B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber

These excellent photos of the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber were taken by our photographer Bill Whiffen with a 500mm lens in the early morning light over the Nellis Ranges. The B-2 can often be seen doing exercises in the airspace north of Area 51 between 7am and 8am. Sometimes you can see it refueling right over Rachel.

The first B-2 was publicly displayed on Nov. 22, 1988 at Air Force Plant 42, in Palmdale, CA. Its first flight was on July 17, 1989.

Manufacturer: Northrop Grumman
Crew: Two pilots, provisions for three
Engines: Four General Electric F-118-GE-100 engines, 69,200 pounds of combined thrust
Role: Low-observable strategic bomber
Armament: Cruise and attack missiles; Bombs both tactical and nuclear; Sea mines
Max. payload: 40,000 pounds
Length: 69 ft, Height: 17 ft, Wingspan: 172 ft
Ceiling: 50,000 ft
Takeoff weight: 336,500 pounds, Empty weight: 100,800 pounds
Cruise speed: 560 kts. (high subsonic)
Range: 6,800 nautical miles

For more information on the B-2 see this excellent article by the Federation of American Scientists

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