Boeing B-52

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Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
Boeing B-52F
Boeing B-52F
Type Bomber aircraft, Military aircraft
Configuration Retractable gear aircraft, High wing aircraft
Propulsion Jet aircraft, Eight-engine aircraft
Manufacturer Boeing
Author(s) Lee Elliott
--aircraft= B-52F
Status Beta
 Website The website for the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress developments.
 Repository The development repository of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress.
Download Download the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress aircraft package for the current stable release (2020.3).
License GPLv2+

The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, subsonic, jet-powered, strategic bomber operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) since 1955. It was designed and built by Boeing, which has continued to provide support and upgrades. Beginning with the successful contract bid in June 1946, the B-52 design evolved from a straight wing aircraft powered by six turboprop engines to the final prototype YB-52 with eight turbojet engines and swept wings. The B-52 took its maiden flight in April 1952. Built to carry nuclear weapons for Cold War-era deterrence missions, the B-52 Stratofortress replaced the Convair B-36. A veteran of several wars, the B-52 has dropped only conventional munitions in combat.


Currently only one variant is modeled in FlightGear:

  • B-52F, the aircraft was given J57-P-43W engines with a larger capacity water injection system and new alternators. The aircraft had a problem with fuel leaks, which were eventually solved by service modifications Blue Band, Hard Shell, and QuickClip.

Aircraft help

Key Function
Ctrl+z Steer right
Ctrl+\ Steer left
K Toggle trajectory markers on & off
U Update the drop-view location
  • Approach AoA 1.0 deg
  • Flaps have only two settings: extended or retracted
  • Flap cycle time 60 seconds

AP Altitude Mode Controller

The altitude mode controller appears as a strip. The meaning of the different modes are:

  • AH = Altitude Hold
  • TF = Terrain Following
  • TO = Automatic Take-Off
  • IL = Automatic Instrument Landing
  • MC = Mach Climb

AH Mode

The AH (Altitude Hold) function is intended to hold the aircraft at the altitude set in /autopilot/settings/target-altitude-ft. When engaged, the set altitude can be changed by using the standard FG keystrokes.

TF Mode

The TF (Terrain Following) function is intended to hold the aircraft at a constant distance above ground level (agl). The separation distance is set in /autopilot/settings/target-agl-ft. It is not currently possible to change this setting from either of the panels - it must be changed via the property browser.

It should also be noted that FG does not currently provide a look-ahead function that could be used for a proper terrain following system so the current terrain following function works by simply checking the agl directly below the a/c. This means that the TF function can only react after the separation has increased or decreased and will not stop you from flying into steep sided ground elevations i.e. cliffs.

TO Mode

The TO (automatic take-off) mode will attempt to perform a take-off in the direction that the a/c is pointing - there's no way that I know of to actually track the runway.

You need to be on the ground and with the flaps fully extended before this mode will function.

Once the a/c has achieved 260 kias it will switch to altitude-hold and true heading-hold.

IL Mode

The IL (automatic instrument landing) mode will attempt to get the a/c on the nav1 ILS heading & then follow it, configure the a/c for landing and get it on to the glideslope, follow the glide-slope down and perform a landing. Both the front and rear landing gear will be correctly aligned for any cross-winds but you will need to steer the front gear as the rear gear are aligned with the fuselage during the roll-out.

The engines and elevator, however, will remain under the control of the auto-landing script until touchdown.

The auto-landing script limits the max descent-rate on the glideslope so you will need to ensure that you're not too high/too close when trying this mode.

It is, of course, not very reliable, but gives some idea of what needs to be done at various phases of landing i.e. getting the speed down and coping with the huge trim changes required when the flaps are extended.

MC Mode

The MC (Mach Climb Mode) function is designed to command the highest climb rate that can be sustained for a given mach setting and is only enabled when mach-hold-by-throttle is selected on the AP Speed Controller. This function has some limitations, one being that it works best when the aircraft is travelling below the set mach number and is accelerating to achieve it. If the aircraft is already travelling at the set mach number the climb rate is likely to be very low and it may be necessary to temporarily reduce speed, and then increase it again (using the AP Speed Controller) or force a climb by pulling back on the stick.

  • Click on AP Mode to turn off all A/P locks.
  • The 2D VFR panel is just a place-holder for the radio instruments - use the 2D mini-panel to control the aircraft (Shift-s).
  • Set the Altitude hold and TF/AGL settings via the autopilot menu. If an AP Mode is grayed out it is not available
  • Use the yaw display to align the landing main gear in cross-wind landings - the rear gear will center itself once the speed is below the transition speed for normal steering.
  • To use Mach-Climb mode click on the light blue M in the speed instrument to select mach-hold mode, set the required mach you want to maintain, select MC and then either turn off speed locks (Ctrl-s) and set the throttles manually or select KIAS hold (yellow K) and set a high speed - this will force the throttles to 100%.

Development status/Issues/Todo


  • flaps are animated, but the shape of the wing does not change when flaps are extended. This means we have 2 flaps. One that is animated and another one that is not animated
  • cockpit windows are transparent, but you can see the runway instead of the cockpit when looking through them from the outside
  • turbines do not rotate
  • no aircraft light available
  • aircraft has no wheel well area for the landing gears
  • no jetstream visible
  • nozzle do not change shape when changing thrust
  • there are no flaps when using reverse thrust - weapons bay door can't be opened

3d Cockpit:

  • 3d cockpit is not available


  • no engine sound when running at lowest engine power
  • aircraft is not set on the correct elevation when starting flightsgear. Lowest part of the aircraft is approximately 0.40 m below the ground
  • when you take off,you must close your flaps or you will not be able to fly higher

External links