posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 12:51 PM
a reply to: ShayneJUK
The panels don't often crack, or go missing, but it's a required check after flight. The far more prevalent problem is the minor maintenance issues.
All B-1s are officially PMC, meaning they're available, but have minor issues. It's pretty common to fly an aircraft that way. A lot of times it's
like the third backup radio, or second INS unit when they're running GPS, or something minor that isn't going to affect the mission.
The B-1 was originally a pretty robust design, but it didn't meet the requirements that the Air Force wanted, so they started making changes. They
had to lighten it, so it could reach the top speed they wanted. So they started with the ejection capsule, and went to seats for each crew member.
Then they really screwed the aircraft, and removed the fourth generator system. That saved them several hundred pounds, and got them to where they
could at least get close to the speed required in the RFP, but it screwed them on electrical power. They have to choose between systems when climbing
out after takeoff, and on other phases of the mission. More than once, this has led to damage to the engines, requiring them to land somewhere to
change the engine, or the fan blades.