In December 1946, Boeing was asked to change their design to a four-engine bomber with a top speed of 400 miles per hour, range of 12,000 miles (10,000 nmi, 19,300 km), and the ability to carry a nuclear weapon; in total, the aircraft could weigh up to 480,000 pounds (220,000 kg).
It was required to cruise at 300 mph (260 knots, 480 km/h) at 34,000 feet (10,400 m) with a combat radius of 5,000 miles (4,300 nautical miles, 8,000 km).
The armament was to consist of an unspecified number of 20 mm cannon and 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) of bombs.
On 23 November 1945, Air Materiel Command (AMC) issued desired performance characteristics for a new strategic bomber "capable of carrying out the strategic mission without dependence upon advanced and intermediate bases controlled by other countries".
The aircraft was to have a crew of five or more turret gunners, and a six-man relief crew.
The bombers flew under the Strategic Air Command (SAC) until it was disestablished in 1992 and its aircraft absorbed into the Air Combat Command (ACC); in 2010 all B-52 Stratofortresses were transferred from the ACC to the newly created Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC).
Superior performance at high subsonic speeds and relatively low operating costs have kept the B-52 in service despite the advent of later, more advanced aircraft, including the Mach 2 B-58 Hustler, the canceled Mach 3 B-70 Valkyrie, the variable-geometry B-1 Lancer, and the stealth B-2 Spirit.
A notable feature of the landing gear was the ability to pivot both fore and aft main landing gear up to 20° from the aircraft centerline to increase safety during crosswind landings (allowing the aircraft to "crab" or roll with a sideways slip angle down the runway).
After a trip to a hobby shop for supplies, Schairer set to work building a model.
The rest of the team focused on weight and performance data.
Wells, who was also a skilled artist, completed the aircraft drawings.
On Friday, Colonel Warden looked over the information and asked for a better design.