B-2 Spirit stealth bomber will fly again after six-month “pause”

Officials of the US Air Force confirmed that the Northrop Grumman aircraft will resume operations from May 22, after an incident in December last year

The “safety pause” for B-2 Spirit strategic bombers is about to end. The stealth aircraft in the shape of a flying wing is expected to fly again from May 22, US Air Force (USAF) officials told Air & Space Forces magazine.

One of the 20 active B-2s made an emergency landing on December 10 last year at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, home to the 509th and 131st Bomb Wings. The aircraft exceeded the runway limits and caught fire, but that was controlled.

Days after the incident, which blocked the base’s runway, the US Air Force suspended flights while the causes of the problem were investigated.

The USAF, however, refused to consider the pause as a grounding, stating that the B-2s were still available for missions if necessary.

B-2 Spirit bombers at Whiteman Air Base (USAF)

During the time the bombers were on the ground, B-2 pilots performed flight simulations and exercises in T-38 Talon trainer jets.

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So far, the causes of the incident and its solution have not been detailed by the service, for security reasons.

B-21 Raider

The B-2, the most expensive aircraft ever developed, had only 21 aircraft built, one of which was lost in an accident in 2008.

The US Air Force has 20 bombers in service (USAF)

Of the two dozen bombers, only one is not currently at Whiteman. The aircraft became stranded at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii on its way to the United States in December.

The Air Force plans to retire the B-2 in the coming years once its replacement, the B-21 Raider, is in service.


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