August 12, 1994 |
The military's bomber force gets a significant lift from the $263.8-billion compromise defense bill approved Thursday by House and Senate negotiators. Details of the plan show lawmakers anxious to protect the fleet from cuts and to keep alive the possibility of building more B-2 Stealth bombers. The legislation requires final votes in the House and Senate and President Clinton's signature before becoming law. Lawmakers said they hoped Congress could send the measure to Clinton next week.
November 23, 1988 |
Northrop Corp. pulled open its doors and towed the B-2 stealth bomber out of a top-secret hangar at a formal ceremony in Palmdale on Tuesday, finally taking the wraps off an eerie-looking aircraft intended to fly undetected by radar. The bomber, flanked by attack dogs, drew wild cheers from about 2,000 Air Force officers, industry executives and factory workers who attended the invitation-only event.
February 25, 1986 |
As part of a continuing federal investigation of Southern California's defense industry, a former Northrop Corp. engineer and the chief executive of a Glendale company were accused Monday of fraud in unrelated cases involving subcontracting work on the Air Force's top-secret stealth bomber. The fraud complaints were filed by the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles against William Reinke, 56, a former engineer with Northrop's Advanced Systems Division in Pico Rivera, and Charles F.
June 23, 1987 |
Northrop Corp. cannot find 780 classified documents from its stealth bomber program, according to a draft congressional report made public today. The report said some of the documents may have been destroyed without required "destruction certificates" being prepared. Out of more than 2.7 million classified documents kept at Northrop's plant in Pico Rivera, Calif.
July 10, 1989 |
The B-2 stealth bomber moved under its own power for the first time today, emerging from its super-secret research hangar and rolling out onto a desert runway. The sleek, bat-like bomber, the most advanced in the Pentagon's arsenal and capable of penetrating enemy radar defenses without being detected, taxied onto the runway shortly after sunrise and began a series of engine tests at various power settings. As the tests began, the engines changed in pitch from an eerie whistle to a low roar.
July 14, 1989 |
The B-2 stealth bomber underwent two high-speed taxi tests for the first time Thursday afternoon, the last milestone before the aircraft attempts to make its first flight, the Air Force said. The bomber accelerated to about 132 miles per hour and lifted its nose gear off the runway at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, where it was assembled by Northrop. A previous taxi test Thursday was done at a slower speed and the nose gear did not lift off, Air Force officials said.
September 27, 1989 |
The controversial B-2 Stealth bomber was forced to cut short its fourth and fifth test flights because of low oil pressure and high winds, the Pentagon announced Tuesday. "The plane will not be flown again for at least five weeks while planned modifications are done to the plane and while there are some ground vibration tests done to the B-2," Defense Department spokesman Pete Williams said.
April 21, 1988 |
The Air Force Wednesday lifted some of the secrecy surrounding its exotic new stealth bomber, releasing a rough artist's rendering revealing the plane to be a modern version of a "flying wing" design tried out and abandoned in the early 1950s. With the picture came the announcement that the controversial plane will make its first flight next fall--a short hop from its assembly facility at Palmdale to the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base.
November 26, 1985 |
Northrop will begin hiring and transferring employees in early 1986 to a new Palmdale factory that is believed to be the future production site of the Stealth bomber, marking a significant step forward in the secret aircraft program. Northrop spokesman Tony Cantafio said Monday that the Los Angeles-based firm expects to have 400 to 600 employees at the Palmdale plant by mid-1986 and 1,000 to 1,500 employees by mid-1987.
August 4, 1988 |
The revolutionary Stealth bomber, a "flying wing" built to strike deep into the Soviet Union while avoiding radar detection, will be unveiled for the first time in November in California, the Pentagon said today. The Defense Department also announced the dimensions of the super-secret nuclear bomber, officially designated the B-2, and said it will carry a crew of only two--a pilot and an electronics officer.