Moving the B-52 Midnight Express


Bob Bogash

Bob Bogash      
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Beginning Monday 19 March 2018, the Boeing B-52 2584 Midnight Express began her journey to her new home at the Museum of Flight's Seattle Campus.  The journey comprised three phases - Disassembly, Transport, and Re-assembly.

The first phase, Disassembly, began with the arrival of the crew led by Marty Batura of Worldwide Aircraft Recovery from their home base in Omaha, Nebraska.    Complete Disassembly Details here.

The second phase involved moving the airplane from Paine Field in Everett, Washington to Boeing Field in Seattle which took place on the nights of June 1 and 2, 2018.  Move Details here.

Arrival at the Museum

Final backing into the school parking lot.

Move Mission Accomplished!
Happy Campers
   Tom Cathcart photo
Bob Blackstone - Chairman of the Museum Board of Trustees (far left) and Matt Hayes, Museum CEO, Jim Farmer, and Bob Bogash

It wasn't long before the transportation rig was disassembled and the aircraft re-jacked for landing gear re-installation.

Only when moved away from the aircraft do you realize just what enormous girders were used to cradle the fuselage for its trip. 
They look much more at home at a bridge-building project!

Installation of landing gear Inner Cylinders with brake and axle assemblies

Back on her wheels

The wings were removed from their transport trailers

The left wing was then reattached to the wing center section

The reassembled wing was then hoisted by three cranes and the fuselage was rolled back under.


Next - to allow the center wing section temporary steel beams and chains to be removed, the fuselage nose was lifted/supported to allow beam and chain removal and insertion of a belly cradle.


Finally, the wing was lowered into place for installation

  Craig Lindblad photo

Amazing progress by a talented team who re-demonstrate their skills and expertise on a daily basis.

Installing the hardware

Wow!  A B-52 being assembled in a school parking lot!

Not something you see every day......


Pylons on!

Always amazed at those engine pylons - carrying the weight of those engines - and their thrust loads.


Always amazed at all those engines!


Always amazed at the size of those wheels - they're big!

How big?

Peeking in the back door of the Aviation Pavilion at her ancestors and progeny

Next - Gear Doors

External Tanks + Outrigger Landing Gear


Horizontal Stabilizer



Entering the last lap

Engines 1, 2, 3 and 4 - "Ready to Start!"

Notices for Memorial Park Construction

To be located in that grassy area

Survey stakes are sprouting


Yup - a B-52 assembled in a school parking lot!


  Evan Elliott photo

Vertical fin to go and then the last few parts.

Took about a month to reassemble.

About three and a half months all-up to Disassemble, Move, and then Reassemble.

One Helluva Big Job!  Big Airplane!


Vertical Fin on! 

A unique visitor to Raisbeck Aviation High School


Can't begin to describe how professional and competent were Marty Batura and his crew from Worldwide in Omaha.

People ask me what I do in my retirement (which my wife says I am flunking badly - very badly) - and I tell them I run an Animal Sanctuary for Airplanes - with a No-Kill Charter.  I can't save them all, but I can save some, and they will have to stand in for their less fortunate siblings.  That's what 2584 is doing, and I can't help but sense she is proud of her role, and her new found fame and fortune - well deserved, old girl, I'm proud of you.  We spent the better part of 27 years sitting alone in the damp and dark, talking to each other, and wondering if this day would ever come.  But, it did.  Believe me, I can actually see her smiling...

From Carl Carnethon-Hansen - Navigator on 2584

You Are The Greatest!

 What a valuable resource you are for the museum of flight.
  You said, DONE; I say, WELL DONE!
 Who would have guessed that the very plane I flew on the first night of Linebacker II, which brought the Vietnam War to an end, was right here at Paine Field, rather than in chopped up pieces down at the boneyard? And it was because of you and your doggedness to save a piece of history that it’s about to be put on display.

    A heartfelt thanks from,

I don't know exactly WHY I did that, Carl - except that I love airplanes - and their ghosts, and the stories they hold close, and mostly secret, within their bosoms - but it's actually YOU, your compatriots who crewed her, who sacrificed and risked their lives on board her - that is the end answer.  At least an essential part of the answer.  There is so much more than just me - like the folks who designed and built her  - and maintained her in service.  There are so many kudo's to go around.

I talk a lot about ballplayers and cornfields, but also about jockeys and race horses.  It's a collaboration, Carl, between man and animal, or, in this case, between man and machine.  They each had to do their job for the ending to be a happy one.  She did her part - and so did you guys.  Neither could have done it without the other, and each NEEDED the other.

It's POWERFUL stuff, Carl.  I was just a part.  I believe it was Destiny.  I'm a big believer, since all my airplanes - I call them Miracle Babies - needed so many things to happen and turn out just right - or the ending was going to be an unhappy one.  Even in the saving, as during her service life - she depended on all these pieces coming together.  Like you guys.  I counted somehow on you showing up - didn't know where or how - and you did!   Let us give Thanks - for this particular airplane -  as you can see, - they are so much more than just machines.

It is why I talk so much about Souls and Ghosts.  These airplanes have Souls, and Thank God for you guys - the Ghosts.


Help us help her on her Journey - click here

B-52 Webpage Statistics

Hits May 2018  - 221,902
     Hits June 2018  - 2,162,291

   May/June Total = 2,317,629
Daily average - June = 72,076

If everybody who looked at my pages gave a Buck, we'd be almost there paying for this Project.
Something to think about....
Maybe - be a Big Spender - and give a Deuce

B-52 has been around a long time - a lot of Boeing and USAF folks have worked on this airplane.
She's your baby too - pop those wallets!

Copyright 2018 Robert Bogash.  All Rights Reserved.

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