USAF’s New B-21 Raider Takes First Flight
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A New Dawn
The US Air Force’s new B-21 Raider took its first flight on November 10 this year, marking a new milestone for the long-range nuclear stealth bomber.
The Raider left Northrop’s facility at Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, at 6:51 AM with about three dozen aviation enthusiasts gathered around the area hoping to see the bomber take to the skies.
The long wire getting towed behind the B-21 is a normal fixture for initial flight testing and is used to capture clean static air measurements undisturbed by the aircraft.
Meanwhile, the B-21’s “horns” on both sides of its hump are now confirmed as auxiliary air intake doors. This gives direct air to the Raider’s (still unknown) engines, giving it a devilish appearance while taxiing, taking off, or landing.
The aircraft is projected to cost about $750 million in today’s dollars. Moreover, the USAF plans to buy at least a hundred of them to replace the aging B-1 and B-2 bomber fleets in US service.
You can see just how smooth and sleek the Raider looks by watching the video below!