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Photos 4066 - 4070 of 7144


Wow - the balloon race was awesome yesterday!! More photos coming soon....

photos from the air show!!!

The B-2 Stealth Bomber - it even looks menacing just sitting in the hangar.... here are more stats than you will ever care about:
Note: It is very rare for a B-2A to be on display outside of its home base, so this was an extraordinary chance for a close up look at the most technologically advanced bomber in the world!

The B-2 Spirit is a multi-role bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions. A dramatic leap forward in technology, the bomber represents a major milestone in the U.S. bomber modernization program. The B-2 brings massive firepower to bear, in a short time, anywhere on the globe through previously impenetrable defenses.

Along with the B-52 and B-1B, the B-2 provides the penetrating flexibility and effectiveness inherent in manned bombers. Its low-observable, or "stealth," characteristics give it the unique ability to penetrate an enemy's most sophisticated defenses and threaten its most valued, and heavily defended, targets. Its capability to penetrate air defenses and threaten effective retaliation provides a strong, effective deterrent and combat force well into the 21st century.

The revolutionary blending of low-observable technologies with high aerodynamic efficiency and large payload gives the B-2 important advantages over existing bombers. Its low-observability provides it greater freedom of action at high altitudes, thus increasing its range and a better field of view for the aircraft's sensors. Its unrefueled range is approximately 6,000 nautical miles (9,600 kilometers).

The B-2's low observability is derived from a combination of reduced infrared, acoustic, electromagnetic, visual and radar signatures. These signatures make it difficult for the sophisticated defensive systems to detect, track and engage the B-2. Many aspects of the low-observability process remain classified; however, the B-2's composite materials, special coatings and flying-wing design all contribute to its "stealthiness."

The B-2 has a crew of two pilots, a pilot in the left seat and mission commander in the right, compared to the B-1B's crew of four and the B-52's crew of five.

The first B-2 was publicly displayed on Nov. 22, 1988, when it was rolled out of its hangar at Air Force Plant 42, Palmdale, Calif. Its first flight was July 17, 1989. The B-2 Combined Test Force, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., is responsible for flight testing the engineering, manufacturing and development aircraft on the B-2.

Whiteman AFB, Mo., is the only operational base for the B-2. The first aircraft, Spirit of Missouri, was delivered Dec. 17, 1993. Depot maintenance responsibility for the B-2 is performed by Air Force contractor support and is managed at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker AFB, Okla.

The combat effectiveness of the B-2 was proved in Operation Allied Force, where it was responsible for destroying 33 percent of all Serbian targets in the first eight weeks, by flying nonstop to Kosovo from its home base in Missouri and back. In support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the B-2 flew one of its longest missions to date from Whiteman to Afghanistan and back. The B-2 completed its first-ever combat deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, flying 22 sorties from a forward operating location as well as 27 sorties from Whiteman AFB and releasing more than 1.5 million pounds of munitions. The B-2ís proven combat performance led to declaration of full operational capability in December 2003.

General Characteristics
Primary function: Multi-role heavy bomber
Prime Contractor: Northrop Grumman Corp.
Contractor Team: Boeing Military Airplanes Co., Hughes Radar Systems Group, General Electric Aircraft Engine Group and Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc.
Power Plant: Four General Electric F-118-GE-100 engines
Thrust: 17,300 pounds each engine
Length: 69 feet (20.9 meters)
Height: 17 feet (5.1 meters
Wingspan: 172 feet (52.12 meters
Speed: High subsonic
Ceiling: 50,000 feet (15,240 meters)
Takeoff Weight (Typical): 336,500 pounds (152,634 kilograms
Range: Intercontinental, unrefueled
Armament: Conventional or nuclear weapons
Payload: 40,000 pounds (18,144 kilograms)
Crew: Two pilots
Unit cost: Approximately $1.157 billion (fiscal 98 constant dollars)
Date Deployed: December 1993
Inventory: Active force: 21 (1 test); ANG: 0; Reserve: 0

Information courtesy of the United States Air Force

full frame shot, reduced digital noise, applied some lighting adjustment and resized

Have a great weekend!!!

(constructive critique is welcome)

coming soon -
the St Louis Zoo
and another - St Louis Air Show - from high up in the hills above the air field:
and on Mon 09/03 we went to a small car show - that next
after that - Friday 09/14 - St Louis Balloon Glow
and - Saturday 0915 - Great St Louis Balloon Race
More latest photos

Comments on this photo:

Sep 17 2007 02:06 GMT domesticfix PRO
Sep 17 2007 02:39 GMT Midworlder PRO
A bit of an upgrade on The Wright Brothers or Richard Pearse's contraptions !!!!
Sep 17 2007 02:43 GMT PinkPepperPhoto PRO
Oh boy Just what I thought it is!! Awsome to see in the air, got to watch one cross over Death Valley several times.
Sep 17 2007 02:43 GMT orisha
great shot
Sep 17 2007 02:53 GMT Studio88
Powerful B-2 Shot and Very Informative Info!!!
Sep 17 2007 03:06 GMT roncarlin PRO
Excellent photo and journal!!!
Sep 17 2007 03:14 GMT iyerhari
Great...lovely advanced Bomber!!!
Sep 17 2007 03:15 GMT LittleOurkie PRO
Nice shot...........

Rumor has it that the B-2 also has a gravity reduction system that, in effect, reduces it's weight about 30 percent in flight thereby greatly increasing it's range.
Sep 17 2007 03:24 GMT gtc126
Now I understand!!!! All those so called UFO's.... UnitedStates Flying Officer!!!!!!!!!
Sep 17 2007 05:25 GMT hans55 PRO
wow ...thats special !!
Sep 17 2007 05:30 GMT Laurie
Pretty Whicked!!
Sep 17 2007 06:13 GMT Macrat
Fantastic - would love to see it real time!!!!
Sep 17 2007 07:03 GMT MrLoba
this shot makes a question!:)
Sep 17 2007 07:08 GMT AlisonBelinda
These are as ominous to look at in the air, and just as threatening on the ground! Amazing design though.
Sep 17 2007 08:11 GMT Elise
so gigantic.....wow..love to see this in real ! :))
Sep 17 2007 10:19 GMT junne PRO
too bad their missions cost human life, instead of using them to target weapon factories and tobacco companies.
Sep 17 2007 14:45 GMT DragonSpeed PRO
It's amazing that something this large can have a radar footprint of a seagull!
Sep 17 2007 15:09 GMT bennystr
Impressive one!
Sep 17 2007 19:51 GMT grimp PRO
Never seen one in flight. Would like to!
Sep 17 2007 21:14 GMT CeterusParibus
awesome design
Oct 06 2007 22:30 GMT 5712
Interesting series!