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    B-1B Bomber Arrives In LB Airport For Boeing Visit

    (February 23, 2004, updated Feb. 24) -- A B-1B bomber (like those seen on this page) touched down at LB Airport on Monday afternoon Feb. 23 at roughly 2:15 p.m.

    [Feb. 24 update] The B-1B will be in LB for a three-day visit with Boeing's B-1B team...and is scheduled to depart on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. (updated time, also subject to change).

    U.S. Air Force photo

    Although you're free to watch it (and hear it) take off over LB on Wednesday, there aren't up-close and personal opportunities for public viewing on Boeing or airport property.

    U.S. Air Force photo

    B-1B's are long range, multi-role, heavy bombers...and played a key role in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

    The aircraft is 146 feet long with a wingspan of 137 feet extended forward, 79 feet swept aft, stands 34 feet high, can fly over 900 miles per hour (above the speed of sound, Mach 1.2 at sea level) and can carry a crew of four (aircraft commander, pilot, offensive systems & defensive systems officers). First deployed in June 1985, tbe B-1B cost roughly $200+ million per aircraft.

    All B-1B's were built by Boeing in Palmdale...and a Boeing release says "B-1B Day" in LB will give Boeing's team an opportunity to hear from its customer [we presume the Air Froce/DoD] to validate that the aircraft performs as the design team intended "and to explore possible upgrades to enhance the B-1Bís combat capabilities."

    "I love this aircraft and our employees are quite passionate about it, too, said Scott White, Boeing's B-1 VP and general manager in a written release.

    "Knowing what these airplanes have been through in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo - and what theyíve done for our country, I get goosebumps just being near the B-1B and the people who fly it into harmís way," he added.

    U.S. Air Force photo

    City Councilmembers were advised in advance by city management that LB airport staff "is working with Boeing and the school district to notify as many people as possible. You may have calls from your constituents regarding the noise it will make."

    As best we could tell, the B-1B arrived fairly quietly. Several people emailed us asking when it would arrive...after it had already landed.

    Wednesday's take-off may be considerably louder if the B-1B uses its afterburners. (We're not a pilot but we're told using them makes it much safer on take off.)

    Assuming normal wind conditions prevail for the B-1B's scheduled Feb. 25 departure, the following schools and surrounding areas should be prepared for the take-off: Burroughs, Longfellow, Barton, Addams, Madison, Riley, Lindberg, Sutter, Hughes, and Hoover.

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