The Aviationist brings us this video of B-52 Stratofortress bombers surging down the runway at a 20 degree angle prior to takeoff. It's weird to watch, but there's a good reason for it. The article explains:
The video in this post was taken ... in April last year, at RAF Fairford, UK. It shows one of the 6 B-52H Stratofortress bombers, belonging to the 2nd Bomb Wing, from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, deployed to the UK as part of a Bomber Task Force rotation in Europe, the largest Stratofortress deployment since Iraqi Freedom in 2003, taking off as “PROSE” flight.
What makes the footage particularly interesting is that the take off occurred in crosswind conditions and the clip clearly shows the B-52’s peculiar steerable dual-bicycle landing gear which allows the crew to “crab” the airframe by 20 degrees, i.e. to keep the gear along the runway while the fuselage is pointing up to 20 degrees off the runway centerline.
In fact, the U.S. Air Force iconic B-52 bomber was designed in such a way the landing gear can be set up to 20 degrees left to right of centerline for both takeoff and landing.
As explained by NASA (that has been a BUFF operator) on its website, “the landing gear of the B-52 is of the same bicycle arrangement as employed on the B-47 but has four two-wheel bogies instead of the two bogies used on the earlier aircraft. As compared with their location on the B-47, the outrigger wheels are positioned much nearer the wingtip on the B-52. An interesting feature of the B-52 landing gear greatly eases the problems posed by crosswind landings. Both the front and rear bogies can be set at angles of as much as 20° to either side of the straight-ahead position. In a crosswind landing, consequently, the aircraft can be headed directly into the wind while rolling down a runway not aligned with the wind.”
There's more at the link.
If the embedded video below doesn't play, you'll find it here.
It must be a weird sensation for the pilots, drifting down the runway at so great an angle to the center line. I guess they have to undergo some pretty extensive training to get used to it, before they're allowed to do it for real.