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Rockwell B-1B Lancer

Role: strategic heavy bomber
Builder: Rockwell (North American Aircraft), now Boeing
Variants: B-1B, (B-1A)
Operators: USAF

The B-1 bomber features a long and slim fuselage, a variable-geometry wing with a maximum sweep of 67 degrees and two small canard foreplanes and is powered by four F101 turbofan engines which lay below the wings.

The B-1A was the design for a supersonic nuclear capable strategic bomber able to penetrate Soviet airspace at high altitude during the Cold War. Four prototypes of the B-1A were built.

The production B-1B was the B-1 design optimized for low-level high-subsonic missions. Changes from the original B-1A design include strengthened landing gear, redesigned wing gloves, fixed engine inlets and significant use of composite materials in the aircraft's construction to reduce weight, radar absorbing material is used to cover much of the airframe to reduce the radar cross-section.

picture courtesy of USAF

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Copyright 2002-2003 Niels Hillebrand unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved.