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Wings Over The Pacific
Rockwell B-1B Lancer
The Rockwell B-1B is a derivative of the B-1 bomber, which was a planned 1980 replacement for the B-52. It was to be the third and most flexible of the Triad defence system, the other two being land and submarine based ballistic missiles. The first B-1 flew on December 23rd, 1974 and was assembled at Plant 42 in Palmdale California. The fourth B-1 flew on February 14th, 1979, and was the only complete plane to be fitted with full offensive and defensive weapons. In 1977 then President Carter cancelled the B-1 program in favour of the cruise missile development program.
The first of the 100 production B-1B's made it's maiden flight October 18th 1984. The
four crew B-1B differs from the B-1 in a several of it's features. The B-1B makes better
use of Stealth technology. It's radar signature is one-one hundredth of the B-52
Stratofortress. The fuselage was strengthened and had a redesigned bomb bay. The engine
air intakes were fixed and redesigned engine nacelles. The overall speed was reduced to
that of a subsonic/trans-sonic bomber. Other features include radar location and warning
systems, electronic jamming, infrared countermeasures, chaff, and flares.
Rockwell B-1B Lancer specifications;
The aircraft photographed below is from the 319th Bombardment Wing, 46th BS, Grand Forks AFB N.D.