Any fans of the dead sexy Rockwell (Boeing) B-1B Lancer out there? If you’ve ever wondered what makes the B-1 truly “bad to the bone”, here 10 facts that should illustrate why this airplane is so badass.
Fact #1: The Bone carries the largest payload of both guided and unguided munitions in the entire United States Air Force Inventory.
Fact #2: The B-1B’s speed and handling characteristics are more like a fighter, allowing it to seamlessly integrate into large force strike packages.
Fact #3: The Synthetic Aperture Radar aboard the B-1 is capable of tracking, targeting, and engaging moving vehicles, and features both terrain-following and self-targeting modes.
Fact #4: The B-1A was initially developed in the 1970s as a replacement for the B-52.
Fact #5: The B-1A’s top speed was in excess of Mach 2.
Fact #6: The B-1B holds almost 50 world records for speed, payload, range, and time of climb in its class.
Fact #7: The first B-1B was delivered to Dyess Air Force Base in June 1985. The final B-1B was delivered May 2, 1988.
Fact #8: The B-1B was first used in combat in Operation Desert Fox in December 1998.
Fact #9: In 1999, six B-1s were used in Operation Allied Force, delivering more than 20 percent of the total ordnance while flying less than 2 percent of the combat sorties.
Fact #10: During the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, eight Lancers dropped nearly 40 percent of the total ordnance delivered by coalition air force. This included nearly 3,900 JDAMs, or 67 percent of the total.
|First flight||Dec. 23, 1974|
|Span||137 feet (extended), 79 feet (swept aft)|
|Gross weight||477,000 pounds|
|Power plant||Four 30,000-plus-pound-thrust General Electric F-101-GE-102 turbofan engines with afterburners|
|Speed||Mach 1.2 at sea level|
|Operating altitude||30,000-plus feet|
|Armament||Up to 84 Mark 82 conventional 500-pounds bombs, or 30 CBU-87/89/97, or 24 JDAMS, or can be reconfigured for wide range of nuclear bombs|
* Author Scott Wolff is an accomplished writer and renowned aviation photojournalist. Scott’s area of expertise is military flight operations, drawing on ten years of experience working extensively with all branches of the armed forces. He holds an FAA pilot certificate, the culmination of a life-long passion for flying airplanes. Scott has received military altitude chamber training, emergency egress training, and has logged time in a variety of civilian and military aircraft. He is also a member of the International Society of Aviation Photographers and Nikon Professional Services.