Many significant scenes in the movie Dr. Strangelove occur inside a B-52 bomber. The aircraft, named "Leper Colony" was commanded by Major T.J. "King" Kong (played by Slim Pickens) and had amongst its crew a very young James Earl Jones, who played bombardier Lieutenant Lothar Zogg.

A critical aspect of the plot revolved around the plane's communication system, notably the CRM-114 encryption system, whose mechanism was destroyed during a Soviet attempt to shoot the plane down with a missile. Additional damage occurred to the plane's bomb-bay door gear, which is the reason Picken's character winds up riding a nuclear bomb down to its target. (he had to sit on the bomb to reach the damaged door electronics, and the bomb fell out with him still on it.)

The entire interior was so realistically done, darkly claustrophobic and technically impressive, that people thought it was filmed on an actual plane, or at least a set modelled after one. In reality, the U.S. Air Force read the script and wanted nothing to do with the project (gee, I wonder why?). So Stanley Kubrick built it based on what he and a few hired experts thought the interior should look like and what equipment should be in it. They never even got a look inside a real B-52, yet their resulting set is complimented to this day for its gritty reality.