5 thoughts on “Sic Semper Et Cetera

  1. If the B1 was supposed to replace the B52 but the B52 is still flying, do we need to continue with the B1 program? Should we just retire the B1 and look to getting a new type of bomber to replace everything. I know the F-35 SNAFU has people gun shy about another new airplane, but both current bomber programs have issues.

  2. This doesn’t surprise me in the least.

    When I left the Air Force in 1976, the B1 was just starting to come on line, but it was plagued with problems that delayed wide spread deployment. At that time, fuel leaks were the main issue, but I seem to recall that there were structural concerns, even then.

  3. Regarding the possibility of “lets get something new”, I think it’s a question of the DoD’s tendency to over-engineer everything. They couldn’t just do the B-1 as a larger, longer range F-15; no, it had to be swing-wing, all that. Really it’s the same reason that the Air Force hasn’t come up with a modernized B-52 to handle subsonic bombing duties with greater range, speed, survivability, etc.. It’s the classic “the perfect is the enemy of the good.”

  4. bike;

    The bidders on the B1 were asked to provide a multi role long range bomber to replace the B52. The variable wings were to provide stability during low level bombing operations. The B52 was designed as a high altitude bomber and although it was not designed to do so, the Air Force used it that way. Those long wings really flexed at low levels, causing a very shaky ride. As immune as I normally am to motion sickness, those got to me a couple of times. Of course, I was on board on a couple of those just to rack up my flight time, so I had nothing to do. The air crews were focused on doing their jobs, so they claimed not to notice the turbulence.

  5. Doh!

    Should have read; the B52 was not designed for low level bombing, but the Air Force used it that way.

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