How New B-21 Stealth Bomber Compares To B-2A
A new rendering of the Northrop Grumman B-21A released by the U.S. Air Force Jan. 31 offers a fresh perspective on the overall size and features of the highly secretive stealth bomber, revealing an aircraft that, as expected, broadly resembles the B-2A but with several important differences.
Click on the interactive pieces below to see the differences.
Photo Credit: Northrop Grumman
Some analysts have speculated the Air Force wanted a new bomber about two-thirds the size of the B-2A, and the rendering appear to back up those estimates. Tellingly, the images show a single-truck main landing gear for the B-21, indicating an aircraft significantly lighter than the B-2, which requires a double-truck gear.
Air Force leaders unanimously say the program is on track and running smoothly, but some concerns still have emerged.It’s possible the renderings offer only a partial—and even intentionally inaccurate or obscured—early glimpse of the final, pre-flight test design of the B-21, but it could be another two years before the first real aircraft comes into public view.
Northrop started assembling the first test airframe for the B-21 in the Site 4 complex at Plant 42 in Palmdale, California—possibly in the same assembly bay of Building 401 where the B-2 fleet was assembled over 25 years ago.
This is an abbreviated version of the Aerospace Daily & Defense Report article "New B-21A Renderings Reveal Diminutive Size Compared To B-2A". Subscribe to access the full analysis. Already a subscriber? Log in to read the full analysis.