B1b air force jet

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SKR951 Skymarks KLM 777-300er 1/200 W/Gear New Livery KL 7773 Scale 1/200. Click on the thumbnail image to go to models page.

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The Rockwell B-1 Lancer [N 1] is a supersonic variable-sweep wing , heavy bomber used by the United States Air Force (USAF). It is commonly called the "Bone" (from "B-One"). It is one of three strategic bombers in the USAF fleet as of 2017 [update] , the other two being the B-2 Spirit "Stealth Bomber", and the B-52 Stratofortress .

The program was restarted in 1981, largely as an interim measure while the stealth bomber entered service. This led to a redesign as the B-1B, which had lower top speed at high altitude of Mach 1.25, but improved low-altitude performance of Mach 0.96. The electronics were also extensively improved during the redesign, and the airframe was improved to allow takeoff with the maximum possible fuel and weapons load. The B-1B began deliveries in 1986 and formally entered service with Strategic Air Command (SAC) as a nuclear bomber in 1986. By 1988, all 100 aircraft had been delivered.

Although effective, the B-52 was not ideal for the low-level role. This led to a number of aircraft designs known as penetrators , which were tuned specifically for long-range low-altitude flight. The first of these designs to see operation was the supersonic F-111 fighter-bomber, which used variable-sweep wings for tactical missions. [16] Similar aircraft also emerged for other users as well, notably the BAC TSR-2 , and later, Panavia Tornado and Sukhoi Su-24 . A number of studies on a strategic-range counterpart followed.

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