Northrop Grumman has celebrated the 25th year of its B-2 stealth bomber aircraft for the U.S. Air Force in a re-enactment of its first takeoff at the Air Force’s Plant 42 in Palmdale, California.
The company said Thursday Plant 42 is where all B-2 aircraft were built and sent for programmed depot maintenance.
According to Tom Vice, Northrop’s corporate vice president and president of the aerospace systems segment, the two-hour B-2 inaugural flight from Palmdale to Edwards Air Force Base was instrumental in the development of long-range strike operations.
The aircraft is equipped with conventional and nuclear weaponry and General Electric engines and has stealth capabilities and large payload capacity, Northrop said.
Attendees at the anniversary ceremony included Bruce Hinds, former chief B-2 test pilot at Northrop; Duke Dufresne, Northrop’s aerospace systems sector vice president for operations and former B-2 program manager; and Air Force Brig. Gen. Steven Basham, co-pilot of B-2’s first combat mission.