The USAF has decided to set aside its hi-tech B-1 Lancer and B-2 Stealth bombers for the new high-altitude, long-range stealth strike bomber, named the B-21 “Raider,” in honor of the famed General Doolittle Tokyo Raiders of WWII fame. This story is once again the result of information supplied by our Aviation News Scout, Virg Hemphill, at left.
This new advanced bomber clearly embodies some of the unique aerodynamic characteristics and shape of the WWII Northrup Aviation experimental Flying Wing, an airplane whose first versions were actually propeller powered. But this new Northrup creation embodies features not even the material of dreams, when the first Flying Wings took to the air over California’s high desert.
While still a flying-wing airframe, having no vertical stabilizers or rudder, but rather a sharp squared wing, it does clearly remain true to the old Flying Wing theme, since there is no distinction between its fuselage and wing, they being one and the same overall structure. Here are some informative videos about this new USAF transition.
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James announces that the B-21 bomber will be called the B-21 Raider. The name represents the historically important role the new long-range stealth bomber will lead for the next 50 years.
Assisting Secretary James on stage (immediately below) to announce the name, was one of the original Doolittle Raiders, in fact, the last living Doolittle Raider, and Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot, 101-year-old Air Force Lt. Col. (ret.), Richard Cole.
It is suggested that you view all videos below in full-screen, to appreciate the hi-resolution used. All of the clips also have full complete audio tracks.
This first short (1:39 long) video shows the official USAF announcement of the B-21’s new name:
Second, this short (7:29 long) video by “The Infographics Show:”
Third, this “New Update Defence” video, 4:08 in length (There is some computerized voice used in this clip, so be prepared for some clumsy English):