Air Force’s 60-year-old B-52 bombers get their first USB ports


A fire or battery explosion on a commercial airliner can be catastrophic. A similar incident on a B-52H bomber, particularly a combat mission bomber, could be just as serious and potentially have second-order impacts on ongoing operations, putting other lives at risk.

“By having USB ports, we greatly reduce the risk of a fire potentially destroying a jet,” said Lt. Col. Carroll, one of the two reservists behind the light / USB proposal.

Unless otherwise resolved, the general difficulties, risks and inconveniences associated with the use of lithium-ion battery packs in the cockpits of the B-52H are expected to persist for decades to come. The Air Force currently plans to continue flying these bombers until at least 2040, when the aircraft will be in service for about a century, thanks to new engines and other much more intensive upgrades.

Kenneth Pistone, one of the B-52 SPO engineers who recently traveled to Barksdale, said a final plan on how to integrate lights and USB ports into the B-52H cockpit could be ready in six to nine months. In June, Major Brandon Wolf, director of LR WERX, said that if the systems tests were successful, a modification process could be put in place for the entire fleet of these bombers across the Army. air.

All in all, a technology that most of us use in one form or another on a daily basis could become a new, small but important addition to the cockpits of America’s oldest bombers.

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