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Rockwell B-1B Lancer

History of the B-1B Lancer, “The Bone”

The B-1B carries the largest payload of guided and unguided weapons, making it the backbone of the United States Air Force’s (USAF) long-range, multi-mission, bomber force. The first B-1 entered USAF service in 1985. Its design incorporates a sleek, blended wing/body configuration. This geometry gives the bomber excellent speed, maneuverability and survivability. The aircraft was originally designed for nuclear capabilities but switched to an exclusively conventional combat role in the mid-1990s.

Boeing B-1B Lancer

Serial Number: 83-0070

Manufacturer: Boeing

Crew: Four

Engines: Four General Electric F101-GE-102 afterburning turbofans; 30,000 pounds thrust each

Wingspan: 137 feet fully spread (15° position); 79 feet fully swept (67.5° position)

Length: 146 feet

Height: 34 feet

Weight: 470,000 pounds maximum takeoff weight

Speed: .9 Mach (cruising); Mach 1.2 (maximum)

Range: Approximately 7,500 miles / 6,500 miles without refueling

Service Ceiling: 60,000 feet

Armament: Up to 84 Mk 82 500-pound bombs and 30 CBU-87/89/97 or a wide range of nuclear weapons

Cost: Over $200,000,000 per aircraft

The B-1B Lancer at Hill Air Force Base

The B-1B at Hill Aerospace Museum arrived at Hill Air Force Base in February 2003. Nicknamed “7 Wishes,” the aircraft was gained into the USAF from Rockwell International in April 1986. From there it was assigned to the 96th Bombardment (Heavy) Wing of the Strategic Air Command at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, TX in May 1986.

In 1987, Hill Air Force Base assumed responsibility for maintaining the B-1B’s landing gear.

During its life, the B-1B served training aircrews, accumulating almost 4,000 flight hours during the process. The final assignment for the aircraft was with the 28th Bombardment Squadron, 7th Bombardment Wing, 8th Air Force (Air Combat Command) at Dyess. The Lancer arrived at Hill Aerospace Museum in May 2005.

Discover the answers to the following questions about the B-1B Lancer.

The Boeing B-1B Lancer is a long-range, combat-proven, heavy bomber aircraft which has served the United States Air Force (USAF) since 1985. Nicknamed “The Bone,” the B-1 has flown more than 12,000 sorties since 2001 and is capable of reaching Mach 1.2 top speed. It flies with a crew of four, including the pilot/commander, copilot and two weapons systems officers.

Does Hill Aerospace Museum have a B-1?

The B-1B Lancer “7 Wishes” arrived at Hill Aerospace Museum in February 2003. Previously assigned to the 96th Bombardment Wing of the Strategic Air Command, 7 Wishes accumulated almost 4,000 flight hours during its assignment at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, TX.

How good is the B-1 bomber?

The B-1 has been continuously deployed in combat operations over Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya since 2001. It has a range of 6,500–7,500 miles without refueling and unlimited global range with in-air refueling. In 1999, during Operation Allied Force, six B-1s flew two percent of the strike missions, yet dropped 20 percent of the ordnance. That number increased to 40 percent during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Is the B-1 stealth?

As the backbone of America’s long-range, strategic bomber force, the B-1 was designed to penetrate air defenses by flying below radar. Due to the B-1’s design, it actually has a smaller radar cross-section than an F-16, despite being three times larger. When the B-21 Raider begins entering service over the next decade, it will be the most advanced stealth bomber ever.

Is the B-1 nuclear capable?

Originally designed for nuclear capabilities, the B-1 switched to a conventional combat role in the mid-1990s. The B-1 can carry up to 24 nuclear bombs or 84 five-hundred-pound conventional bombs.

How many B-1 Lancers does the US have?

A total of 100 B-1B variants were produced by Boeing, one of which is on display at Hill Aerospace Museum at Utah’s Hill Air Force Base. Ten B-1 bombers were lost due to crashes between 1984–2001. There are plans to retire 17 B-1 Lancers from the existing fleet of 62.

What will replace the B-1 bomber?

The aircraft is on track to stay in service until 2040 and beyond until the B-21, which will begin rolling out in 2022, has a large enough combat-ready fleet. In the meantime, Boeing partners with the USAF to keep the B-1 mission ready. In December 2020, an external weapons drop demo showcased the B-1’s capability of adapting to new mission requirements and weapons systems to address ever-increasing, global security concerns. According to Daniel Ruder, Boeing’s B-1 Advanced Programs manager, hypersonic missiles will play a major role in the evolution of this strategic, long-range bomber. “That aircraft technical adaptability, combined with operational employment flexibility, will keep the B-1 relevant to the next fight,” he said.

How big is the B-1?

This bomber is 146 feet long with a wingspan of 137 feet. It weighs 190,000 pounds and has a 75,000-pound payload. Max takeoff weight of 477,000 pounds includes 265,274 pounds of fuel.

Plan your visit to see the Boeing B-1B Lancer at Hill Aerospace Museum in Utah.