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Latest Photo of B-21 Raider Stealth Bomber Shocks the Public

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    Latest Photo of B-21 Raider Stealth Bomber Shocks the Public

    With the world in mind, on December 2 2022, the United States Air Force (USAF) and Northrop Grumman, launched the B-21 Raider stealth bomber. However, because of its super duper secret super strategic defense equipment status, the B-21 Raider was only shown to the public on a limited basis. Netizens were only shown the front of the B-21 Raider. Meanwhile, the sides and back still seem to be shrouded in mystery.

    And ahead of the first flight, which is projected to be in 2023, Northrop Grumman made a surprise by releasing the long-cherished photos, namely the view of the right and left sides of the B-21 Raider. From the published photo images, many commented that the B-21 Raider appeared unlike before, namely when it was launched in December 2022.

    Quoted from (12/9/2023), during a speech by US Air Force Chief of Staff Charles Q. Brown at this year's Air & Space Forces Association's mega conference outside Washington, DC. The number one person in the US Air Force released two new photos of the B-21 Raider.

    To date, only one angle of the entire aircraft has been seen by the public – in person – and in a very restricted environment and angle at the time of the bomber's launch. Apart from a close-up of the cockpit area at an angle, all images published since then are from the same frontal perspective, although they gradually show the bomber in greater detail.

    And in the latest photos, the public can now get their first look at the flying-wing jet, which provides significant details about its design. The new photos also give a better idea of the bomber's true size. Reportedly, the two latest photos of the B-21 Raider were taken at Northrop Grumman's facilities at Plant 42 in Palmdale, California.

    According to the US Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) website, these two photos were taken on July 31 of this year. This is just days after Northrop Grumman announced that the first pre-production Bp21 Raider had been “powered for the first time.” This is an important milestone in preparing the aircraft for its first flight, which is expected to take place before the end of this year.

    "We hope to make the first flight this year," said Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall. “We are going through several things to prepare for the maiden flight,” he continued. “There is always a risk… Something can surprise you.”

    The first B-21s ever built were equipped with a large air data probe angled to the left side of the lower front of the plane. This strange feature was critical to collecting air data during the B-21 Raider's maiden flight and subsequent major flight dynamics test missions.

    Air data sensors are now visible along the lower and upper fuselage of the B-21. These flush-mounted devices are critical to maintaining the stability of the Raider's flight, which relies entirely on fly-by-wire computers to stay airborne and flying in the right direction.

    The B-21 does have a flat, shelf-like extension that extends from the lower fuselage to the leading edge, giving it a duck-bill appearance. This hard-to-observe feature is much more obvious than what is seen on its senior, the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. This likely becomes clearer as more renderings of the B-21 become available.

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