bomber belonging to the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron in Guam (above)

The aircraft now appears to has been cleared for a return to service and will be painted in the coming days, before flying back to Minot AFB sometime in early January

The aircraft now appears to has been cleared for a return to service and will be painted in the coming days, before flying back to Minot AFB sometime in early January

Master Sgt. Greg Barnhill, 307th Maintenance Squadron egress shop supervisor further revealed that the jet’s egress system also needed to be completely overhauled. The egress system allows the aircrew to bail out from the aircraft in case of an emergency.

‘All of our parts for repairing the ejections seats were basically in a five-gallon bucket,’ Barnhill said, according to the Military Times. ‘It was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.’

Barnhill, however, voiced excitement over the project, adding;  'Bringing a bomber out of AMARG is once-in-a-lifetime chance, and I have been able to do it twice.

'It’s just an honor to bring it back into service,' he said.

Once the repairs were made, multiple tests were then run by maintainers on the engines, landing gear, fuel and egress systems.

As part of phase two of the jet’s restoration, Wise Guy was subjected to a series of extensive checks, during which the aircraft was almost completely disassembled, with each component inspected and all defects fixed before it was rebuilt.

The paint was also stripped off the entire airframe so technicians could assess every part of the aircraft to determine where further repairs might be needed.

Wise Guy is pictured making its final approach to Barksdale Air Force Base to undergo maintenance in May 2019

Wise Guy is pictured making its final approach to Barksdale Air Force Base to undergo maintenance in May 2019

Col. Robert Burgess (above in 2019), 307th Operations Group commander and pilot who flew Wise Guy from Davis Monthan to Barksdale said at the time that the jet ¿had cracks in the rear landing gear and was missing two engines'

Col. Robert Burgess (above in 2019), 307th Operations Group commander and pilot who flew Wise Guy from Davis Monthan to Barksdale said at the time that the jet ‘had cracks in the rear landing gear and was missing two engines'

The Wise Guy is being prepared to return to action with the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, after a 12-year hiatus from active service

The Wise Guy is being prepared to return to action with the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, after a 12-year hiatus from active service

The pilot who flew  Wise Guy to the Boneyard left a note on the panel in the cockpit which read: ¿This 60-034, a Cold Warrior that stood sentinel over America from the darkest days of the Cold War to the global fight against terror. Take good care of her... Until we need her again'

The pilot who flew  Wise Guy to the Boneyard left a note on the panel in the cockpit which read: ‘This 60-034, a Cold Warrior that stood sentinel over America from the darkest days of the Cold War to the global fight against terror. Take good care of her... Until we need her again'

After final PDM inspections are completed, the aircraft performs a series of test flights before it is ‘accepted’ and returned to its squadron.

Captured by Redhome Aviation, Wise Guy was filmed partaking in a series of sorties on December 14, 16 and 18.

During its latest test run, Rob Stevens of Redhome Aviation wrote to Facebook that Wise Guy was airborne for about an hour and conducted a series of touch and go passes, which involves landing on a runway and taking off again without coming to a full stop.

The aircraft now appears to has been cleared for a return to service and will be painted in the coming days, before flying back to Minot AFB sometime in early January.

Cold War B-52 named 'Wise Guy' flies again after being rescued from aircraft 'Boneyard' where it sat for 10 years to be stripped for parts - but was called back into service to replace crashed bomber Cold War B-52 named 'Wise Guy' flies again after being rescued from aircraft 'Boneyard' where it sat for 10 years to be stripped for parts - but was called back into service to replace crashed bomber Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:41 Rating: 5

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