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The Day a B-1 Bone’s Nose Gear Wouldn’t Extend

INDIAN SPRINGS AIR FORCE AUXILIARY FIELD, Nev. - A B-1 Lancer performs a fly-by during a firepower demonstration here recently. The bomber is from the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Robert W. Valenca)

On October 4th of 1989, a Rockwell B-1B Lancer from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, crash landed in Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The nose landing gear would not extend, so the crew consulted with engineers and maintenance personnel.  The crew decided that the plane would attempt a landing on the dry lakebed, where a softer, dryer surface promised less damage to the bomber.

The B-1B landed, spewing smoke and dust while its nose gently dug into the ground.  While the incident caused some damage to the bomber, it appeared to be light.  The jet was later returned to service.

You can read more about the incident in an original article from 1989 here.

About the B-1 Lancer, Nickname “Bone”

The Rockwell B1-B Lancer is a jet powered, heavy strategic bomber, primarily used by the United States Air Force (USAF). It is a four engine, long range, supersonic aircraft.with mach speed capability. The Rockwell B1-B Lancer served in combat during Operation Desert Fox, and in Kosovo the following year. The B1-B has also supported American forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq.

The The Rockwell B1-B Lancer was manufactured by Rockwell International, which is now a part of Boeing. The B-1B entered service on October 1st of 1986 with the United States Air Force (USAF) Strategic Air Command as a nuclear bomber. The B1-B had a unit cost of about $283 million back in 1998. Roughly 100 Rockwell B1-B aircraft were built.

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