Stealth Bomber at Big Chill

Submitted by IronDMK on December 10th, 2010 at 9:08 AM

I just saw the there will be a Stealth Bomber flyover at the conclusion of the National Anthem at the Big Chill.  I know there are many of you that, like me, really love to see flyovers.  And the bomber is not often used... so this should be VERY COOL.  I'm pumped for this game!



December 10th, 2010 at 10:51 AM ^

Are you serious? The U.S. government didn't spend $1 billion a piece on a warplane that can only fly missions when it's all warm an sunny outside.

The freakin thing was built for the purpose of running bomber missions over Russia via the shortest possible route (directly over the north pole).


December 10th, 2010 at 11:07 AM ^

I had always heard 2, but Wiki has the per unit costs at around 3/4 of a billion, so I revised the figure down in my post.

I suppose it depends on how you measure the cost of a single plane. You could either divide the total cost of the B-2 bomber program by the number of airplanes you have, or you can look at how much extra you'd have to pay Northrop Grumman to build you an additional unit after the total program cost has already been calculated.

Michigan Shirt

December 10th, 2010 at 12:46 PM ^

Well, working for the government, you can't just get rid of Research and Development cost, because that is part of the project and adds to the total cost that they are paying. I agree that it's not procurement costs, but averages the cost of the program, which I stated and gave two different costs. I am not trying to rag on anything as this is part of my job and I know it is required.

Horace Prettyman

December 10th, 2010 at 1:29 PM ^

In defense acquisition, procurement costs are usually small.  The driver for high program costs are in Operations and Maintience on a fielded system.  RDT&E factors in as well but you can't divide the program costs by the number of aircraft to calculate to costs of an aircraft.  Marginal costs are extreamly low on programs of this magnitude.


December 10th, 2010 at 3:44 PM ^

my home for for years ('87-'91), the USS Yorktown, and her baseline one Aegis sisters, were all decommissioned halfway through their service lives. The annual operational costs outweighed the benefit of deploying a cruiser with no vertical launch tomahawk strike capability.

Better to keep the ship yards open and build a new, more stealthy, more capable DDG, than continue to pay to operate a middle aged cruiser ... :-(


December 10th, 2010 at 11:05 AM ^

In a flyover that you can't see if the cloud cover is too low.  That and the plane is quiet so it would be an exercise in futility.  

F-14's were the best flyovers ever.  When they flashed the afterburners your entire body vibrated.  Sad to say that those days are gone though with the aircraft's retirement a few years ago.   


December 10th, 2010 at 11:05 AM ^

Random factoid:  The F-22 doesn't work in Iraq.  The find sand grains in the air do nasty things to it special stealth coating surface.  They're working on a fix.  

Also the AH-64 Apache wasn't very useful during Desert Storm.  It didn't have good filters on its turbines and they kept filling up with sand/dust.  So the old but rugged Cobras did most of the work.

So really the weather in the Missouri (where most of them live) determines it.  If the runway is a freaking sheet of ice I'd expect it to sit in the hangar and look scary.  


December 10th, 2010 at 12:59 PM ^

I didn't know this about the F-22.  Very interesting.

With respect to the Apache, I went to an Army-Navy game where they had two flyovers . . . The Navy used 4 F-14s and the Army used 4 Apaches.  It was outstanding.  I was surprised to learn that the Apache was as big (if not bigger) than the Tomcat.


December 10th, 2010 at 12:00 PM ^

As a member of the Air Force I can assure you that, yes, while the B2 is fully-capable of flying in just about any weather conditions, the Air Force also takes every precaution to ensure that its pilots and equipment are safe but even more so, the safety of civilians. A *1000 ft flyover over a stadium with 110k + civilians in it is not the same as a *15000 ft bombing raid over a military facility.

That being said, Rain or Snow isn't even the biggest factor, it would really depend on the "ceiling" height (lowest cloud cover) and how low the aircraft is cleared to fly over that particular area. If the aircraft is only cleared to fly at *2500 ft or higher but, due to the weather, the ceiling was only at *1000 feet there would be no point in having the flyover.

*These numbers have been retrieved directly from my ass


December 10th, 2010 at 9:21 AM ^

cover this? Must cost a bit to muster one of those bad boys. Seems like they give us plebians plenty on the circus side of the equation these days, not so much on the bread side. 


December 10th, 2010 at 9:36 AM ^

Come on this is the government. It's written off as "training exercise."

They have to fly the things regardless every so often to train the pilots and keep them operational so why not do flyovers at the same time.

I remember years ago for the Rose Bowl parade (I think the last Michigan was in {thanks Braylon fro dropping a wide open touchdown ASS}) they had a B-2 flanked by 2 F-22 Raptors. That was an expensive flyover.


Honestly there's no reason they shouldn't fly because they can fly in about any weather. The only reason they might cancel is if the ceiling is too low and you wouldn't be able to see it anyway they wouldn't waste the time. It's probably about a 4-6 hour flight for the crew as they are based in MO.


December 10th, 2010 at 9:42 AM ^

Aircraft need to be flown 2-3 times a week to maintain Military preparedness. On appearances like these, the school will cover a portion of the fuel surcharge. So instead of flying over lakes and farmland, they are recouping a percentage of the cost.





Not really, but it sounded like I knew what I was talking about, eh?


December 10th, 2010 at 10:41 AM ^

Very good point. IRC when Gen. LeMay first took command of SAC (Strategic Air Command) he was dismayed that the ability to navigate to a target accurately had reached a low point in the post WWII era. So he instituted long training runs, where whole wings would fly hours (simulating what it would be like to fly from US bases to points around the globe during the Cold War era) and simulate bombing runs. Flights from Texas up to Elmendorf AFB in Alaska were another example. So a run from the Stealth Bomber base to Ann Arbor would make a reasonably short run. Would not be surprised if they flew it as just one leg of a multi-leg mission.