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Northrop B-2

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US$2.2 billion
US$169,313 per hour
heavy bomber
4 x 17,300 lbs. ea.
157,952 lbs.
336,000 lbs.
40,000 lbs.
69 ft.
172 ft.
502 mph
538 mph
3,000 fpm
51,500 feet
6,425 miles
+ - 2.0 G's

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
Northrop B-2
Click on the picture to hear the wav sound.

The total cost to produce a single Northrop B-2 is more than any other aircraft ever produced. When total development costs are added in to the price of the long range, strategic, heavy bomber, the sum is $2.2 billion 1998 US dollars per aircraft.

On November 23, 1988, when the Northrop B-2 was unveiled to the public for the first time, it was called "out of this world", and "an aircraft of the future". Back in 1947 those were the same terms used to describe Northrop's first "flying wing" bomber.

The Northrop B-2 stealthy aircraft, nicknamed "Spirit", has all-altitude low observable technology for the penetration of sophisticated air defenses. Its concept originated during the Cold War, when the U.S. Air Force wanted an aircraft that could get through enemy radar defenses without being detected. It would deliver its ordnance, consisting of up to sixteen nuclear bombs, on important enemy targets. The aircraft first took to the sky on July 17, 1989. The aircraft's crew of two consists of a pilot and a mission commander.

The low observability of the Northrop B-2 is the results of a combination of reduced acoustic, electromagnetic, infrared, and radar emissions. This has made it diffucult for defensive systems it has flown against to detect, track, or engage the aircraft. Although much of the aircraft's low observability feature details are classified, we know that the composite graphite materials, special radar absorbant paint coating, and shape of the aircraft, all contribute to it.

In operations to date, the Northrop B-2 has not needed support aircraft, such as jammers, or fighter escorts, to accomplish its missions. During missions, its large payload allows the B-2 to do the work of several smaller attak aircraft.

In certain situations requiring low observability, Northrop B-2 aircraft can use their technologies combined with high aerodynamic efficiency and a large payload to advantage. They can fly at high altitudes, with less chance of being detected by radar than conventional heavy bombing aircraft, thus increasing their range and providing a larger area for the aircraft's sensors to cover.

The Northrop B-2 flew its first combat mission on March 24, 1999 as part of Operation Allied Force. Two of the aircraft attacked Serbian targets, dropping 2,000 lb. JDAM bombs, as part of a 31 hour mission, non-stop, taking off from Whitman AFB, Missouri. During the operation, a total of 45 sorties were flown by six B-2 bombers. They dropped 636 JDAM bombs on the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In the first eight weeks of operations, B-2 aircraft were credited with destroying 33 percent of all Serbian targets.

In Afghanista, during Operation Enduring Freedom, B-2 aircraft flew six sorties during the first three days of the operation. Each sortie took 70 hours, including the flights to Afghanistan, a turn-around at Diego Garcia for a new crew, and the flight back to Whitman AFB.  To our knowledge, there are no surface to air missiles, or interceptor aircraft to fly against in Afghanistan.  We do not know the reason that costly to fly B-2 bombers were used over such great distances.

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
Northrop B-2

The Northrop B-2 from NitroPlanes has a 27" wingspan and is 9 1/2" long. The foamy comes ready to fly with everything except the radio batteries. Advertised flight speed is only about 12 mph, making it suitable for flight in parks and small spaces.

NitroPlanes has the Northrop B-2 in a variety of sizes and types of propulsion, as both a ARF and RTF.

The Northrop B-2 can carry gravity bombs, smart bombs, and missiles.  It is capable of carrying up to 16 nuclear as well as numerous conventional bombs.

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
Northrop B-2

We received the following email:
"Thank you for the new leads on the Northrop B-2 that are, or have been available. I have been in the process of highly modifying one of the MEGA Stealths. However I ran across a new version of the Northrop B-2 coming out of China. It will be distributed by Banana Hobby. This appears to be a very impressive foamie. You might want to check this one out and add to your site. I may get a Northrop B-2 after the reviews from a few fliers hits the street. I'm back to modifying my MEGA; my intention is to someday have an 8 to 10 foot fully working electric. A fellow in England had an interesting 8 foot Northrop B-2 - Chris Golds. This is my favorite plane. Keep up the great site.
Sincerely, Christopher Davis - STEALTHMAN"

Thank you, Christopher. The Northrop B-2 from Banana Hobby has a wingspan of 63", a length of 27 1/2" and includes a pair of brushless motors and controllers turning 70 mm fans. Weight is around 3 1/2 lbs.

In addition to Northrop, Grumman, Boeing, Hughes, General Electric and Vought have all contributed to the engineering, development and production of the Northrop B-2.

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
Northrop B-2

Check out the Northrop B-2 build by jjr2001 at RCGroups. It is made from Depron with a 53" wingspan, a 20" length and weight of about 1.8 lbs. Power is with a pusher motor.

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
Northrop B-2

RCGroups has an impressive Northrop B-2 by Boulybouly. It has a 96" wingspan, is 37" wide, with power from four 70 mm fans. Weight is around 10 lbs.

The Northrop B-2 is constantly being upgraded and improved.  In 2009 the bombers received the latest radar upgrades.

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
Northrop B-2

The SZ Fly Northrop B-2 is the largest two channel example we have seen.  It has differential motor control and is a foamy.  Wingspan is 39 1/2".

When originally introduced, to justify its expense, the U.S.A.F. claimed that two Northrop B-2 aircraft would replace up to 75 bombers without stealth capabilities.

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
Northrop B-2

Sky High Hobby has plans for a Northrop B-2 made from Depron with a 26 1/2" wingspan. It appears to be a slope soarer.

Northrop B-2 aircraft have most recently flown missions over Afghanistan and Iraq.

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
Northrop B-2

GWS has a Northrop B-2 with a 35" wingspan and 17" length.  Included are motors and twin EDF units. It uses V-tail mixing for control and should fly better than airplanes using motor differential only. It weighs around 17 oz.

A total of 21 Northrop B-2 aircraft were produced.  One was lost during take off on 2/23/08.  Its crew ejected to safety.

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
Northrop B-2

The Northrop B-2 built by Kevin Cirolo has a wingspan of 72.5" and is constructed from foam. Kevin powers it with two Mega 16/7/4 motors driving 66 mm Alfa fan units. Kevin tells us that its flight is very scale-like and that it looks extremely realistic when in the sky.

In August of 2009 the U.S.A.F. signed a contract with Northrop Grumman for US$3.44 billion through 2014. It provides for revisions and care to the fleet of Northrop B-2 aircraft in an attempt to remedy their meager 50% mission availability rate. Typically, out of the 20 aircraft remaining in service, less than 10 are available to fly on missions at any one time. In March of 2012 it was made public that an additional US$2.0 billion has been budgeted for aircraft modernization.

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
Northrop B-2

The two channel Northrop B-2 from Air Rage is representative of numerous ARF's, all with variable thrust control to the motors, and no direct altitude control, save adding or lessening power. Wingspans are around 28". If you are interested in this type of model, be aware that prices vary greatly for the same model at different retailers.

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
Northrop B-2

The 65" wingspan Northrop B-2 pictured just above is marketed by better retailers. Power comes from twin 380 size motors driving EDF's. Brushless motors are recommended to deliver more performance and longer flight times.

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
Northrop B-2

The Northrop B-2 built by Frank Burke has plans available at RCGroups. It has a wingspan of 60" and weighs 24 oz. ready to fly. A Grayson 2212-06 turning a 6 x 4 pusher prop powers it.

There is a 48" wingspan Northrop B-2 from Mega Tech. Power comes from a single pusher prop.

Future Shop has a Northrop B-2 with a 48" wingspan for twin EDF power.

Air-Tech has a 40" wingspan Northrop B-2made from EPP foam. It is EDF propelled.

Samuel Ochoa has a Northrop B-2. It is made from EPP and has a 76" wingspan. Power comes from two 70 mm EDF's.

Riley Odowa scratch built his 36" Northrop B-2 that uses pusher prop power from a single brushless motor.

John Strong has a Northrop B-2 with a wingspan of 66". Two Speed 400 type motors drive the ducted fans powering the model.

Fred Grays built a Northrop B-2 with a 72" wingspan. It has twin pusher prop power.

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