“After 60 Years, B-52s Still Dominate U.S. Fleet” The New York Times.
B-52s are still the toughest and most powerful bomber jets to be in commission within the United States Air Force, even while being more than 60 years old. The plane’s bulky and obsolete design has caused much concern, having people question if the plane is still worth the price. After all there have been many different potential successors for the famous B.U.F.F. (which stands for Big, Ugly, Fat Fellow), which have come up nothing less than short for everyone involved — leaving the B-52s still the powerhouse it is today. In spite of the updates the B-52s have gotten since they’ve taken flight, they have additionally encountered a few issues do to their ever-lasting age. While these issues don’t affect their journey through the air, the United States government and the Air Force both have to pay heavy price tags to keep the planes up-to-date on the latest technology, (that is if the B.U.F.F can survive the journey there and back without being detected). Alas, it seems like the big mammoth that is the B-52 is still here and with us for the long haul. The plane is so old that it dates back all the way to the mid-60’s – way back when our great ancestors still flew them. Now? Nothing has changed the game. We still fly these bad boys, and we can be sure that our sons or daughters will fly them as well when they get the chance. Since the next potential successor for the B-52’s isn’t expected ‘til at least 2040, we can be sure, our time with this ancient monster is far from over.
Response Bert Lance, Director of the Office and Management under the presidency of Jimmy Carter, once said “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. While he was referring to the American government at the time, the same can be said for anything in theory, from big to small (from Converse to B-52s). Converse and B-52’s, while vastly different, are both over fifty year’s old, an essential (in theory) that both our ancestors as well as our generation still uses, and still does the trick that they were designed for when they were first made.
The Chuck Taylor All-Star Converse shoes have always been an American household classic, with the earliest reportedly made shoe dating way back to 1908. The company has been on a rollercoaster of challenges ever since, beginning in the early 1940’s when Chuck Taylor All-Star started designing their shoes for the military to use in World War II. After which, the company resumed production and Converse suddenly were a hit upon society – sparking conversations on street-corners, and even in class yearbooks (circa. 1950’s). However, the company took a quick downslope when competitors such as Puma, Adidas and (future-parent company) Nike came into the picture – stealing their audience, and along with that, their market share. Right around this same time, the famous company had lost their contract with the NBA (National Basketball Association) – one that they had kept since the early 20’s when Chuck Taylor made them first famous. Even though the classically made canvas sneakers have had a bit of a slippery slope, they have been still been adored and desired by any American young adult. From our great ancestors to your neighbor next door, these shoes have done more than simply gotten us from Point A to Point B. They are more than even a shoe itself, they are a statement that spreads far and wide to almost every American: “we are the youth”. By not even saying a word, walking down the street in a classic pair of Chuck Taylor’s can not only increase your look or reputation but also the way people judge you – before you even say a word to them. Converse All-Stars are the shoes that make the women and scream, and the teachers scowl – they did back in the 1920’s, and they still do the same old trick to this day.
The B-52’s aren’t much different either, one might say. Both the shoes and the fighter jets have a lot more in common that just meets the eye. After all, people have tried, time after time to replace the classic All-Stars with something more “in-style”. “Why don’t we just wear Vans, instead? They look better!”, or “Jesus, Liam! Do you only wear Converse? Can’t you just ever wear other shoes? You know they have stores right?” are just a few of the comments I would hear day-to-day in high school, (and I wasn’t the only one). Plenty of my friends (in fact, my best friend from my hometown) only wears Chuck Taylor’s All-Star Converse to this day. At his sister’s wedding? Converse. At graduation? Yep! At prom? What do you think?! Every single chance he got. They are a shoe that fits into any outfit, any place, any time and they will continue to have this same impact long after we’re all gone. The same can be said for the B-52 bomber jets. While they cannot exactly be worn on our feet to the spring formal, they are still used, operated and even recommended by nearly every soul in the Air Force today – yet they were made back in the early 1950’s. With only upgrades and repairs made (no remodeling’s or brand-new plane’s), these bad boys have stood the test of time. That’s because there has never been something more solidly advanced than the B.U.F.F to even come close in competing it – it’s not even a race with its contenders, and while many of tried, (just like with Chuck Taylor’s), they always seem to be the last one standing.
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