Thursday, September 08, 2011

Over the Top

First Over the Top: An aircrew with the 69th Bomb Squadron at Minot AFB, N.D., became the first to fly a B-52H bomber over the North Pole. "The flight was actually quite unusual because no one has ever done it before," said Maj. Patrick Small of Minot's 5th Operations Support Squadron. "The jet was designed for this type of flight, but [it] was never practiced. It took a lot of mission planning and coordination to make this happen." The airmen made the trip last month en route to Russia to participate in the 2011 Moscow International Air and Space Aviation Salon as part of a US contingent of aircraft and personnel. The B-52 did not require in-flight refueling to reach Moscow since the polar route is a lot shorter in distance than flying more traditional routes to Europe, said Minot officials. (Minot report by A1C Jessica McConnell)
The fact that no one ever flew a BUFF over the North Pole before surprised me but I suppose it shouldn't have.  The Rooshians are quite sensitive about their ADIZ, having shot down civilian airliners crossing the line, not to mention the many USAF and USN reconnaissance aircraft shot down during the Cold War.  About which, this:

That's the plaque at the Strategic Air and Space Museum honoring reconnaissance airmen who gave their lives during the Cold War.


  1. >>>The Rooshians are quite sensitive about their ADIZ

    But those same sensitive buttwipes sure enjoy flying their Tu-95's right up to the edge of Alaskan airspace just to piss us off.

    If I were in charge the Bering Strait would look like a "Crazy Al's Discount Bear Parts" salvage yard.

  2. Yup, yep, yeah... I have experienced some of their other sensitivities up close. On the other hand, when your ship stays in international waters, they only monitor.

  3. I would've thought someone had already flown over the North Pole, too. Maybe it is a sign of the times.

  4. Inno: I'm with you on the "Discount Bear Parts" thang.

    Skip: The Rooshians only monitor... others, like the Norks, do more. Sometimes.

    Kris: Yeah... that's why I made a special effort to photograph it.

    Lou: I'm sure lotsa folks have flown over the pole, it's just no one ever did it in a B-52.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.