A large grey object parked near John Deere overnight on Thursday, January 13, and by morning was the scene of a hub of activity and lights.
The object was a B-52 bomber plane is being moved from an Air Force storage area, or boneyard in Tucson, Arizona to a new home in Oklahoma City where an upgrade program has been started.
The plane was built in 1961 and taken out of commission in 2008. Ramon Purcell, with Boneyard Safari, said the B-52 was used during the Cold War as part of the Nuclear Deterrent Force.
It took about four months to disassemble the plane and get it ready for the move. The wings and tail have already been moved to Oklahoma.
Purcell stated, “This plane is a part of the B-52 program that is actively flying. They are taking this aircraft to a Boeing facility in Oklahoma City where it will undergo a full modernization effort. Rolls Royce, a couple of months, ago got the contract for new engines on the entire fleet, so this aircraft will be the static aircraft at this facility where they test out what works and what does not work. They will see what all improvements are needed to get it working.”
He stated the trip will take about three weeks. “We can’t go any more than 45 mph. We have to pull over every few miles and let people go by. The height of the plane on the trailer is 16 feet, so it cannot go under most underpasses. This is why we travel the routes we do. It just makes it easier on everyone.”
He stated the trip through Arizona was quite rugged due to the mountains. “We were often going only 5 mph to get up those inclines.”
The name on the plane was “Damage Inc. II.” Purcell stated that this bomber had actually had two other names prior to this one.
The plane is about 150 feet long. With the wings attached, the plane would be 185 feet wide.
The plane began to move out around 8:15 a.m. on Friday morning continuing its journey to Oklahoma City.
This is a picture of the plane making a turn in Arizona.