QUANAH, TX (KFDX/KJTL) — In a small town, it’s pretty easy for residents to notice something new, even small things, so it wasn’t hard to spot a big change in front of the Hardeman County Courthouse over the weekend.

The new thing is a massive B-52 fuselage making a stopover on a trip that it once made in just hours.

It’s actually headed to Oklahoma City for research purposes after making the longest B- 52 transport trip on land.

It’s not every day you get to see a B-52 bomber this close in person, even if just a shell, and for Quanah resident John Atchison, it was a sight to see.

“It was here, and there were a few people out here looking at it and I worked for Continental United Airlines for about 35 years so I was kind of interested in it, and wondered where it was going,” Atchison said.

The fuselage of the B-52 is being transported to Oklahoma City for research tests purposes, taking its route straight through Quanah, something Atchison said wouldn’t be possible a decade ago.

“Up until about 10 years ago, they put a new bridge up here north of town you couldn’t even, they couldn’t have gone this way they would’ve had to take another way to get there,” Atchison said.

This aircraft flew its last flight in 2008 and was built in 1961, the last year of production. Atchison said he was pleased to hear it was going to be used for training.

“If you can get something out of this rather than sitting out in the desert where it’s been, out in the desert,” Atchison said.

Atchison said he hasn’t seen a B-52 bomber in quite some time.

“There used to be a big airshow in Quanah and I think the Thunderbirds came and the Blue Angels and of course the B-52 isn’t going to be able to land in Quanah but they used to fly over Fort Mason and I guess they came from Altus,” Atchison said.

The aircraft will be leaving Quanah soon to make the last leg of the trip where this old bird will help others continue to fly.

Once in Oklahoma City, one wing will be reattached and it will be used to test new technology to be added to the remaining B-52s still in service, about 75 total.

The trip is being documented by Boneyard Safari, a media company that has been posting updates about the trip. Click here to follow the journey.