As the USAF seeks a more survivable bomber fleet whilst it waits for Raider, the B-2 gets a massive upgrade, and the B-52 might finally get some new
engines and better radar after a half a Billion Dollar investment!
Also some interesting notes on Raider's open architecture, the B-52 radar failing every 46 hours, conect and Link-16!
Just thought some of you might be interested in the read.
According to a buddy who worked on the B-2 and B-52 programs at Edwards AFB, the B-2 air-frames will last even longer than the B-52 air-frames. They
are expecting to keep modding and upgrading them well into the 2040s.
a reply to: WarthogWrangler
That doesn't surprise me. Given the B-2 is at least two generations beyond the BUFF and is a flying wing without those god awful engines vibrating the
airframe it should on that alone last decades longer. Add to it that the whole airframe is coated in RAM and has been very carefully designed with
regard to drainage for moisture it should last well beyond 2040 in terms of airframe hours. I would think 2060 is possible. Whether it is relevant
beyond 2040 is another matter. The F-111 was designed with a 10,000hr airframe but many went to the smelter with only 2500 on the clock.
edit on 25-7-2017 by thebozeian because: (no reason given)
ok ? so the frame will last and last ? and this is odd how ?
find a old junk yard and a car from the 1940ds it will be a rusted pile of junk .
Now strip off all the rust and the farm is fine and dandy .
really it may save a few bucks to keep reusing the frame but other then that its not such a big deal .
It wouldn't surprise me if it was still being upgraded in the 2060s. However, with the B-21 being designed to fly manned and unmanned, you may be
right. The B-2 may not be relevant by the end of the 2040s.
Unlike cars, aircraft are designed to have a limited life cycle. The B-2 doesn't have a released life cycle that I've found, but the B-52 is looking
at 32,500 and 37,500 hours before the upper wing surface reaches the end of its life cycle. At that point, the only option is to replace the upper
wing. Depending on useage, that puts the first retirements of the B-52s in the 2030s.
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