The picture, that seems to be real, reveals the rear-end of the brand new, secretive U.S. stealth bomber, throughout taxi checks.
On Oct. 25, 2023, the primary photographs of the B-21 Raider stealth bomber throughout floor testing exterior of its Palmdale hangar have began to flow into on-line. The image, posted on-line by a now deleted consumer on Reddit, reveals the brand new stealth bomber apparently idle beneath its personal energy, with safety flanking the plane. The U.S. Air Drive and Northrop Grumman haven’t but launched images and data, aside from an announcement launched to media by a spokesperson confirming the beginning of the taxi tests.
Though we are able to’t totally verify it, the picture seems to be genuine and never doctored, taken from a location exterior the airport (?). Noteworthy, for the primary time, the rear finish of the airframe, together with the exhaust, might be seen. Within the case of the B-2 Spirit, the exhaust space was labeled and no picture was ever launched of it through the checks, however it seems that the B-21 was caught “off guard” and the exhaust photographed, though we are able to’t nonetheless see if the bomber has two or 4 engines.
The are multiple details that may assist verify that the one within the picture is certainly a B-21 and never a B-2. The gray color, mixed with the extra concave underbelly and the engine nacelles virtually flush with the remainder of the blended-wing are the obvious options that may be acknowledged from the B-21. Different particulars belonging to the brand new bomber are the two-wheel important touchdown gear, the lateral door for the nostril touchdown gear, the variety of the flight surfaces.
This picture additionally visually confirms for the primary time the planform of the Raider, exhibiting that it’s certainly lacking the saw-tooth trailing edge that may be discovered on the B-2 Spirit. Really, the B-2 began with a planform much like the one of many B-21, nonetheless that needed to be modified to extend the steadiness throughout strike missions at low altitude, a requirement which has not been requested for the brand new sixth-gen bomber.
Back in September, Gen. Thomas A. Bussiere, Commander of the Air Drive International Strike Command, stated that engine runs have been in progress at Northrop Grumman’s amenities at Air Drive Plant 42 in Palmdale, with the primary flight anticipated by the tip of calendar 12 months 2023. With this system now transitioning to the taxi checks, we’re getting nearer to the primary flight, which can see the Raider shifting from Air Drive Plant 42 to Edwards Air Drive Base.