Warplanes: February 18, 2000


The B-2 bomber racked up an impressive combat debut in the Kosovo bombing campaign. Six B-2s, operating from Whiteman air force base in the American Midwest, flew 49 sorties during Allied Force. While three missions were recalled, and one was a non-combat operation, 45 aircraft dropped 682 bombs, although four percent failed to work. According to the air force, B-2 bombs " damaged a higher percentage of their targets than any other aircraft participating in combat operations." But there's a catch. The maintenance load for these aircraft is enormous, particularly for the radar absorbing material it is covered with. As a result, only 40-50 percent of the B-2s are ready to fly missions at any given time. The aircraft was designed to be available 60 percent of the time, even though the heavy maintenance load was known all through the aircraft's development. All that time in the hanger getting fussed over has caused many to tag the B-2 a Hanger Queen (slang for a troublesome aircraft that's always under repair.)


Article Archive

Warplanes: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close