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Weekend Boeing B-52 Bomber Symposium Celebrates 60 Years of the Stratofortress

Sept. 29-30 B-52 event features authors and veterans

SEATTLE, – The Museum of Flight celebrates the Boeing B-52 bomber’s 60th birthday with a Sept. 29-30 symposium with presentations by Stratofortress engineers, crew members, Vietnam War veterans and historians. Programs will look at the long-lived bomber’s role in war and peace. All symposium programs are free with admission to the Museum.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – B-52 simulator flights in the Museum’s Aviation Learning Center

1 p.m. – Air America, the CIA’s Airline
Lecture and Book Signing with Marius Burke
This panel discussion looks at Air America, the passenger and cargo airline established in 1950 and covertly owned and operated by the CIA in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. The featured speaker is Marius Burke, the helicopter pilot who flew the famous last evacuation flight from the U.S. Embassy in Saigon in 1975. Panelists include some of the men who took part in the evacuations of Da Nang and Saigon. The 2 p.m. program is free with admission to the Museum. The speakers will be signing books about Air America following the program.

2 p.m. – Book Signing with Marius Burke
3 p.m. – Operation Linebacker II
Panel Discussion
B-52 flight crew members and Vietnam War POWs remember the war’s massive bombing campaign, Operation Linebacker II.

4:30 – History of the B-52 Development and Testing
Lecture with B-52 Test Pilot Brien Wygle
Brien Wygle is a leader in Northwest aviation with unparalleled experience as a pilot, engineer and project manager for The Boeing Company. Until his retirement in 1990, Wygle had flown and participated in the development of every Boeing military and commercial jet airplane beginning with the B-47. In addition to being a test pilot on the B-52 program, Mr. Wygle was the chief pilot on the first flight of the Boeing 737 and co-pilot on the first flight of the Boeing 747.

4:30 to 10 p.m
B-52 Anniversary Celebration Dinner Sponsored by Honeywell
From 4:30 to 10 p.m., the Museum offers a lecture, cocktail reception and dinner party with the speakers in the Museum’s B-52 60th Anniversary Symposium. B-52 Anniversary Celebration Dinner Sponsored by Honeywell special guest is former B-52 test pilot Brien Wygle. Tickets $70/person ($120/couple), Museum Member/Honeywell Employee Price: $55/person ($95/couple). Tickets include program, reception and dinner, plus admission to the Museum of Flight day of the program and priority seating in the theater for the 4:30 program, “History of the B-52 Development and Testing.” To order online tickets:

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – B-52 simulator flights in the Museum’s Aviation Learning Center

11 a.m. – Tall Tail Tales
Lecture with Col. Jim Hoopaw
Col. Jim Hoopaw is the author of “Tall Tail Tales” and “Where the Buf Fellows Roamed.” Hoopaw is a retired U.S. Air Force pilot who served 26 years in the Strategic Air Command. He flew the B-47E and B-52C, D, E, F, G and H models, and served as a pilot, instructor, Squadron Commander, and Bomb Wing Deputy Commander of Operations. Hoopaw also completed three tours during Vietnam War’s Operation Arc Light.

The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field half-way between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $17 for adults, $14 for seniors 65 and older, $13 for active military, $9 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit

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