As we get closer to The Black Scorpion Pilot book rollout later this summer, I wanted to introduce to you a new aircraft.
The B-2 Spirit, the United States’ stealth bomber, is prominently featured in the next book. Without disclosing too much, Captain Ford Stevens has a need to fly inside a B-2 out of Diego Garcia. Located south of the equator in the Indian Ocean, the strategic base is positioned perfectly for a number of needs. And our military-aviation thriller.
The jet has the mission of a multi-role bomber that can deliver both conventional and nuclear weapons. The aircraft brings a tremendous amount of firepower to targets, in a short time, anywhere on the earth using her stealth capability.
Primary function: multi-role heavy bomber
Contractor: Northrop Grumman Corp. and Contractor Team: Boeing Military Airplanes Co., Hughes Radar Systems Group, General Electric Aircraft Engine Group and Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc.
Power plant: four General Electric F118-GE-100 engines
Thrust: 17,300 pounds each engine
Wingspan: 172 feet (52.12 meters)
Length: 69 feet (20.9 meters)
Height: 17 feet (5.1 meters)
Weight: 160,000 pounds (72,575 kilograms)
Maximum takeoff weight: 336,500 pounds (152,634 kilograms)
Fuel capacity: 167,000 pounds (75750 kilograms)
Payload: 40,000 pounds (18,144 kilograms)
Speed: high subsonic
Ceiling: 50,000 feet (15,240 meters)
Armament: conventional or nuclear weapons
Crew: two pilots
Unit cost: Approximately $1.157 billion (fiscal 1998 constant dollars)
Initial operating capability: April 1997
Photos and characteristics courtesy of U.S. Air Force website.