13 Amazing facts you need to know about the world’s most expensive and advanced aircraft


There are some Interesting facts you need to know about the world’s most expensive and advanced aircraft - US B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber

At NaijaCarNews.com, we are not always about cars rather we just love all automotive in general. And apart from beautiful or powerful cars, aircraft also “tickle our fancy” sometimes.

Such is the case of this world’s most expensive and advanced aircraft – the US B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber. It is a weapon of War!!! Yes, we know. But the details in its engineering and design are mind-blowing. This is why we are sharing some 13 interesting facts about it which you believe you might also find intriguing.

On the 17th of July 1989, Northrop B-2 Spirit - the world’s first low-observable or stealth bomber for the first time took to the sky. It was a 2-crew strategic heavy penetration bomber that was designed with capabilities to deploy both thermonuclear and conventional weapons.

It was an exotic bat-winged flying machine that is capable of spying on any level targets or enemy territory while carrying its heavy bomb payload without been detected or seen at all by the enemy’s radar.


The US B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber - world’s most expensive and advanced aircraft

It has an amazing airframe design finished with anti-reflective paint that can absorb incoming signals all the way from the ground and even air defence systems that are sky-based while preventing the enemy’s radar from detecting its presence or location.

Now, the new world’s most expensive and advanced aircraft – the US B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber has been built in this same spirit. Check out the below 13 cool facts about it;

  1.  It is clear that the F-117 was actually built for fighting while the outstanding B-2 Stealth Bomber was built to nuke specifically. The later has been well designed to precisely take 16 units of 2,400lb nuclear bombs up deep into skies of the extremely guarded airspace of the Soviet…if the need ever arises.
  2. The B-2 has been made flat for a reason. Many people don’t know that the more vertical the surfaces present on an aircraft, the easier it becomes for a radar screen to spot it. That is why the B-2 has been designed in the best flat possible way and without a traditional aircraft tail.
  3. The B-2 has also been designed such that it is covered in tiny balls of iron that actually resonates with radar waves that are incoming while completely absorbing their radiated energy as heat in real time. And the dark colour paint you see being used on the B-2 isn’t for fashion rather it helps the stealth bomber to become really difficult to spot especially during the missions at late-night hours.
  4. Each of these B-2 stealth bombers you see costs the United States roughly ₦765 billion ($2.13 billion) which includes its development and research combined together. But this cost doesn’t even include the additional ₦49 million ($135,000) that it costs to operate the B-2 per-flight-hour. Although, it should be noted that in 1997, the price of the B-2 was actually reduced to approximately ₦265 billion ($737 million) each.
  5. The B-2 spirit with a full tank has a range of over a tremendous 6,000 nautical miles. But, with midair refuelling capabilities, this aircraft can literally be flown to any desired point on this earth without the need of landing at all.
  6. Each of the 20 current B-2s in service is literally named after different US states. In the picture below you will see that the words “Spirit of New York” was written on the B-2 Spirit at the July 2012 British Royal International Air Tattoo. See the picture below;


Can you spot the words “Spirit of New York” written on the B-2 bomber in this picture?

  1. Each of the B-2 features an F118-GE-100 engine and this engine produces as much as 17,300 pounds of thrust. The B-2 also comes with a Mach 0.95 maximum speed (1,010 km/h, 630 mph, 550 knots) at a 40,000 feet altitude.
  2. The B-2 bombers have demonstrated their capabilities in many combat scenarios such as the Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), Operation Allied Force (Kosovo), and in recent times at the Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya.
  3. The B-2 has the below-given specifications;
    Weight: 72,575 kg (160,000 lbs.)
    Height: 5.1 m (17 ft)
    Length: 20.9 m (69 ft)
    Wingspan: 52.12 m (172 ft)
    Crew: 2 (the pilot on the left seat and the mission commander on the right seat)
  4. In the original B-2 bomber fleet, 21 aircraft were built but today, only 20 aircraft are left in the fleet following the February 2008 loss of the “Spirit of Kansas” at the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam where it crashed just at the moment of taking off.
  5. On one of the bombing missions, 2 of the B-2s were recorded to have flown for 34-hours on a round-trip mission all the way from Missouri to Libya, and a total of 15 times was reported that they were refuelled in midair.
  6. The B-2 bombers refuel after every 6 hours at cruising altitude thereby taking on as much as 45,00 kg (50 short tons) of fuel at once.
  7. Currently, the B-2 is one out of 3 strategic bomber aircraft in use by the United States’ Air Force. The other two are the B-1 Lancer and the B-52 Stratofortress.

B-2 Bomber Flight Operations

Although some sources claim that the United States’ Air Force plans to retire all the B-2s by early 2030s, we aren’t yet sure of this information. But for now, these are the 13 interesting facts that we know about the B-2 Stealth Bombers.

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Oluwaseun Solomon