Everything You Need To Know (And See) About The Historic First Flight Of The B-21 | Aviation

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The B-21 during its first flight (photo by @point_mugu_skies edited by The Aviationist)

We have noticed a lot of interesting details in the photos and videos of the new B-21 Raider bomber during its first flight.

At 6:51 a.m on Nov.10, 2023, the B-21 Raider stealth bomber finally took to the skies for its first flight from Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, escorted by an F-16 acting as safety chase on the way to Edwards Air Force Base. The U.S. Air Force did not disclose the planned day for the first flight, however dozens aviation enthusiasts and amateur photographers gathered near the airport waiting for the bomber to take off, according to Reuters.

“The B-21 Raider is in flight testing,” confirmed an Air Force spokesperson. “Flight testing is a critical step in the test campaign managed by the Air Force Test Center and 412th Test Wing’s B-21 Combined Test Force to provide survivable, long-range, penetrating strike capabilities to deter aggression and strategic attacks against the United States, allies, and partners.”

According to our sources, the first flight of the 6th generation bomber was initially slated to take place yesterday, Thursday Nov. 9, but it was cancelled, due to a technical issue. Then now, three weeks before the anniversary of its public unveiling, under the callsign RAIDER 33, the B-21 performed the long-awaited maiden flight which ended about an hour and half later with a safe landing at Edwards AFB at approximately 8:30 a.m.

This first flight, which was already expected to happen before the end of the year, follows the footsteps of the B-2’s first flight which on July 17, 1989, took off from Northrop Grumman’s production facility at Plant 42 in…

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