The $2.1 billion B-2 Spirit bomber that caught fire is on the runway for a second week

By: Maksim Panasovskyi | 21.12.2022, 00:19
The $2.1 billion B-2 Spirit bomber that caught fire is on the runway for a second week

The first photos of the B-2 Spirit nuclear bomber, which caught fire after an emergency landing at Whiteman Air Force Base, have been published on social media.

Here's What We Know

The incident with the Northrop Grumman aircraft occurred on December 10. A few days later, base management announced the closure of the only runway, which automatically means a temporary cessation of B-2 Spirit flights, as they are all located at Whiteman.

The strategic bomber still remains parked on the runway. This is evidenced by published photos, including those taken from satellites. How long it will remain there is not yet known. But it is worth noting that the notice for flight personnel to close the runway expires December 31. It can be extended, though.

Why the Spirit hasn't been removed yet is unknown. Beth Del Vecchio, chief of public affairs for the 509th Bomber Wing, said only that there was no ammunition on board at the time of landing.

Published satellite photos are not of high quality, so it is difficult to assess the damage caused by the fire. The left wing of the B-2 Spirit was probably badly damaged. Another photo shows the bomber bent over and lying on its side.

Whiteman officials declined to say how the runway closure would affect operations at the air base. In addition to the B-2 Spirit, there are T-38A Talon training aircraft, A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft and MQ-9 Reaper drones. But it is already known that in the Rose Parade on January 2, 2023 supersonic aircraft B-1B Lancer will participate instead of B-2 Spirit.

Source: The Drive