Saturday, January 3, 2009

Stealthy Rider

Stealthy Rider: "

Northrop Grumman is'kick-starting peparations for'the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the B-2 bomber's first flight, next July 17. The first step:' working with Orange County Choppers and The Learning Channel on a custom bike patterned after the B-2. Its construction will be the season premiere of the show American Chopper.

blog post photo

The bike features a gas tank shaped like the B-2's nose. Its manufacture was the cause of some of the show's characteristic' father-son moments - and while the Teutel family's dysfunctional behavior might seem out of place in this context, if you've ever spent a lot of time talking to B-2 design leaders John Cashen and Irv Waaland, that's not the case at all.

The bike also has a tailpiece made from spare titanium and patterned after the B-2's aft deck structure, and wheels carrying five B-2 shapes on each side, reminiscent of the star pattern painted on the ramp for the B-2's rollout in November 1989.

B-2 program vice-president Dave Mazur says that Paul Teutel Sr was given a tour of Whiteman AFB, the USAF's B-2 base, as well as a Planform Alignment 101 briefing. And before you ask, Mazur confirms that one of the wisenheimers at Tejon Pass has already proposed putting the bike 'on the pole' for radar cross-section tests.

Mazur neither'confirms nor denies that the bike was, in fact, the subject of the notorious $2 billion'secret contract that Northrop Grumman pulled in earlier this year. But a company spokesman does say that the B-2 20th'anniversary celebrations reflect the fact that 'Northrop Grumman is a bomber company.'

Now, why would they consider that an important'message?


(Via Ares.)

Military intercepts of aircraft decrease

Military intercepts of aircraft decrease: "WASHINGTON — The number of times military fighters have been ordered to intercept planes straying into restricted airspace has declined by about 50 percent during the past two years."

(Via Air Force Times - News.)


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