The first flight of the invisible B-2 Spirit bomber (1989)

The first flight of the invisible B-2 Spirit bomber (1989)

On July 17, 1989, the American B-2 Spirit bomber officially took off for the first time. Today, the B-2 forms the backbone of the U.S. bomber fleet, along with the distinctly long-lived B-52 bombers (which have been in use for about six decades). The B-2 bombers are among the most expensive military products in history, as each one cost U.S. citizens an average of over $ 2 billion. Although there was a plan to produce as many as 132 pieces, in the end only 21 were produced. One of them was destroyed in the crash, so that today the US owns exactly 20 B-2 bombers.

By design, the B-2 Spirit bomber is actually a flying wing because it has neither a tail nor a real fuselage. Interestingly, there are only two crew members in that bomber – the pilot and the commander, who sit side by side (for comparison, the B-52 has five crew members).

The B-2 Spirit bomber can carry as many as 16 pieces of nuclear bombs, which are mounted on a rotating tank similar to a revolver drum. B-2 has a so-called. stealth features, which means it is virtually invisible on radar. Supposedly the entire B-2 bomber gives a radar footprint of just 0.1 square meters. To date, no anti-aircraft missiles have reportedly been fired at those bombers. It is interesting that B-2 bombers are stored in air-conditioned hangars in order to preserve the stealth characteristics of their surface. Such hangars are expensive, given that the B-2 has a wingspan of as much as 52.4 meters. The B-2 can weigh 170 tons at take-off, ie like several tanks.

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