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More Incredible Facts About the B-2 Spirit (PART TWO)

Simon Rogan (contributor), 02/24/2019

21 B-2s were built and 20 still exist today.  

21 B-2s were built and 20 still exist today. 19 are held at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri and one stays in Edwards Air Force Base, California for testing and new development.

In 2008, the only B-2 – “The Spirit of Kansas” – to ever be destroyed was lost during takeoff in Anderson Air Force Base in Guam.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation was awarded a modernization contract in 2014 in an effort to update the B-2 fleet. The ceiling on the contract’s budget is $9.9 billion and will be completed by May 2019.

All B-2s have nicknames that begin with “Spirit of…”. The first B-2 is called the “Spirit of America”, and the 19th B-2 is called the “Spirit of Kitty Hawk”; all other B-2s are nicknamed after U.S. states’ names. Ex: “The Spirit of Georgia”.

The B-2 has the capability to drop 16 B83 nuclear bombs.

The secrecy during the production of the B-2 was so intense that many components were purchased using “front” companies, military officials visited production sites out of uniform and employees were routinely subjected to polygraph tests.

The bottom of the B-2 is painted with an anti-reflective paint which blends into the sky at high altitudes and is invisible to radar. This paint makes it invisible to the naked eye at a high enough altitude.

The leading wing of the B-2 Spirit is angled at 33 degrees.

A United States Air Force assessment concluded that two B-2s armed with precision weaponry can do the job of 75 conventional aircraft.

A transportable hangar system allows the B-2s to receive maintenance in forward locations rather than traveling all the way back to Missouri. The hangars are 126ft long, 250ft wide and 55ft high.

The B-2 is powered by four General Electric F118-GE-100 turbofan engines. These engines are mounted internally in the body of the wings and have an exhaust temperature control system to minimize thermal signature.

More Incredible Facts About the B-2 Spirit (PART TWO)

 
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