posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 02:29 PM
Originally posted by Canada_EH
They never set out to make the B-1 completely stealth.
- Well I guess that depends on your definition of "completely stealth".
The B1a was as just about as "completely stealth" as it was possible to be when it was designed.
The later B1b was also developed to be much stealthier than the B1a.
It might not be in the same league as the B2 but the B1b is still relatively speaking a very stealthy plane.
The problem is that the stealth is most effective when wings are swept back but the low alt bombing runs it does would be best with wings swept
forward and not back.
- Actually for the 'normal' high speed & low altitude penetration mission envisioned for this type the wings would be swept back to create the best
conditions - particularly in relation to 'low gust response' at speed etc etc.
The B1 may be dated when compared to the B2 but how many B2s can even the USA afford - and more to the point how many likely missions require a B2?
I have to say I find the idea of a mach 2 warmed over B1 extremely unlikely........especially as IIRC the only reason it is now limited to a max speed
(at altitude) of mach 1.6 is beacuse they removed the variable inlet mechanisms originally installed on the B1a's engines (the B1a was mach 2 capable
I doubt it would be as simple as fitting the original inlet configuration as the intakes are a major element of the stealth performance such as it is
on the B1b.
Far more likely IMO would be a sacrifice of a little speed for more payload.