Buff: Part II
By Scott Schwartz
On March 18, 1954, the first Boeing B-52A was rolled of the company’s Seattle plant. It differed from the X/YB-52 in several ways – besides the replacement of the tandem cockpit with side-by-side seating. An Electronics Warfare Officer (EWO) was added to the crew. This crewmember was placed on the upper flight deck with the pilot and co-pilot. The bombardier’s and navigator’s positions were placed on the lower deck, and the tail gunner sat in his own position in the rear of the fuselage (from which he could fire four .50 caliber machine guns).
That wasn’t all. Water injection systems were added to the J-57 engines, and small doors were installed on the top of the fuselage, aft of the cockpit, which covered the air-to-air refueling receptacle.