Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
A flying sophisticated “problem”…! A flying “Ferrari” or not really…!
Crew: 2: pilot and commander (co-pilot)
Length: 69 ft (21.0 m)
Wingspan: 172 ft (52.4 m)
Height: 17 ft (5.18 m)
Wing area: 5,140 ft² (478 m²)
Empty weight: 158,000 lb (71,700 kg)
Loaded weight: 336,500 lb (152,200 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 376,000 lb (170,600 kg)
Powerplant: 4 × General Electric F118-GE-100 non-afterburning turbofans, 17,300 lbf (77 kN) each
Fuel Capacity: 167,000 pounds (75,750 kg)
Maximum speed: Mach 0.95 (550 knots, 630 mph, 1,010 km/h) at 40,000 ft altitude / Mach 0.95 at sea level
Cruise speed: Mach 0.85 (487 knots, 560 mph, 900 km/h) at 40,000 ft altitude
Range: 6,000 nmi (11,100 km (6,900 mi))
Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,200 m)
Wing loading: 67.3 lb/ft² (329 kg/m²)
2 internal bays for 50,000 lb (23,000 kg) of ordnance and payload
80× 500 lb class bombs (Mk-82) mounted on Bomb Rack Assembly (BRA)
36× 750 lb CBU class bombs on BRA
16× 2000 lb class weapons (Mk-84, JDAM-84, JDAM-109) mounted on Rotary Launcher Assembly (RLA)
16× B61 or B83 nuclear weapons on RLA
In its consideration of the fiscal year 1990 defense budget, the House Armed Services Committee trimmed $800 million from the B-2 research and development budget, while at the same time staving off a motion to end the project. Opposition in committee and in Congress was mostly broad and bipartisan, with Congressmen Ron Dellums (D-CA), John Kasich (R-OH), and John G. Rowland (R-CT) authorizing the motion to end the project, others in the Senate, such as Jim Exon (D-NE) and John McCain (R-AZ), also opposing the project.
The escalating cost of the B-2 program and evidence of flaws in the aircraft’s ability to elude detection by radar, were among factors that drove opposition to continue the program. At the peak production period specified in 1989, the schedule called for spending US$7 billion to $8 billion per year in 1989 dollars, something Committee Chair Les Aspin (D-WI) said “won’t fly financially.” In 1990, the Department of Defense accused Northrop of using faulty components in the flight control system; the threat posed by bird ingestion potentially damaging engine fan blades also required redesigning.
…the more sophisticated you make things, more things can go wrong…!
…with a low or lower or very low horizontal radar imprint image, it sure has a viewable vertical size and satellite detection…!
…very easy to counter with anti-aircraft canons…!
…the service ceiling is not anything extraordinary! the Russians “landed” a U2 flying much higher than 50,000 feet…!