A very Happy Birthday the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber today. On July 17, 1989, the B-2 Spirit took to the skies for the first time. The flight took off from Palmdale Plant 42 and landed at Edwards Air Force Base. The bomber was flown by B-2 Test Pilot Bruce Hinds and the B-2 Test Force Commander Col. Richard Couch. The first flight was a little over 2 hours. The entire flight was flown with gear down.
Here is the B-2 Spirit by the numbers:
Number of years that the B-2 has been flying. The B-2 first took to the skies on July 17, 1989 for a test flight.
Total program cost per aircraft. This number includes development, testing, and engineering.
Max takeoff weight of the B-2 Spirit Bomber in pounds.
Total number of bombers built.
The wingspan of the B-2 is 13 feet longer than the Boeing 767 passenger jet (169ft (b-2) vs. 152 ft (767)).
Total number of major incidents. On Feb. 23, 2008 a B-2 crashed at Guam due to condensation in the aircraft’s Port Transducer Unit causing the air data computer to receive incorrect airspeed information. Additionally, a B-2 suffered severe fire damage at Guam in 2010. It took over 2 years to repair the aircraft which is now back in service.
Number of Mk-82 bombs that can be carried internally by the B-2 bomber.
Estimated radar cross-section (RCS) of the B-2 Bomber in m^2. By comparison, a B-52 is estimated to have a RCS of 100 m^2.