Page 1 of 1

American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 6:05 am
by MarcoB2
Hi all,
I am asking you guys if you can confirm what I read some months ago somewhere about a US B2 bombing in Baghdad:
I read that a B2 took off somewhere on the East Coast (should be N. Carolina), flew all the way to Iraq by in-flight refueling over the Atlantic Ocean, passed over Baghdad, and as soon as it dropped the bombs it headed back to the US East Coast non-stop again. I also heard that cruising over the Atlantic there was only one pilot at the cockpit while the other was sleeping.
I think this is amazing even thou I thought B2s would depart from Germany or England.

Anybody knows about it?

- MarcoB2 -

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 6:07 am
by jamesag96
If I remember correctly that is true, but they left out of Missouri.

First did it in Afghanistan.

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 6:11 am
by Starlionblue
Departing from Germany or England is of course possible, but that would mean moving all the support personnel and equipment to those places, with all the hassle entailed. Seeing as the missions were as they were and the equipment could handle it, it was just easier and cheaper to do it this way.

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 6:14 am
by radelow
I do not believe any B-2's are stored outside the United States. The flights, while impressive, pale in comparison to the B-52 flights:

Jan. 16, 1991
Operation Desert Storm: Air operations in the Gulf War began when seven B-52Gs took off from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, and headed for Iraq. After hitting their targets, the B-52s returned to Barksdale. The flight covered more than 14,000 miles with the planes remaining in the air for 35 hours, making it the longest air-combat mission in history at that time.

Mark

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 6:25 am
by Starlionblue
Also of note were the Royal Air Force Black Buck missions over the Falklands.

One Vulcan to bomb and no less than 11 Victors to refuel it (and each other). On one of these, a Victor tanked up the Vulcan enough to continue, but left itself short. The Victor crew did not break radio silence in order to maintain the secrecy of the mission but thankfully the Vulcan could break silence after it had succesfully attacked and yet another Victor was scrambled to the rescue. Must have been a few sweaty hours for the crew!

The third to last paragraph here details the whole thing: http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/victor/history.html



RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 6:55 am
by bill142
First did it in Afghanistan

I do believe that the first B2 24 hr flights occured during the cold war when they flew with nuclear weapons on board in predefined flight paths just outside of soviet airspace.
These were stopped due to some countries voicing fears about the aircraft crashing with the nuclear bombs on board.

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 7:43 am
by Lt-AWACS
THe B-2s did come out of Whitman AFB in Missouri, and were over 24 hours.
Fairly common these days. B-2s require special storage structures and only deploy to a few locations.

I did 22+ hours sorties on the E-3 after Sept 11.

B-52s, E-4s, E-8s, E-3s, E-6s, B-2s, and various other aircraft can stay aloft along time with multiple A/Rs.

"Air Forces Monthly" (one I suggest) and various web Mil news sites have unclass articles on all these flights/planes.

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, King of Belize, Viceroy of Texas, Protector of the Faith

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 11:33 am
by Spacepope
I used to be a roofer during college in Kansas. Back when Afghanistan was heating up in late 2001, I used to see B-2s headed westbound just starting to make contrails on their way out.

We spent a lot of time when we saw 2 B-2s and a tanker flying around, and tried to calculate how long it would take us working at hourly wages to pay for them.

Same with last week when I was digging up dinosaurs in the black hills. We were about 60 miles west of Sturgis, SD, and there were 2 B-1s tanking off of a KC-135 for a couple of passes. I'm assuming the Bones were out of Ellsworth, any idea where the KC-135 was likely from?

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 12:19 pm
by L-188
Grand Forks AFB perhaps?

The Air Force did develop a tent "hanger" of the B-2 and I think a couple of them where in use on Diego Garcia according to some news reports.

But otherwise....Whiteman.

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 2:52 am
by ly7e7
Nice.

A few years ago, a formation of B2s flew to Tel Aviv, for the 50 years celebrations of the IAF. They just made a flyover , accompanied by IAF fighters, and flew back to the US.
Non-stop.

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 3:09 am
by ulfinator
So actually the first combat for the B2 was over Kosovo in the Balkans. They flew Whiteman over and back. The CNN article says that it was 15 hours over which would seem to say there was 15 hours back.

http://www.cnn.com/US/9903/24/us.kosovo.military/index.html

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 3:14 am
by PPGMD
Why would the Barksdale BUFFs return to Barksdale during ODS? The CENTAF negotiated the use of Saudi airfields for the BUFFs during the hostilities.

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:54 am
by AFHokie
B-2's have staged out of Diego Garcia, and out of England before.

I don't have the definitive answer as to why the B-52's flew from Barksdale and back during Desert Storm, but I think it may have been that they were carrying cruise missiles. Or it could've just been a chance for the air force to showcase it's "global reach" mantra that was starting to come into vogue about that time.

Just speculation on my part, give me a few days and I'll see what I can find out about it.

Anyone with amplifying info, please speak up  Big thumbs up

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:36 am
by DfwRevolution

I don't have the definitive answer as to why the B-52's flew from Barksdale and back during Desert Storm, but I think it may have been that they were carrying cruise missiles.


That is what I've always been told. I can 100% confirm they were carrying stand-off CALCMs (conventional air-launched cruise missiles), and I think the routing they took was to totally avoid using support equipment or bases from foreign nations. I've got a nifty little brochure on the opperation that I will try to scan.

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 7:13 pm
by Ryan h
After a flight from the US to Iraq and back, the crew would be knackered and wanting to make a visit to the dunny.

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:20 am
by OttoPylit
It is correct that the B-2's do fly direct from the US to the mission area's. They take off from Whiteman AFB in Missouri, one pilot flies, one sleeps. Once they reach their target area, both pilots fly the mission and when they are bombs away, the other pilot flies while the first pilot sleeps. Normally, those flights will run over 24 hours. I'm sorry, but as much of an ego-trip as it would be to say, "Yea, I fly the B-2," I don't think you could pay me enough to fly an airplane where all of my trips are that long. That would be burn-out for my joy of flying.

And to be honest, I don't know if the B-2 has a lavatory or not(although I am sure it does), but I can tell you that as soon as those engines shut down, there are two very red and very numb asses crawling out of the cockpit.

Here is a thought, do the pilots have a meal onboard or not?

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:17 pm
by DeltaGuy
Coupla sack lunches anyone? I know the P-3 guys do it all the time  Laugh out loud

They probably carry a buncha "piddle packs" like the TacAir guys do, basically just really thick ziplock bags with a bunch of seals, and powder in the bottom to absorb the waste.

DeltaGuy

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:46 pm
by vzlet
Commuting to combat from rural Missouri!
It strikes me as weird that a B-2 pilot could kiss his wife and kids goodbye, hop in his Camry, drop off some dry cleaning on the way to the base, park at his squadron, go fly a combat mission, and drive home again.

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:25 am
by luisde8cd
When I watched the movie "The Sum of All Fears" it shows a squadron of B-2s taking off from Aviano Airbase in Italy... is that just pure movie fiction or are there B-2s based in Aviano?

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:44 am
by garnetpalmetto
Luis - the only permanant base for B-2s is Whiteman AFB in beautiful Knob Noster, Missouri. I doubt that Aviano has facilities to temporarily house them, but at any rate, Spirits aren't normally there.

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 5:51 am
by MarcoB2
I am sure there aren't B2 facilities housed in Italy as in any other country besides, of course, US.

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:36 am
by cannibalz3
The B-2 reportedly requires a temperature-controlled hanger, and thus is very difficult to maintain in places without pre-existing support structures. However, there are two B-2 shelters on Diego Garcia.
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/images/diego-garcia-ims1.jpg

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:14 am
by Skyguy
Was there any in-flight service during this flight? What movies were they showing on board? Must've been a boring flight.

RE: American B2 24hrs Non-stop Flight

Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2004 10:49 am
by ScooterTrash
Vzlet:

You beat me to it... I was thinking the same thing. There is something "other worldly" about stopping off at 7-11 for a cup of coffee in Missouri on your way into combat!

Scooter