Northrop B-2 Spirit - First Cockpit Video

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I remember when R. Lee Ermey did a video of him flying in a B2 for his TV show a few years ago. When I was a young Airman in the USAF I was picked to give a briefing on the technical details of the B2 and it is absolutely fascinating what it is capable of. Despite the fact that it is a 30 year old Cold War era platform it still remains as arguably the most sophisticated aircraft in the world.
 
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I dont think the cockpits of current military aircraft should be filmed and broadcast across the world. Let the Chinese and Russians work a little harder to figure out what it is capable of, rather than just watching a YouTube video that shows every instrument, button, and gizmo, right there in the video, for all to see.
 

john_pifer

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Originally Posted by bubbatime
I dont think the cockpits of current military aircraft should be filmed and broadcast across the world. Let the Chinese and Russians work a little harder to figure out what it is capable of, rather than just watching a YouTube video that shows every instrument, button, and gizmo, right there in the video, for all to see.
Nothing classified, nor anything that could help the Russians or Chicoms is shown.
 
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Originally Posted by walterjay
Amazing! But what i really want to know is if it comes from the factory with Mobil1
Project Farm did test Mobil Jet oil versus Annual Protection recently so XOM does in fact produce an oil that may very well have been used in a B2 at some point grin2
 
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Originally Posted by bubbatime
I dont think the cockpits of current military aircraft should be filmed and broadcast across the world. Let the Chinese and Russians work a little harder to figure out what it is capable of, rather than just watching a YouTube video that shows every instrument, button, and gizmo, right there in the video, for all to see.
Only our USAF can take the Billy Jack approach that says see all those instruments, buttons, and gizmos, right there in the video??? they are going to fly up your nose and there is not a gosh darn thing you can do about it...
 
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john_pifer

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Originally Posted by BusyLittleShop
Originally Posted by bubbatime
I dont think the cockpits of current military aircraft should be filmed and broadcast across the world. Let the Chinese and Russians work a little harder to figure out what it is capable of, rather than just watching a YouTube video that shows every instrument, button, and gizmo, right there in the video, for all to see.
Only our USAF can take the Billy Jack approach that says see all those instruments, buttons, and gizmos, right there in the video??? they are going to fly up your nose and there is not a gosh darn thing you can do about it...
Yep. Pretty much.
 
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Anyone notice that the fuel flow to the #1 engine was substantially different (ie: #1 engine was significantly throttled down)? As though the engines thrust is used to manouevre the aircraft. Unlike a conventional airliner that will effect rolls entirely with the ailerons and rudder and will only adjust engine output in response to loss or gain of speed. At 0:59, #1 = 3275, #2 = 5274, #3 = 5281, #4 = 5568 and a corresponding reduction in the N1 and N2 turbine % indications. And the plane was clearly in a turn to the left. So those engines must be constantly throttling down and up all the time individually and independantly when they're flying as part of the stability control system. Edit: If you go to 4:50 or so and keep watching, you see that the fuel flows are all over the place when they're approaching the tanker. That must be terribly stressful for the engines, gas turbines really don't being subjected to power setting changes all the time... An engine out situation could be a real giant problem in that airplane, unlike the B-52, KC-135, or 747 where they just shut the engine down, adjust the trim, and keep flying... Edit: No sound in that video, but it must be annoying as heck as a pilot to have the computers doing thrust changes all the time..
 
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Originally Posted by pitzel
Anyone notice that the fuel flow to the #1 engine was substantially different (ie: #1 engine was significantly throttled down)? As though the engines thrust is used to manouevre the aircraft. Unlike a conventional airliner that will effect rolls entirely with the ailerons and rudder and will only adjust engine output in response to loss or gain of speed...
I remember watching an interview with Robert Cardenas, who was one of the test pilots of the original "Flying Wing" produced by Northrop. He said once after stalling the airplane, it went over backwards. Resulting in a complete loss of control. He said what saved him was applying full power to one side, while reducing power to the other. This allowed the aircraft to come around in such a manner that put it into a spin. Which was something he could recover from. To this day he believes Glen Edwards died in that same airplane doing stall maneuvers. Something he personally warned him never to do, because of what he experienced.
 

Astro14

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Originally Posted by pitzel
Anyone notice that the fuel flow to the #1 engine was substantially different (ie: #1 engine was significantly throttled down)? As though the engines thrust is used to manouevre the aircraft. Unlike a conventional airliner that will effect rolls entirely with the ailerons and rudder and will only adjust engine output in response to loss or gain of speed. At 0:59, #1 = 3275, #2 = 5274, #3 = 5281, #4 = 5568 and a corresponding reduction in the N1 and N2 turbine % indications. And the plane was clearly in a turn to the left. So those engines must be constantly throttling down and up all the time individually and independantly when they're flying as part of the stability control system. Edit: If you go to 4:50 or so and keep watching, you see that the fuel flows are all over the place when they're approaching the tanker. That must be terribly stressful for the engines, gas turbines really don't being subjected to power setting changes all the time... An engine out situation could be a real giant problem in that airplane, unlike the B-52, KC-135, or 747 where they just shut the engine down, adjust the trim, and keep flying... Edit: No sound in that video, but it must be annoying as heck as a pilot to have the computers doing thrust changes all the time..
If you're flying formation, thrust changes are made about every second. It's the nature of formation flying. If a gas turbine can't handle that, it shouldn't be in a military airplane. Period. Tanking is simply formation flying with contact between the airplanes.
 
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Originally Posted by Astro14
If you're flying formation, thrust changes are made about every second. It's the nature of formation flying. If a gas turbine can't handle that, it shouldn't be in a military airplane. Period. Tanking is simply formation flying with contact between the airplanes.
Astro, Is there a "fine adjustment" on the throttles when you do mid air refueling, or tight formation flying? Or are you just, "wiggling, pushing and pulling" slightly on them all the time?
 

Astro14

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Throttle response is the same regardless of flight regime. A certain throttle position = a certain engine RPM*. When making lots of small, fine adjustments, for example, during a carrier landing or in formation, you're moving the throttles constantly. I used to "walk" them against each other. Rock my hand clockwise/counterclockwise a tiny bit, so I could feel one move, in relation to the other, and know by feel that it was really a tiny bit, say 1/8", and them match them up. I didn't just push or pull them when fine adjustments in power were needed. Push/pull was for big changes in power. I find myself doing the same thing now in a 757/767. I make more frequent power changes than many pilots when flying an approach. I am more precise, I think, about approach parameters as a result of my background. I still walk the throttles when I want little changes in power. *Note that RPM and thrust are very different. 70% RPM might be about 5% of rated thrust, 85% RPM about 20% thrust, and 105% RPM is 100% thrust.
 
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Originally Posted by Astro14
If you're flying formation, thrust changes are made about every second. It's the nature of formation flying.
Minor changes. And formation flying is very uncommon and mostly confined to military aircraft. Whereas on the B-2, the settings probably would be changing nearly all the time, every minute the airframe is in flight.
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If a gas turbine can't handle that, it shouldn't be in a military airplane. Period.
The turbines can "handle" that (obviously the B-2 is flying), but at what price in terms of reliability? Would they even get 1000 flight hours out of an engine that's being cycled like that all the time? Can't imagine they're easy engines to change either, unlike the B-52's... And just how nasty is a plane that relies on the engines for stability control to fly in an engine out situation?
 
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The B-2 (and U-2) uses a variant of an F-16, F-14, and F-15 (export) engine, the GE F118. It is very robust. If I remember correctly it was about 6000 hrs between rebuilds in F-16 service.
 
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Originally Posted by tom slick
The B-2 (and U-2) uses a variant of an F-16, F-14, and F-15 (export) engine, the GE F118. It is very robust. If I remember correctly it was about 6000 hrs between rebuilds in F-16 service.
B-1; F101 B-2: F118 U-2S: F29 F-16: F110-100 and -129 F-15 F110-132 (export) F-14 F110-400 All based on the CFM56 core, with incremental improvements
 
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