The First Flight Of The B-21 Revealed Some Interesting Details Of The New Bomber | Aviation

Dissecting B 21 First Flight Top.jpg

Some of the key features on the B-21’s underside (Photo by Matt Hartman annotated by author)

Here are all the interesting things we have noticed in the images of the B-21’s first flight.

At 6:51 a.m on Nov. 10, 2023, local time, the B-21 Raider made its first flight from Palmdale to Edwards Air Force Base. As time goes by more sightings of the historic flight of “Cerberus” are being published online. Most noteworthy are the high-quality images of the aircraft’s underbelly photographed by fellow plane spotters that were waiting underneath the flightpath. This has allowed for an in-depth analysis of the Raider’s lesser-known details.

The sideview of the B-21 taxiing under its own power seems to confirm that the aircraft has one secondary air intake door on top of each nacelle. On the B-2, the semi recessed engines have secondary intake doors that open during take off to provide adequate airflow. While the B-2 has two doors per nacelle for its four engines, the B-21 only appears to have a total of two doors.

While it is possible that the airduct splits into two from a single opening to cater for two engine, it is more likely that the single intake door signifies that there is only one engine in each nacelle. While more evidence should be overviewed before making a sound conclusion, it seems ever so likely that the B-21 is a twin-engine bomber.

The B-21 seems to have two smaller bays next to the main central bay.

Having done a more in-depth analysis, some key features on the B-21’s underside can be noted.

What some initially thought to be the radar reflectors located on either end of the flying wing seems to be retractable navigation lights, similar to what can be found on the B-2. While the outboard…

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