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$400 million sustained Before takeoff, a massive B-1 Lancer is in full afterburner




Maintaining $400 Million Gigantic B-1 Lancer Before Takeoff at Full Afterburner

I flew from the USS Bonhomme Richard LHD6 in early 2002 and then on the 54th and 46th in 2003. Both deployments as a Marine. 53 is probably my favourite. When they folded, we named him the gremlin. A lot of power with these 3 engines. A lot.

In 1981 I witnessed an AB take-off and then an overpass at Bergstrom AFB, and 82′ was the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen in my life until I witnessed the SR-71 in Okinawa. It didn’t matter where you were at the Kadena AFB you knew when the Blackbird was taking off

I worked to build the first 27 B1-Bs (for the next 35 years until I started working for an airline). It was a wonderful experience that I will never forget and will be proud to be a part of. It is a flying fuel tank full of electronics and bombs. Lots of stories, most of which I probably can’t tell. I remember many nights (at night the shift was open to avoid the heat of the California desert where it was built) working on the ground between pilot seats or weapon stations, I wondered looking at the little rocket engine in the ejection seat. Had it exploded by accident, he would have seen a flash. We were told that there would be at least one accidental ignition, luckily there was no ignition. Or the night we nearly cut off a man’s arms, it was scary. He was lucky, had a few bruises and moved on to the next mission. Sad to see him retire.

The B1-B (besides the B2) is one of the coolest looking planes IMHO. It was showcased at the ILA Airshow in Germany a few years ago (iirc 2010), I still remember its tremendous sound and look when it made a low pass almost above our heads. I would love to have this as an RC model, unfortunately I am not skilled enough to build something like this from scratch.