Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Foo Fighter

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I do not understand why people bother to photochop stuff at all, what is the point?
 

Grey Havoc

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Not to mention the odd bit of grey propaganda/misinformation. Hiding any real leaked info in a sea of noise is a time honoured tactic for instance.
;)
 

Flyaway

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Won’t they be building the first example by now as I thought it had completed all its design reviews?
 

Foo Fighter

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Shirley it will take at least a year to wind up the elastic bands.
 

FighterJock

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Won’t they be building the first example by now as I thought it had completed all its design reviews?
I certainly hope that Northrop have started building the prototype now and that there has been no delays as a result of the design reviews.
 

rooster

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They likely have 2 under construction, staggered. Very exciting, but not as exciting as 1988 when the F-117 and B-2 were revealed with 2 ATF waiting in the wings. Considering the B-21 is partially based on some existing and proven technology, I wonder if they pull the wraps on some unseen drone/plane/demonstrator that precedes the Raider after the Raider reveal.
 

rooster

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Nothing new, but will keep the thread fresh:
 

Smartguy31

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Interesting comment in the article '“We’re closely monitoring the build of the additional test aircraft and associated software to support the first flight,” ' 'additional' test aircraft so more than one in production?
Nothing new, but will keep the thread fresh:
 

rooster

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Well given the programming timing to field it, they can't build 1 and wait a year or two before they get article #2 and #3 in the air. With the aggressive timing, it's a given they are building more than just 1 at time of rollout.

After re-reading, it sounds like #1 is completed. I wonder if they have gotten the point of taxi tests yet. Would be amazed they could do that with such a large aircraft and keep it secret.

Public rollout must be coming any time now.

the USAF is finally seeing some sunlight after the long drought. New AAM coming out, JSF in full swing, B-21 coming into the light any day apparently, hypersonic weapons, new ALCM coming along with ICBM program, the new tanker. Cross your fingers for PCA.
 

zebra159357

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We will see, maybe we will witness 2 big rollouts in Q4 of this year, the B-21 and chinese H-20.
 

totoro

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Hmm... not so sure it means the first one is completed. But it may be well along by now and we may indeed see a roll out sometime in 2020. If B-2 programme is something of comparison, then we may have 8 months between a roll out and first flight. So first flight in late 2020 or sometime in 2021?
 

rooster

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Hmm... not so sure it means the first one is completed. But it may be well along by now and we may indeed see a roll out sometime in 2020. If B-2 programme is something of comparison, then we may have 8 months between a roll out and first flight. So first flight in late 2020 or sometime in 2021?
That has always been a mystery to me. Look at the time between rollout and flight of other aircraft. 8 months makes me wonder if what was rolled out was a complete aircraft. What was the time between rollout and powered taxi tests?
 

NeilChapman

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At least one hopes that the the RCO we're not going to see 10 Block 10 aircraft with no initial capability to launch conventional guided weapons. Perhaps we'll get more than two test aircraft to move rapidly through flight tests.

Even with mature technologies it has to be a quite an endeavor to integrate it all in a new platform. Wasn't it reported that the coatings plant completion is Christmas 2019? With that, would they get coatings from a development location for test aircraft or would test aircraft come after?

I still think an optimistic date for first flight is 2021.
 

flateric

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Hmm... not so sure it means the first one is completed. But it may be well along by now and we may indeed see a roll out sometime in 2020. If B-2 programme is something of comparison, then we may have 8 months between a roll out and first flight. So first flight in late 2020 or sometime in 2021?
That has always been a mystery to me. Look at the time between rollout and flight of other aircraft. 8 months makes me wonder if what was rolled out was a complete aircraft. What was the time between rollout and powered taxi tests?
B-2 was rolled out on certain date to comply with a schedule to avoid financial sanctions afair. It was _very_ far from being ready for a first flight. She even doesn't have all avionics and ejection seats installed and windows were masked to conceal this fact. (My memory may serve wrong though).
 

FighterJock

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Hmm... not so sure it means the first one is completed. But it may be well along by now and we may indeed see a roll out sometime in 2020. If B-2 programme is something of comparison, then we may have 8 months between a roll out and first flight. So first flight in late 2020 or sometime in 2021?
That has always been a mystery to me. Look at the time between rollout and flight of other aircraft. 8 months makes me wonder if what was rolled out was a complete aircraft. What was the time between rollout and powered taxi tests?
B-2 was rolled out on certain date to comply with a schedule to avoid financial sanctions afair. It was _very_ far from being ready for a first flight. She even doesn't have all avionics and ejection seats installed and windows were masked to conceal this fact. (My memory may serve wrong though).
You are right about the first B-2 flateric, it took Northrop a further year or so to get the avionics and other bits that were missing fitted. I hope that they do not do the same thing with the B-21.
 

sferrin

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Why would anybody think the first aircraft would be ready to go fly missions off the line? When's the last time that happened?
 

kitnut617

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Even with the desperate situation Germany was in towards the end of the war, their ""new"" designs were going to take a few years before they went into service, I don't think the Allies were in any different situation.
 

sferrin

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With the B-1B there had been the previous 4 B-1As to do a lot of R&D with so the first B-1B made it into the fleet (though probably wasn't ready right out of the gate). I seem to recall there being one or two "iron" birds in the B-2 program that didn't fly. . . I don't know why the B-21 would be any different.
 

coanda

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With the B-1B there had been the previous 4 B-1As to do a lot of R&D with so the first B-1B made it into the fleet (though probably wasn't ready right out of the gate). I seem to recall there being one or two "iron" birds in the B-2 program that didn't fly. . . I don't know why the B-21 would be any different.
A lot of it will be cleared in simulation and minor rigs these days. Big aircraft companies want to minimise the footprint of a development program as much as possible because all that money isn't directly earning them profit. If they're like the company I work for, they're looking for automated assembly of large scale structures that cuts down assembly time to the absolute minimum. Ok, they're not after the build rate that airlines want for the next single aisle, but there will be things that take a lot longer to do (fit and finishing etc...) than on an airliner build line.
 

sferrin

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With the B-1B there had been the previous 4 B-1As to do a lot of R&D with so the first B-1B made it into the fleet (though probably wasn't ready right out of the gate). I seem to recall there being one or two "iron" birds in the B-2 program that didn't fly. . . I don't know why the B-21 would be any different.
A lot of it will be cleared in simulation and minor rigs these days. Big aircraft companies want to minimise the footprint of a development program as much as possible because all that money isn't directly earning them profit. If they're like the company I work for, they're looking for automated assembly of large scale structures that cuts down assembly time to the absolute minimum. Ok, they're not after the build rate that airlines want for the next single aisle, but there will be things that take a lot longer to do (fit and finishing etc...) than on an airliner build line.

Yes, but look at recent things like the F-35, CH-53K, SpaceX, etc. All use development articles.
 

coanda

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With the B-1B there had been the previous 4 B-1As to do a lot of R&D with so the first B-1B made it into the fleet (though probably wasn't ready right out of the gate). I seem to recall there being one or two "iron" birds in the B-2 program that didn't fly. . . I don't know why the B-21 would be any different.
A lot of it will be cleared in simulation and minor rigs these days. Big aircraft companies want to minimise the footprint of a development program as much as possible because all that money isn't directly earning them profit. If they're like the company I work for, they're looking for automated assembly of large scale structures that cuts down assembly time to the absolute minimum. Ok, they're not after the build rate that airlines want for the next single aisle, but there will be things that take a lot longer to do (fit and finishing etc...) than on an airliner build line.

Yes, but look at recent things like the F-35, CH-53K, SpaceX, etc. All use development articles.
I think we mean slightly different things. I doubt that there will be a full 'Iron Bird' or major static rigs.

I agree that the first aircraft and probably the second are not likely to be production representative (if at least because it'll be full of extra wiring, boxes, and sensors for flight test, and it isn't actual trivial to remove that stuff)
 
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