US B-52 Stratofortress at Singapore Airshow 2020

US Air Force To Assess B-52 Engine Failure

It is unknown whether the aircraft was holding munitions during Thursday’s emergency landing at RAF Fairford.

US B-52 Stratofortress at Singapore Airshow 2020

The United States Air Force (USAF) will assess what was behind an engine failure on one of its aircraft, following an emergency landing at an RAF base.

The USAF B-52 bomber circled around Gloucestershire for around an hour-and-a-half on Thursday evening, to burn off fuel before it landed at RAF Fairford.

An RAF spokesman said three of the aircraft were on a routine sortie from the US across Europe when one aircraft suffered an engine failure.

He said the bomber was halfway through the Mediterranean when one of its eight engines shut down.

B52 aircraft at RAF Fairford 081119 CREDIT BFBS.jpg
Library image of a US B-52 aircraft at RAF Fairford last year.

"They had to make a decision to either continue or divert. If it was a major emergency it would go to the nearest airfield which could’ve been southern Italy or France," he said.

The spokesman explained that B-52 planes can operate with only two out of eight engines.

The aircraft was flown to RAF Fairford, which accommodates US air personnel and is used to handling B-52 aircraft, he said, but could not confirm where the bomber had flown from or whether it had been carrying weapons.

American engineers will fly to RAF Fairford to assess the aircraft before it returns home, he added, which could take up to a week.

The US Air Force has been contacted for comment.

Entering service in 1951, the B-52, also known as the ‘Stratofortress, is the US Air Force’s long-range bomber and can hit 1,000km per hour.

Cover image: Library photo of a US B-52 Stratofortress at Singapore Airshow 2020 (Picture: US Marine Corps).