OVER EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- NASA's B-52B launch aircraft takes off carrying an X-43A hypersonic research aircraft on an evaluation flight Sept. 27. The B-52, the oldest still flying, was officially retired from service during a ceremony at Edwards Air Force Base Dec. 17. (National Aeronautics and Space Administration photo by Tom Tschida)
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A B-52 Stratofortress is airborne at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., during a nine-ship rapid-launch generation exercise on Thursday, April 27, 2006. Generation exercises test the base's ability to perform its mission. (U.S. Air Force photo / Airman 1st Class Christopher Boitz)