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U.S. B-52H Super-bomber Breaks World Record

Jan. 11, 1962 - A United States Air Force B-52H superbomber equipped for launching missiles broke a world record today by flying 12,519 miles non-stop from Okinawa to Madrid without refueling. The jet plane, which is powered by eight turbofan engines, exceeded by 1,283.4 miles the old distance record without refueling, set in 1946 by a U.S. Navy patrol plane named the Truculent Turtle. The jet, in its flight halfway round the world, claimed 10 other speed and course marks. With a crew of eight, the plane flew to Madrid in 21 hours 52 minutes. Its average speed was 575 miles an hour. Maj. Gen. David Wade, commander of the 16th U.S. Air Force in Spain and Morocco, said the flight was highly significant. “It shows that we are able to extend the range of ballistic missiles beyond the normal maximum range of about 12,000 miles,” he said. “With this plane, we can deliver nuclear warheads any place on the face of the earth.”

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