Tuesday, February 23, 2010

B-52s and our RV

First of all -- a big welcome to a couple of our newest Followers:

They each have a blog, so be sure to click on their name and check them out!
Thanks again for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Now to the B-52s and such...
We are here in the Sonoran Desert at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. The base has the largest inventory of 'mothballed' airplanes in the world. It has miles and miles of old planes that have been taken out of service and sent here to the 'boneyard'. It was established in San Antonio after WW II and moved to Davis-Monthan AFB in 1964.

You can look through the fence and see some older planes and some plane variants that are still flying. Over 4.400 airplanes in fact. There are even a few B-1 bombers. And quite a few B-52s.

I am amazed that the B-52 is still flying strong and part of our nation's active inventory. It was supposed to have been replaced by now. It was a key part of the Cold War back when my dad retired from the Air Force in 1961. It has been around a long time. It had its first flight in 1954 and is flying strong today.

Why is that? How is that?

Partly because, the B-52s keep getting retrofitted with the latest and greatest technology and it is more cost effective to keep it flying than to decommission them all and get something new.

Another big reason they are still flying is because of maintenance. No country in the world puts as much effort and resources and emphasis on their military assets with top notch maintenance as the U.S.

My uncle Don was a career Air Force man and he used to marvel at how well the Air Force maintains their airplanes.

Which brings me to my theme for today: Maintenance on our RV, the Roadrunner.
We have a beautiful coach that is already three years old. So we need to be sure to take care of it and maintain it.

Yesterday was my day to do some interior maintenance. Our coach is filled with cherry wood throughout. It has cabinets, trim paneling, cupboards, doors, cupholders and magazine racks that are all made of cherry wood. And it needs to be cleaned and polished periodically in order to keep it looking good and to extend its life.
I used Murphy's Oil & Soap which seems to do a nice job. It is a lot of work, so it has taken me a while to get my resolve and motivation to get it done.
It took a couple of hours but the wood looks great and I have one less thing to do on my maintenance list.

Early in the day I got up and went over to the gym and swam some laps in the indoor pool. That felt great. Later, Pam and I returned and we had a longer workout.
We did some biking, training on the ellipse machines and some running. Felt good to get the heart going again.

It was an exciting time watching the Olympics last night. Good stuff on the Ice Dancing -- almost everyone had personal bests. Congratulations to the Canadian Team Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Their performance was spectacular! It was neat to watch.

That's about it from the Roadrunner Chronicles. Thanks for viewing.


  1. Hi Randy,

    Nice story on Davis-Monthan, the B52, and taking care of your coach. I have been to DM many times and yet still enjoy seeing the worlds largest Air Force.

  2. Thanks for the information on Davis-Monthan AFB. Very interesting!
    The coach looked very nice when you finished with the woodwork. We use Murphy's Oil and Soap you have motivated me to actually use it. It is time.
    Take care!
    Mike and Gerri

  3. Hi Randy:
    I was in the USAF between 67 & 71. I was at March AFB and we had a double wing of B-52s and a double wing of KC-135s. The B52 is a rugged beast and capable of lifting a really heavy weapons load. (It could easily handle 3 of my Bounders, but I would not want to be under them when they released!). To add to your history of the plane, the A models were first in and first retired. In Vietnam, the C & D models at first did most of the work. The F,G & H models stayed mostly on nuclear alert. Wings would rotate into Guam to fly their C&D models. At one time, we had over 600 B-52s flying. Now all except the H models are either in museums or at Davis Monthan, AFB awaiting the scrap pile.
    As you say, one of the best deals the American public ever got in a military procurement!