Re: Edwards AFB Upgrades Point To Unexpected Home For B-21 Raider, Other Secretive Programs

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Message posted by greatguess on March 12, 2020 at 6:11:27 PST:

Future of South base Edwards - I am looking into what might be going to the Test Support Facility (TSF) at South Base Edwards. I have some ideas but I need to do some research to see if I can shake loose some tips on what might go there. I will post the results.

Taxi Security - This one needs some background. By the time I arrived on the B2 program (Spring 1984) the decision had just been made to design the B2 at the old Ford truck planet in Pico Rivera (Side D), to build and deliver the aircraft to the new Northrop facility at Palmdale (Site 4), and to test the B2 at Edwards (Site E). A major factor on where to do these things was driven by site sensitivity of the aircraft. The thinking was that it HAD to be built in Palmdale because that is where the work force that built the B1 (and other planes) was located which could be recruited easily. Once the decision to build the plane in Palmdale and the B2's massive size it was obvious that it would be seen even before it flew and the "secret" would be out.

At Edwards we reduced visual exposure to the first airplane for a while with back taxi on the runway before takeoff and after landing. Edwards tower (and the pilots) soon got tired of that and we became a "normal" aircraft when it came to airfield operations quite quickly. If you look at the linked graphic you will see the distances for takeoff taxi from a TSF based location are about the same as from the main base site at the North end of contractor row just south of NASA. The "secrets" were long gone regarding aircraft shape before the aircraft arrived at Edwards.


Attached link: Taxi Comparison

In Reply to: Re: Edwards AFB Upgrades Point To Unexpected Home For B-21 Raider, Other Secretive Programs posted by Joerg (Webmaster) on March 11, 2020 at 23:31:26 PST:


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