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The USAF/Northrop Grumman B-2 Stealth Bomber

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posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 01:16 PM
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USAF/NORTHROP GRUMMAN B-2 STEALTH BOMBER The U.S. Air Force/Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is a strategic, long-range heavy bomber. Its low-observable stealth technology and all-altitude operational envelope give it the capability to penetrate the most sophisticated air defenses. After being developed under a blanket of secrecy, the high-tech B-2 Stealth bomber was unveiled at the Northrop company's manufacturing plant in Palmdale, California, on 22 November 1988. An audience of invited guests and journalists was kept well away from the plane which was designed to slip through enemy radar defences without being detected and then drop up to 16 nuclear bombs on key targets. Its first flight was July 17, 1989. The B-2 Combined Test Force located at Air Force Flight Test Center, part of Edwards Air Force Base, California, is responsible for the engineering, manufacturing and flight testing of the development aircraft as they are produced. The prime contractor, responsible for overall system design and integration, is Northrop Grumman's Military Aircraft Systems Division. Boeing Military Airplanes Co., Hughes Radar Systems Group and General Electric Aircraft Engine Group are key members of the aircraft contractor team. Another major contractor, responsible for aircrew training devices (weapon system trainer and mission trainer) is Hughes Training Inc. (HTI) - Link Division, formerly known as CAE - Link Flight Simulation Corp. Northrop Grumman and its major subcontractor HTI, are responsible for developing and integrating all aircrew and maintenance training programs. To help achieve radar invisibility, the bomber is coated with radar-absorbent paint on its leading edge. A similar technology is used underwater to foil sonar detection. Modern submarines are coated in a thick layer of a top-secret resin which is highly absorbent acoustically, and reflects only a minute amount of the energy transmitted by sonar detectors. The B-2's low-observability means that it does not need an armada of support aircraft to accomplish a mission, and its large payload allows it to do the work of many smaller attack aircraft. The revolutionary blending of low-observable technologies with high aerodynamic efficiency and large payload gives the B-2 important advantages over existing bombers. Its low-observability provides it greater freedom of action at high altitudes, thus increasing its range and a better field of view for the aircraft's sensors. The Air Force has published a representative mission scenario showing that two B-2's armed with precision weapons can do the job of a package of 75 conventional aircraft. Only four crew members are put at risk in this mission, compared to 132 in the conventional aircraft package. The B-2's low-observability is derived from a combination of reduced infra-red, acoustic, electromagnetic, visual and radar signatures. These signatures make it difficult for sophisticated defensive systems to detect, track and engage the B-2. Many aspects of the low-observability process remain classified; however, the B-2's composite materials, special coatings and flying-wing design all contribute to its "stealthiness." The B-2 can fly more than 6,000 nautical miles unrefueled and more than 10,000 nautical miles with just one refueling, giving it the ability to fly to any point on the globe within hours. Whiteman AFB, Missouri, is the B-2's only operational base. The first aircraft, Spirit of Missouri, was delivered on 17 December 1993. Depot maintenance responsibility for the B-2 is performed by Air Force contractor support and is managed at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. Tests show that with its low observable characteristics, the B-2 is the most survivable aircraft in the world. Northrop Grumman Corporation, the prime contractor, produces the B-2 at facilities in Pico Rivera and Palmdale, California.   Description Manufacturer: Northrop Grumman Corporation Designation: B-2 Spirit Type: Strategic, long-range heavy bomber Specifications Length: 69' 20.9 M Height: 17' 5.1 M Wingspan: 172' 52.12 M Take-off Weight (typical): 336500 lbs 152635 Kg Propulsion No. of Engines: 4 Powerplant: General Electric F-118-GE-100 engines It has also been noted that the B-2 contains experimental propulsion technology possibly being Electro-gravitic systems. Thrust: 17300 pounds each engine Performance Range: Inter-continental 6000 nautical miles (10000 with one refuelling) Max Speed: High subsonic Ceiling: 50000 Ft 15152 M Source information was used with permission from the Department Of The Air Force




posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 11:47 AM
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I didn't see it metioned on the page, but the B-2 is the first of the advanced technology aircraft to become operational. The Advanced Technology Aircrafts were a series of new stealth planes that the Defense Department decided to presue after their initial sucess with the F-117A. The Advanced Technology Aircraft Program was composed of three smaller projects: The Advanced Technology Bomber (ATB), The Advanced Tactical Aircraft (ATA), and The Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF). The ATB eveolved into the B-2 Spirit. The ATA evolved into the now cancelled Navy A-12 Avenger. The ATF is now the F-22 Raptor.

Tim
ATS Director of Counter-Ignorance



posted on Jul, 15 2012 @ 12:33 PM
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For all B-2 fans my set of photos

Flickr photostream





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