B-21 (LRS-B) Thread

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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Unread post10 Jul 2019, 01:50

wooster wrote:
blain wrote:Has the first B-21 been built? A very provocative headline by National Interest, which is typical.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... mber-66131

It contains a quote from the AF COS - “We’re closely monitoring the build of the additional test aircraft and associated software to support the first flight." The assumption is that there is already a test aircraft. Maybe he misspoke or was inelegant in conveying his thoughts.

The test aircraft is likely a sub scale model used to test RCS. I hope I am wrong. The critical design review was at the end of last year. So manufacturing has likely started. I would think that they would do an official roll out and conduct first flight in the open. Is there a way to get an aircraft as large as a bomber from Plant 42 in Palmdale to Area 51? I think it would be hard.

Additional test aircraft clearly means additional raiders, not a subscale demonstrator. That phase was over years ago. They likely tested full scale models at groom or other radar facilities. subscale models are used for proving out flight controls, not RCS. The subscale have blue was used to tryout the flight controls and aerodynamics associated with flying a winged faceted diamond, yes stealth was clearly part of it too, but they had to make it fly controllably.

I wasn't able to find the context of his quote so thought he might have been speaking about a longer time frame. I don't Goldfein indicates completion of the first B-21. It is likely there are several aircraft on the production line at various stages.


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Unread post11 Jul 2019, 16:25

I sincerely hope they can keep the cost down. If they can procure 125-150, it'll be the first time since the B-52 a US bomber was built in that quantity.

We built 100 B-1B's: That was supposed to replace the B-52
We only built 21 B-2's: Talk about a silver bullet force

Even assuming such a production run, it sounds like the B-52 will still be going strong. I assume they're pulling spare parts out of the boneyard, but wow - really makes you think. We field around 75 or so today, out of 744 built! With new engines, that thing's service life will likely out-live me. Amazing to think about, it just keeps on keeping on...

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