Re: B21 first flight

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Message posted by Vahe Demirjian (Member since 04/28/2022) on November 10, 2023 at 14:49:48 PST:

The aircraft seen in October 2021 is the P-ISR flying wing informally dubbed "RQ-180". Recall that the Northrop Grumman NGB proposal of 2007-2008 had a cranked kite layout like the X-47B and one of Northrop Grumman's SensorCraft design studies, and that the LRS-B program was intended to be one part of a family of complementary systems. Hence, the ultimate B-21 design was almost certainly influenced by NG's P-ISR ("RQ-180") unmanned stealth reconnaissance flying wing, which in turn was derived from one of NG's SensorCraft proposals.

And then there's the fact that the first Northrop B-2 flew from Palmdale to Edwards Air Force Base, and the USAF never planned to secretly test the B-2 at Area 51. I recently found out while reading the book "Dreamland: The Secret History of Area 51" that in 2017, the USAF quietly stood up a small combined test force at Edwards AFB in anticipation of flight testing of the B-21 Raider being based there, and that this effort was codenamed Stingray in Pentagon budget documents from 2017 (similar to how Colonel Buz Carpenter in 1985 allocated the budget codename Aurora to requested funds for procurement of the B-2 Spirit). Also, the first "RQ-180" test aircraft (serial number 04-0831) was delivered to Area 51 for flight testing, as was the case with the first U-2 and first A-12.

In Reply to: Re: B21 first flight posted by Eddie on November 10, 2023 at 13:00:52 PST:


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