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Northrop Grumman B-2A Spirit

fightingirish

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B-2 Stealth Bike
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JApPK1nbTyY
Code:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JApPK1nbTyY
 

flateric

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flateric said:
To mark the event, I'm posting nice Northrop artist's drawings
some story behind 'em

NORTHROP B-2 BOMBER COMPANY PRINTS

On Nov. 22, 1988 at U.S. Air Force Plant 42, the first B-2 Bomber rolled off the NORTHROP production line.

Large format (11” x 14”) on stiff stock, prints from NORTHROP of the now famous B-2 Bomber. These were promotional prints given to VIP’s and selected attendees at the rollout. The number of each print can also be seen in the lower right corner.

The first (NB-88-29 Sunrise Lift Off) was created by Jerry C. Curtis, the artist, who was the Art Director of Northrop Electromechanical Division at the time. “His dramatic work contrasts the random form and color dynamics of a sunrise with the utter cleaness of line, and a lack of color inherited in every aspect of the B-2. The power and potential of this revelutionary new aircraft leap right off the page.”

The second (NB-88-28 Over the Ice) was created by Craig Kodera. “At 17, Craig earned his private pilot’s license. For eight years he flew HC-130 and KC-10 aircraft for the Air Force Reserve at March AFB. He now flies copolot on American Airlines Boeing 737’s. His more than 4500 flying hours obviously have much to do with the authenticity of his work. In this view he “ brings to the viewer the colors, perspective, and play of light familiar to those who spend many hours in the air. His use of oils as a medium permits a startling photographic realism particularly appropriate to his subject matter.”

The third (NB-88-26 Release) also by Craig Kodera. “A measure of his professional stature is the inclusion of his works in the permanent collection at the National Air an Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, San Diego Aerospace Museum, and the Pentagon.”

The fourth, (NB-88-25 In-flight Refueling) also by Carig Kodera.

The fifth, (NB-88-27 Night Alert) also by Craig Kodera.

The sixth, and last, (NB-88-30 Rollout) is the photograph of the B-2 in front of the hanger on Nov 22, 1988.
 

bobbymike

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Damaged B-2 Returns to US: Following 18 months of intense work, a B-2 believed damaged beyond flyable condition in a fire at Andersen AFB, Guam, successfully landed at Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif., facility for overhaul, last week. "This was a truly amazing effort with tremendous teamwork . ... A very large group of people came together to bring this aircraft home," said Col. Mark Williams, B-2 division chief at the USAF Aeronautical Systems Center. USAF and Northrop Grumman technicians performed significant repairs in Guam, including fabrication of structural components needed to ensure basic flight-worthiness. Accompanied by a KC-135 to minimize fuel weight, "Sprit of Washington" made the 6,000 mile flight under the watchful eye of technical experts monitoring the airframe to troubleshoot any issues from aboard the tanker. The aircraft proceeded Aug. 16 to depot maintenance for a 24-month overhaul before it rejoins the active fleet. (Wright-Patterson report by Daryl Mayer)
 

flateric

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2010
...experienced a minor engine fire during a routine engine start about 6:50 this morning.
2011
... horrific fire in February 2010 that left it unable to fly.


(first I thought for a second that they has recovered 89-0127)
 

F-14D

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I just heard that they repaired B-2 89-0127 and they've flown it back to CONUS. True? If so, either those planes are really rugged, or they're considered so precious they'll spend enormous amount of money to keep them around!
 

seruriermarshal

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No, that's Spirit of Washington

http://www.wpafb.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123269146
 

ninjamode

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Except that aircraft number 0332, the B-2 bomber named the "Spirit of Washington," hadn't received its scars in battle, but from a horrific fire in February 2010 that left it unable to fly.
I love that the way they're writing about it is as if it's a human being or another alive thing (especially the unable to fly bit). I really like when they do that, because it makes strangers feel more attached to it, as well.
 

Matej

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The 1995 DOD Heavy Bomber Force Study was a classified study initiated by congressional
direction. Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, Paul Kaminski, presented
an unclassified summary of the study to the National Security subcommittee of the House
Appropriations Committee in May 1995. The study concluded the following:
  • the currently planned bomber force of 181 aircraft was sufficient to handle two nearly simultaneous major regional contingencies;
  • procuring additional advanced guided munitions was more cost effective than procuring 20 additional B-2s;
  • the planned bomber force with accurate guided munitions would provide a prudent hedge against threat uncertainties; and
  • planned B-1 conventional upgrades were more cost effective than procuring 20 additional B-2s.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL34406.pdf ...so much about the B-2C chances.
 

flateric

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interesting document
http://www.e-publishing.af.mil/shared/media/epubs/AFI21-103_AFMCSUP_ADD_O.pdf
 

Mat Parry

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I wish I understood the nods and winks here... must try harder! :(
 
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sublight

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Catalytic said:
I wish I understood the nods and winks here... must try harder! :(
Maybe its the supposed charged field (or not) generator that keeps getting mentioned, or some new device not spoken of before (down here in the lowly non "senior member" section).....
 

quellish

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sublight said:
flateric said:
It mentions a low observable subsystem, which is required for LO testing. Could this system be more than just the contrail detection/inhibition system?
Not sure why you think the LO subsystem(s) and contrail mitigation are connected. The contrail mitigation system is more closely connected to the ZSR-63 cloaking device.

The low observables system is just the low observerable-specific aspects of the aircraft. This can include a dependancy on the ground systems that are used to image and verify the RCS of the aircraft, and time on dynamic ranges for in-flight RCS testing. I don't recall if the ground system is still B-2-specific, or if the B-2 is now using the system that should be "standard" at this point.
 
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sublight

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quellish said:
sublight said:
flateric said:
It mentions a low observable subsystem, which is required for LO testing. Could this system be more than just the contrail detection/inhibition system?
Not sure why you think the LO subsystem(s) and contrail mitigation are connected. The contrail mitigation system is more closely connected to the ZSR-63 cloaking device.

The low observables system is just the low observerable-specific aspects of the aircraft. This can include a dependancy on the ground systems that are used to image and verify the RCS of the aircraft, and time on dynamic ranges for in-flight RCS testing. I don't recall if the ground system is still B-2-specific, or if the B-2 is now using the system that should be "standard" at this point.
I am assuming that the verbiage "low observable subsystem" means all the systems for keeping observability down, not just RCS? Also, I thought the ZSR-63 = AN/APR-50??
 

quellish

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sublight said:
I am assuming that the verbiage "low observable subsystem" means all the systems for keeping observability down, not just RCS? Also, I thought the ZSR-63 = AN/APR-50??
Stealth is about much more than just the vehicle's signature. Employing that tailored signature to your advantage is extremely important, but is often overlooked in the press (or on internet forums).

Until the mid-90s the F-117 program used a specialized mission planning system nicknamed "Elvira". One of the things Elvira was designed to do was take intelligence information about threat systems and plan the mission's route accordingly. For example, if SIGINT/RADINT detected a FAN SONG radar in enemy territory, Elvira would plan the F-117's route to present that threat with an aspect of the F-117 that would have the lowest possible signature for the FAN SONG's band.
Later Elvira would be supplemented by other systems (one developed by an F-117 pilot), and eventually replaced.

That is fine for a system that performs surgical strikes - penetrating, hitting a limited number of planned targets, and getting out. For a platform that penetrates and has to loiter, that is a different story.

For a hypothetical penetrating, loitering platform you would have to detect and map your threats in (near) real time. Your platform would need antennas, apertures, and super dupe ESM/RWR/Doodad system to enable this, and those would have to be very stealthy. Once you had detected that shiny new FAN SONG radar that was not at all where the Michellin Guide said it would be, a central threat management system would be needed to update the mission plan to present that threat with the lowest signature possible. That threat management system might also talk to other systems, like the flight control software. Control surfaces on this hypothetical platform have to deflect to maneuver, and in doing so potentially increase the signature of the platform. The threat management system might suggest to the flight control system to limit the control surface deflections by amount X while Y miles from Mr. FAN SONG, and the flight control system may adjust by using differential engine thrust in lieu of control surface deflection. The threat management system would also show all of this to the pilots, put a contrail defect additive in the fuel system, change the shape of the platform's radar beam...
Etc.
Something like that would be very useful on an loitering UAV, of course, penetrating or not. Maybe the same systems used on the manned platform were later also used on a UAV. And let's say that these systems, using really old technology, were getting scarce. It might become very attractive to retire a certain number of those UAVs, and then pull those systems to provide spares for your manned platform.

Hypothetically.
 
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sublight

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quellish said:
Something like that would be very useful on an loitering UAV, of course, penetrating or not. Maybe the same systems used on the manned platform were later also used on a UAV. And let's say that these systems, using really old technology, were getting scarce. It might become very attractive to retire a certain number of those UAVs, and then pull those systems to provide spares for your manned platform.

Hypothetically.
I thought the B2 has been through many extremely expensive upgrades. (the block 30 package for stealth improvements?) So why would you want to use "really old technology" that is getting scarce?
Are there some of the B2's that wont be getting upgrades that will continue to use the "old" systems?
(or is it that the upgrades are software and the systems can just get new EEPROMS?)
 

quellish

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sublight said:
I thought the B2 has been through many extremely expensive upgrades. (the block 30 package for stealth improvements?) So why would you want to use "really old technology" that is getting scarce?
Are there some of the B2's that wont be getting upgrades that will continue to use the "old" systems?
(or is it that the upgrades are software and the systems can just get new EEPROMS?)
The B-2 fleet has had a number of upgrades, but these upgrades did not replace the defensive management systems. These systems greatly affect the mission capable rates of the aircraft, and use 1970s/1980s era technology. Some of the suppliers for subcomponents of the system no longer exist, and the capability to make some of the parts is gone.
A contract was recently awarded to BAE for a ESM system, which is part of the defensive management suite. One part. Of several.
Originally Northrop was developing the DMS in house, but fell so far behind that the Air Force gave it to Lockheed. Some press reports attribute the designation AN/APR-50 to this system, but that is only the ESM component (which was produced by Loral Federal Systems). That is the component that BAE is developing a replacement for. This has also been characterized as an RWR, which isn't really accurate - it's more like an ELINT/RADINT package. Other components use the information gathered from the ESM and other systems to update the mission plan and actively negate threats. This can range from changing flight control rules to... other things.

One of the reasons for retaining the 3rd crew capability was the perceived risk of this system. If the automated DMS system could not do it's job, the increase in crew workload would have been met by a 3rd crew member.
 

jsport

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once again, if interpreted correctly.. BAE will likely deliever a overbudget, underperforming ESM in the era where there is no excuse for an AESA, new gen. RWR etc. not to deliver anything short of an absolute threat characterization even in complex environments including jammer filled ones thus easing crew workload. Humans can not operate as accurately and fast enough w/ inferior equipment to protect aircraft in modern context.. seems preposerous to think otherwise. viva Digital Signal Processing. (hypothetically of course ::))

If we are to settle for lesser numbers of platforms all aerial vehicles including UAS will require a central threat management system to continuously update mission plans and present all 'local to far' threats with the lowest signature possible, yes real stealth. Threat management systems directing not only flight controls but also passive/active (especially) sensing & communications accounting for actions/maneuvers which can potentially increase the signature even momentarily. Human-machine interface becomes ever more a central issue. (hypothetically of course ::))
 

Stargazer2006

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Wow. Kickass pictures!!! It's especially nice to see the B-2 on a cloudy background for a change. Gives it a darker aspect.
 

elmayerle

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AeroFranz said:
SOC, the chemical in question was said to be rather 'nasty' in composition (you can probably find the name of the compound, it wasn't secret AFAIK), and was (allegedly) replaced operationally by a small camera pointing aft to keep an eye on contrails. If these are actually formed, the pilot changes altitude until these disappear.
The bays formerly used to hold the chemicals are now considered for use with new systems.
Getting back to answering after being away for a while. Not only was the compound rather "nasty" by itself, but the results of mixing it with water resulted in other nasty compounds in vapor form. ::chuckle:: When I first heard what the compound was, I did the chemical equations just to what would result; nasty stuff to put into the air.
 

Spring

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saintkatanalegacy said:
sure can't see the trail from here...

regarding chlorosulfonic acid:
it has a specific heat of 1.18 kJ/kgK compared to water which has 4.187 kJ/kgK
it has a heat of vaporization of 452-460 kJ/kg compared to water which has 2270 kJ/kg

hence, it can absorb heat faster than most compounds which makes it ideal for shroud IR signature dissipation

:)

There are million IR pictures from different plant where you cant see any trail...actually there is one picture where you can se the B2 with the exhaust engine traile.


Depends on which frecuency are you picking up in the picture.
 

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http://www.afgsc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123375103
 

flateric

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Almost four years after mishap, no sign of AIB report...hmm.
 

Grey Havoc

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http://www.spacemart.com/reports/Northrop_Grumman_to_Demonstrate_Faster_Simpler_Way_to_Replace_Obsolete_Parts_for_B2_Bomber_999.html
 

Steve Pace

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[size=12pt]SHE HAS ARISEN
The Spirit of Washington Returns to Duty
Steve Pace

On 26 February 2010 a B-2 flying wing stealth bomber was preparing to fly a mission from Anderson Air Force Base on Guam when one of its four engines caught fire. The ensuing fire caused major damage to the engine bay and the affected side of the air vehicle before it was extinguished. Since this particular B-2 is just one of only 20 operational B-2s assigned to the Air Combat Command of the U.S. Air Force her repair was imperative.
The island of Guam is U.S. Territory located some 6,000 miles from the Northrop Grumman facility in Palmdale, California where the airplane needed to be for its complete overhaul. So she had to be adequately repaired to flight status on Guam before this ‘wounded warrior’ could be flown to Palmdale.
The B-2 that was so badly burned in this horrendous fire was number 0332 – the Spirit of Washington of the 509th Bomb Wing, which had first been delivered to the USAF on 29 October 1994 and subsequently took up residency at Whiteman AFB, Missouri – the home base of all B-2s.
In most cases, when an air vehicle suffers a catastrophic ground accident such as this, it is sent to a regeneration facility to be stripped of its salvageable equipment with the rest of it recycled. But this is when there are numerous aircraft in a fleet. In this case however, where only 20 fleet aircraft are available, it became imperative to save this disfigured B-2 and return her to full mission-ready status. It became time to devise a way to do this because the mission of the B-2 is specific and vastly important to national security and all 20 of the B-2s in the fleet are needed to implement it.
It was decided to make 0332 airworthy once again at Anderson AFB and then fly her from Guam to Palmdale for her complete refurbishment and return to operational duty. This had to be done before the beginning of Fiscal Year 2012 and was accomplished two months early.
Then after three years and nine months of refurbishment and modernization the Spirit of Washington was ready to be returned to her rightful home in Missouri. After flying from the Northrop Grumman () facility in Palmdale to Whiteman AFB on 16 December 2013, the Spirit of Washington landed where she was returned to the B-2 fleet. On the very next day Northrop Grumman and the USAF Air Combat Command celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first B-2 delivery on 17 December 1993 when the Spirit of Missouri arrived.

Just a little info I gathered -SP
[/size]
 

bobbymike

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http://www.dodbuzz.com/2014/06/25/b-2-bomber-set-to-receive-massive-upgrade/
 

overscan

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Removed a pointless digression from topic.
 

Mat Parry

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DSE said:
Pilot Report: Aviation Week Flies The Northrop Grumman B-2 (1995) | From The Archives

"During our two-day stay at the Missouri air base, the personnel of the 509th Bomb Wing gave us excellent access. We were able to survey the aircraft close up, except for the engine exhaust area".
This is something we've heard elsewhere, I wonder what is being concealed? At first glance, there are no obvious clues here:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,877.msg116813.html#msg116813
 
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