When Rockwell and the United States Air Force (USAF) produced the film “B-1 On the Move- Supersonic” the Bone was still in test. Although the B-1A was a truly impressive and very capable bomber, political considerations did the aircraft in. President Jimmy Carter killed the program. President Ronal Reagan brought a modified version of the aircraft back to life a few years later in 1981. Bone fans will appreciate the footage of a young aircraft going through the testing program. The video was uploaded to YouTube by PeriscopeFilm.
Today the Rockwell (Boeing) B-1B Lancer forms a significant part of the Air Force Global Strike command along with the stealthy Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit and the venerable Boeing B-52H Stratofortress. First envisioned during the 1960s as a replacement for both the Convair B-58 Hustler and the B-52, things didn’t quite go according to that plan. The B-1A program was chopped in part because of the capabilities of the Boeing AGM-86 Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM).
The B-1B in service today differs from the B-1A in several ways. The B-1B boasts a lower top speed at high altitude ( Mach 1.25) but is faster at low altitude (Mach 0.96). The B-1B is also equipped with vastly improved avionics and defensive countermeasures. The B-1Bs airframe is also strengthened to allow a higher maximum takeoff weight leading to improved payloads. The B-1B entered service first with Strategic Air Command (SAC) in 1986, became a part of Air Combat Command when SAC was disbanded, and though 100 total airframes were delivered, 67 of them serve today with Global Strike Command.