B-2 Spirit stealth bomber
As part of Road Trip 2013, CNET reporter Daniel Terdiman stopped at the museum and saw many of the most important aircraft in American history.
Perhaps the most striking of all the planes in the museum is the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, which first emerged from its Palmdale, Calif., hangar on November 22, 1988. According to the museum, "B-2 Spirit merged the high aerodynamic efficiency of the "flying wing" design with composite materials, special coatings and classified stealth technologies. As a result, the B-2 became virtually invisible to even the most sophisticated air defense radar systems....Based at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., the B-2 soon demonstrated its combat capabilities in Operation Allied Force over Serbia in 1999, Operation Enduring Freedom over Afghanistan in 2001, and Operation Iraqi Freedom over Iraq in 2003.
"With a crew of only two -- the pilot in the left seat and the mission commander in the right -- a typical combat mission consisted of a non-stop flight from Whiteman Air Force Base to the target and back. During these missions, normally lasting more than 30 hours and requiring numerous aerial refuelings, each B-2 delivered up to 40,000 pounds of precision weapons."
July 22, 2013 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET
| Caption by: Daniel Terdiman
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