The Air Force has begun a program to install new commercial engines on the venerable B-52 bomber, as part of its plan to operate 76 of the aircraft through 2050. Successfully installing new engines on such an old aircraft–each bomber has eight engines–is no piece of cake. There are no 3D drawings to help spot problems. New nacelles could interfere with air flow around the wings. Too much thrust could lead to structural stresses. Wiring, sensors and displays will be required for electronic engine controls. Digital controls in turn will raise cybersecurity concerns. Certification could be protracted and laborious. The list goes on. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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