After nearly a half-century of dropping advanced flight
research vehicles instead of bombs, NASA is retiring its B-
52B “mothership.” The venerable airplane’s retirement ends an
illustrious career for the rugged research aircraft.

The Air Force Flight Test Center and NASA’s Dryden Flight
Research Center are hosting a formal retirement ceremony for
the plane at 10 a.m. PST, Friday, Dec. 17 at Dryden.

The ceremony includes the formal transfer of the B-52B by
Dryden Center Director Kevin Petersen to Brig. Gen. Curtis
Bedke, commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center, for
final disposition. Tentative plans call for placing the
aircraft on permanent display at Edwards Air Force Base.

Operated by Dryden for most of its lifetime, the plane
participated in some of the most significant projects in
aerospace history. The air launch and research aircraft holds
the distinction of being NASA’s oldest aircraft, as well as
being the oldest B-52 still flying.

Media representatives planning to attend the ceremony should
contact Dryden’s Public Affairs office for accreditation no
later than 6 p.m. EST, Tuesday, Dec. 14 by calling 661/276-
3449; or faxing request to: 661/276-3566. Journalists may
send email requests to: