Why is our “Doomsday Plane” practicing over Nebraska?


The U.S. Air Force’s nuclear-bomb-resistant “doomsday plane” took to the skies for a brief training mission Monday (Feb. 28), shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he would be putting his country’s nuclear forces on high alert, according to news reports.

The doomsday plane — a modified Boeing 747 named the Boeing E-4B — took off from a U.S. Air Force base in Nebraska, then completed a 4.5-hour flight toward Chicago and back before landing again, British news site iNews reported. During this brief sortie, the plane was reportedly accompanied by several early-warning jets used to track ballistic missiles.

The E-4B is part of a fleet of so-called Nightwatch aircraft maintained by the U.S. military since the 1970s. The plane’s purpose is to serve as a mobile command headquarters for top military personnel in the event of a nuclear war, Live Science previously reported, and the aircraft contains a few safety features you won’t likely see on a commercial 747. For one, the $200 million plane is equipped with antiquated analog equipment, rather than modern digital equipment, to allow the plane to continue operating even when exposed to the electromagnetic pulse from a nuclear blast.

Just in case you thought our government, our military, has made it into the 21st Century. And we can still worry about which one controls the other, eh?

3 thoughts on “Why is our “Doomsday Plane” practicing over Nebraska?

  1. Footnote says:

    ATLAS-I (Air Force Weapons Lab Transmission-Line Aircraft Simulator), better known as Trestle, was a unique electromagnetic pulse (EMP) generation and testing apparatus built between 1972 and 1980 during the Cold War at Sandia National Laboratories near Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
    The primary wooden structure of trestle was built inside a natural depression spanning 600 feet across and 120 feet in depth, equivalent to a 12 story-tall building. A wooden ramp 400 feet long by 50 feet wide led to test stand which itself measured 200 feet by 200 feet. A total of 6.5 million board-feet of lumber was used to build the structure, sufficient to support a fully loaded B-52 (then the largest and heaviest strategic bomber in the US inventory).
    The structure remains the biggest metal-free wood laminate structure in the world and is easily visible from commercial aircraft landing and taking off from Albuquerque International Sunport using Runway 26. [see photos] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATLAS-I#Current_status

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