Monday, April 29, 2019

This Is How B-2 Bomber Pilots Pull Off 33-Hour Flights

Defense News: Here’s how B-2 bomber pilots pull off gruelling 33-hour flights

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. — Being a B-2 pilot means experiencing the rush of takeoff and the pressure of weapons drops while flying in the nation’s only stealth bomber. But it also involves having to manage nap times with your co-pilot during daylong-plus flights.

“After you do a few [long-duration flights], anything under 20 hours doesn’t seem like a big deal,” said Capt. Chris “Thunder” Beck, a former B-52 pilot who recently graduated from B-2 pilot training school. Beck spoke to journalist and Defense News contributor Jeff Bolton during a visit to Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.

Beck has yet to conduct a long-endurance flight in the B-2 Spirit, the stealth bomber produced by Northrop Grumman and introduced to the U.S. Air Force’s inventory in 1997. However, he got used to long missions while flying in the B-52, with one especially extended haul taking him from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, to Japan, and then back.

Read more ....

WNU editor: I have been on a few 15 hour flights .... and they killed me. I can only imagine what a 33-hour flight would do.

Update: On a side note .... How to build the ‘Mr. Potato Bomb’ for the B-2 (Defense News)


Anonymous said...

I gotta feel sorry for these pilots. They operate on an outdated policy. So many studies have been done on the detrimental effects of the human body and mind when going for long periods of time without sufficient sleep.

There is nothing efficient about 18+hrs let alone 24+ or more. You are more prone to making mistakes, concentrating lapses and then its anyone's ballgame as to what happens.

So not only are they keeping all B-2's at the one base (talk about having all your eggs in one basket) but their pilots are being asked to go above and beyond.

People are rather quick to give them a pat on the back, shake their hand and call them a hero without ever questioning the ethics that goes into such a role, not to mention leaving room for mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Above poster does not know what he is talking about. Sorry. Without getting into details, here the key sentence:

"For especially long missions, James said doctors will prescribe medication “in the event that those members need that little bit of extra push to help them stay focused on the mission.”

Anyone who has tried that medication knows that you can easily stay very productive for 24, 36, and if necessary even 48hrs.

I have tried it, and I can assure you it works.

Turfy77 said...

They would have some really good meth or speed I bet ya

manstien said...

Injecting ethics into combat is deadly.

Anonymous said...


Yeah, because we know pumping your pilots with meds constantly has no long term effects? Right?!?


Anonymous said...

Lol so I'm the idiot because I speak of actual experience. Got it. And to make your argument work, the pilots are suddenly "pumped full of medicine". Got it. And to really make it work those are not rare occurrences but suddenly on a daily basis, right?

Anonymous said...