One of the most lethal and effective weapons ever devised.
The B-52 first flew in 1952 (hence B-52).
It entered full service in 1955.
58 years later it is still as relevant today as it was then.
Today they are upgrading the B-52 to continue flying for many more decades. It's length of service is already unprecedented.
When the B-52 was designed jet engines weren't large enough to lift such a massive plane. That is why they doubled up the engines.
Many times since its introduction they tried replacing the B-52.
The B-1 was suppose to replace it, but didn't.
The B-2 (Stealth Bomber) was suppose to replace it, But didn't.
In the 1950's the B-52 was the first line of defense against the Soviet Union.
It was the back bone of The Strategic Air Command which constantly had B-52's waiting to annihilate the Soviet Union.
The B-52 was the work horse of the Vietnam war, relentlessly bombing the North.
It was used in the 1991 Gulf War to decimate Saddam Husseins Elite Republican Guard. This helped convince the Iraqis to leave Kuwait.
It was used in 1999 to help dismantle the infrastructure of Kosovo. This was pivotal in pushing Slobodan Milosovic from power and ending the genocide.
It was used in 2001 to obliterate the Taliban, and push them from power in Afghanistan.
It was used in 2003 to help topple Saddam Hussein.
Its versatility and ability to brutaly attack any target (on the globe) from bases in the continental United States is unmatched.
There is nothing scarier (for an enemy of The United States) then to look up and see streaks from an approaching B-52. It is a sure sign their day is about to take a turn for the worse.
When the superiority of the US Military is discussed much of that dominance comes from the abilities of the B-52.
That has been true for almost 7 decades (10 presidents).....and counting.