B1, B2, B21 - What's the difference?

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Thorlifter, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I know next to nothing about these bombers. I think the B-1 is the fastest, but is it stealth? I don't think it is.

    Which has the biggest payload and range?

    I guess we don't know much about the B-21 yet since it isn't built. Is the B-21 replacing the B-1 or B-2 or just adding to the arsenal? Just wondering as neither are very old.

    On wiki it looks like the unit cost between the B-2 and B-21 show the B-21 to be about $200 million cheaper EACH!!!!
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    The B-1B is is not a stealth aircraft but does has some external components to reduce RCS. I think, depending the way you load it, the B-1B can carry the biggest bomb load of all US bombers.

    I think the B-21 will mainly replace the B-2, and some B-1s B-52s may go away as well.
     
  3. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The one advantage of the B-1B, is it's "SLAB" (Subsonic Low Altitude Bomber) abilities. This means that the B-1, much like the F-111, can maintain speeds close to Mach (approximately 0.90+) on the deck, getting under enemy search systems.
     
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  4. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    With the number of B-1 and B-2 we have, and soon to add the B-21's, why keep the B-52's any longer. I know one of the reasons for getting rid of the F-14's was operational costs. Compared with the two current modern bombers, is the B-52 cheaper to maintain?
     
  5. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Found this in regards to operational cost......

    Despite upgrades, the B-1 has repair and cost issues; every flight hour needs 48.4 hours of repair. The fuel, repairs and other needs for a 12-hour mission costs $720,000 as of 2010. The $63,000 cost per flight hour is, however, less than the $72,000 for the B-52 and the $135,000 of the B-2.
     
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  6. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I don't know about this, unless people are padding costs to make extra cash, which wouldn't surprise me.

    So that means a 12 hour flight would require 580 hours of repairs!!!!! REALLY??? That seems excessive.
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Not necessarily repairs. Scheduled maintenance, servicing, inspections, modifications. This is a continual process.

    And those hours are "man hours." One guy = 580 hours or 58 guys = 10 hours.
     
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  8. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Joe. This certainly shows my lack of understanding and knowledge in the areas of maintenance and upkeep. Glad you guys are around to educate me!
     
  9. Token

    Token Active Member

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    My understanding is that the B-21 will take over all B-1 tasking when the Bone phases out. The B-52 will continue as the heavy lifter at that point for some time. The B-2 will continue in use until the B-21 comes fully online, and then the B-2 will be phased out.

    The B-21 will be less finicky, sensitive, with regards to the skin of the aircraft than the B-2, much like the F-35 has a more robust surface than the previous LO platforms. Just looking at trends in general the B-21 will also probably have a lower Fc than the B-2 and certainly the B-1.

    I could see happening some time in the future that the only big bombers in the USAF would be the (then) 80+ year old B-52 and the relatively new B-21, with something else picking up the low altitude, high speed, work.

    T!
     
  10. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #10 FLYBOYJ, Sep 24, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
    We'll see where the chips will eventually fall. I work with some folks out of Tinker, thats where they do the PDMs on both the B-1 and the B-52. The current camp thinks the B-52 will go away first as the B-1 is cheaper to operate, but that's always subject to change.
     
  11. Token

    Token Active Member

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    Yeah, reading the tea leaves can be tough. The current published plans call for the B-1 to go away first, but funding will probably end up driving it all. I have heard it both ways, the B-1 is cheaper to operate, but the B-52 has more currently funded upgrade efforts in place, possibly indicating the want to get more usable life out of the B-52 than the Bone.

    T!
     
  12. Builder 2010

    Builder 2010 Member

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    Are they still talking about re-engineing the B-52? Part of its cost is running those old TF33's. There was talk about using four engines from the 757 (the F117). They have more than twice the thrust of those old engines, are used in the C-17 and would be much more efficient (and quieter). If we keep wanting to fly 50 year old aircraft, at least they could have more modern (not most modern mind you) digitally controlled two-spool turbo-fans.
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Talk - haven't heard of seen anything formal.
     
  14. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Just curious, but how would the B-52's airframe handle the additional thrust factor?
     
  15. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #15 FLYBOYJ, Sep 26, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
    Good question. That would be a major mod program and the way DoD dollars are today someone really has to justify the engineering study, let alone the actual mod.
     
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  16. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    I'd think they'd de-rate the engines to similar thrust as existing engines.
     
  17. stan reid

    stan reid Member

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    #17 stan reid, Sep 26, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
    See below:
     
  18. stan reid

    stan reid Member

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    #18 stan reid, Sep 26, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
    Yes, I'd heard they were going to replace the 8 turbos on the B-52 with 4 fans. Hopefully they'll keep the B-1 since it's our only supersonic heavy bomber and the B-2 is still an asset so throw in the B-21 as a compliment. Hey, you can never have too many (4) thermonuclear bombers!
     
  19. stan reid

    stan reid Member

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  20. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    They were talking about the B-52 going away when I started collage (1981) and its still here.
     
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