B-2 Stealth Bomber
The B-2 Stealth Bomber is the most advanced strategic bomber ever created! This amazing aircraft features low observable stealth technology that is specifically designed to penetrate any anti-aircraft defense system in the world! She is basically invisible and has a radar signature of a small bird.
The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth capability comes from a combination of reduced infrared, acoustic, visual and radar signatures (Multi-Spectral Camouflage). This helps the B-2 evade various types of hi-tech detection systems that would be used to detect and direct attacks against the aircraft.
Inside the Stealth B2 Bomber Military Documentary HD – MUST SEE Video!
She also features additional reduction capabilities in its radar signature by the using various state-of-the-art radar-absorbent materials (RAM) which neutralize and absorb radar beams. The B-2 is also painted in a special anti-reflective paint which helps to reduce optical visibility during daylight flights. The contents used to create the anti-reflective paint is classified.
The undersides of the B-2 Bomber are painted a dark grey because of the high altitudes (50,000 ft or 15,000 m) she flies. At those high altitudes, the dark grey paint job blends perfectly into the sky above. It is rumored that the B-2 has an upward-facing light sensor that automatically alerts the pilot to reduce or increase altitude in order to match the ever changing illuminance of the sky.
The B-2 Bomber’s only vulnerability is visual interception at ranges of approximately 20 to 23 nmi (37 km) or less. This is why all production aircraft have a contrail sensor that alerts the pilot when he should change altitude. The original B-2 Spirit design had tanks for a contrail-inhibiting chemical. These tanks were scraped in favor of the contrail sensor which was developed for the production variation of the aircraft.
Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
On July 17, 1989, the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit took to the skies for the very first time and made aviation history. The origin of the B-2 Spirit comes from several versions of flying wing aircraft such as the Northrop YB-49 and German Horten Ho 229. during the last days of World War II, the German Horten Ho 229 actually flew combat missions.
Although these aircraft proved to be capable aircraft, the Northrop YB-49 was scrapped due to technical difficulties and soaring costs. The German Horten Ho 229 was the first jet powered flying wing in aviation history! It amazes me that this aircraft did not continue to fly in Russian or Allied Air Forces after the war. The German Horten Ho 229 could be considered the grandmother of the B-2 Spirit.
The Advanced Technology Bomber (ATB) program began in 1979 and would end up costing approximately $44.75 billion US through 2004. There were a total of 21 B-2 Spirits built at a cost of $737 million each at flyaway cost. Each B-2 Bomber would eventually cost $2.1B US dollars. B-2’s first entered service January 1, 1997 and is still in service today. Due to the end of the Cold War, Congress purchased only 21 of the planned 132 bombers.
This was also due to the overall cost of the program and the astronomical operational costs. There are are currently 20 B-2’s serving in the United States Air Force today and plans to operate them until 2032. Only 1 B-2 has been lost and was destroyed in a crash shortly after takeoff in 2008. The crew did manage to eject safely. The B-2 Spirit is designed for all-altitude attack missions up to 50,000 feet (15,000 m).
She has a range well over 6,000 nautical miles (6,900 mi; 11,000 km) on one tank of fuel and more than 10,000 nautical miles (12,000 mi; 19,000 km) with a midair refueling. The B-2 bomber can deploy either thermonuclear or conventional weapons, such as sixteen 2,400 lb (1,100 kg) B83 nuclear bombs or eighty 500 lb (230 kg)-class (Mk 82) JDAM Global Positioning System-guided bombs. The B-2 also can also carry large air-to-surface standoff weapons in its stealth configuration.
B-2 Spirit Speed
The B-2 Spirit Speed is not as fast as you may think. She flies just as fast as a conventional bomber. The B-1 Bomber and the Russian Tupolev Tu-22M were the only bombers capable of supersonic speeds. It was the development of the B-2 Bomber in the 1970’s that caused the cancellation of the B-1 Bomber which is also in service today. This is what eventually led to the program being canceled in 1977 after the B-1A prototypes were built.
The B-2 Stealth Bomber is a subsonic bomber which means she flies slower than the speed of sound. She does have an unclassified top speed of Mach 0.95 (550 knots, 630 mph, 1,010 km/h) at an altitude of 40,000 ft. This is just short of the speed of sound which is Mach 1. There is considerable debate among aviation enthusiasts that she is capable of supersonic flight. It she is capable of speeds above Mach 1, it remains classified.
The B-2 Stealth Bomber is powered by four powerful General Electric F118-GE-100 turbofan engines. The General Electric F118-GE-100 turbofan engines are internally mounted inside the body of the wings. These engines are rated at 77kN which provide a maximum gross take-off weight of 336,500lbs and a high subsonic speed. The General Electric F118-GE-100 turbofan engines have an exhaust temperature control system which minimizes thermal signature.
It is these magnificent engines that power the B-2 Bomber and give her unprecedented power with the ability to carry large payloads. With her stealth capabilities combined with these General Electric F118-GE-100 turbofan engines make her the deadliest air asset in the world. It is rumored that if there were hostilities among the nuclear powers. They would have no choice but to launch their missiles once the B-2’s takeoff in order to guarantee a strike of their own.
The B2 Cockpit is where the two person crew sits and where all the magic happens. The B2 Cockpit features state-of-the-art avionics and flight control systems. Engineers did everything in their power to make the B-2 more effective than previous bombers. She features many advanced and modern avionics systems that were integrated into her design.
The B-2 Bomber also has a Defensive Management System (DMS) that alerts the flight crew of possible threats. This onboard DMS system is capable of automatically assessing the detection capabilities of identified threats and indicated targets. This gives the B-2 a huge advantage while flying over enemy territory and is the only such system of its kind used. The flying wing design is inherently unstable in flight and almost impossible to control without flight computers.
This is why the B-2 was fitted with a complex quadruplex computer-controlled fly-by-wire flight control system. The quadruplex computer-controlled fly-by-wire flight control system can automatically control all flight surfaces and settings without the pilot. This incredible flight control system is the reason why the B-2 can maintain aircraft stability during flight. There are other flight control systems that do remain classified to this day.
The quadruplex computer-controlled fly-by-wire flight control system receives its information from external conditions such as the aircraft’s angle of attack and current air speed via its pitot-static sensing plates. These pitot-static sensing plates are used instead of traditional pitot tubes. The use of pitot tubes would impair the B-2’s stealth capabilities and make her vulnerable to modern radar systems. These are just some of the systems that make her almost invulnerable.
B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber in Action: B-2 Stealth Bomber Doing Carpet Bombing, B-2 Bomb Drop & More
Most of the B-2 Bomber is made out of advanced carbon-graphite composite materials that are lighter than aluminum and much stronger than steel. These exotic carbon-graphite composite materials absorb most of radar energy giving her a radar signature not much larger than a small bird. This makes her nearly invisible to all radar systems around the world and allow her to penetrate enemy airspace at will which was her main mission during the Cold War.
The B-2 Bomber boasts many innovations including an alternate high frequency material (AHFM) which is an automated material application method that was incorporated to improve the B-2’s radar-absorbent properties and reduce maintenance requirements which saves the program an extraordinary amount of money and one of the reasons why she will fly up until 2032 and beyond. Northrop Grumman began applying this newly developed AHFM to operational B-2s in early 2004.
Every B-2 in service today is kept inside a climate-controlled hangar. This is an (Extra Large Deployable Aircraft Hangar System) that is more than large enough to accommodate the B-2’s 172-foot (52 m) wingspan. The main reason why the (Extra Large Deployable Aircraft Hangar System) was built is to protect the operational integrity of the B-2’s sophisticated radar absorbent material and coatings from the elements. It also serves a dual purpose in hiding the B-2 from satellites and other surveillance techniques.
Make sure you watch the B-2 documentary above and let me know what you think. You’ll get to see the B-2 in action as she carpet bombs enemy territory and uses a multiple array of other conventional weapons. Now that you’ve learned all about the AMAZING B-2 Bomber. How would you like the opportunity to fly this magnificent bird? Well, now’s your chance to fly one of the most sophisticated aircraft ever to take to the skies at anytime in history. The “LEGENDARY” B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber!
Fly A Real Northrop B-2 Spirit!
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