Friday, March 6, 2009

Sleek, Fast and Powerful

Status: Wishing I'd visited the dentist earlier.
Song: Bye Bye Beautiful - Nightwish

B-1 Lancer

When at the Hill Aerospace Museum I approached an older gentleman sitting at one of the information desks and asked him if there was a B-1 Bomber anywhere in the hangers. He looked at me wistfully and said, "I wish we had one." It turned out he had actually flown one, so I got to ply him for all kinds of information. His enthusiasm for the aircraft was understandable.

The first time I ever saw one of these it looked like this, going over my head.

It was so close to the ground I could see into the afterburners.

The bomber wasn't alone. Accompanying it was a smaller fighter which I honestly don't remember very well. So not like me because I'm always trying to identify the fighters that fly over head. The only thing I noticed was how much bigger the B-1 was. And how loud it was.

Not the B-1 I saw, but this shows the size difference.

I could tell the sounds of the planes apart and the B-1's engines (four turbofan engines) were huge. The air and ground actually shook. I could feel it clear through my bones. It was the most exciting thing I'd ever heard. A real adrenaline rush.

The second time I saw one, I heard it coming long before I saw it. It went right over my house. I got a good look at its belly and then the afterburners again. The ground shook, the air vibrated, my ears rang, and boy! did the adrenaline surge. By the time it was gone over the mountains, I was a fierce fan.

I really love machines with tons of power and speed. This aircraft was the most powerful one I had ever seen.

I wanted one!

Isn't it gorgeous?

I could park it in front of my house. Really.... Never mind that it would take up all of my drive way, the street and half of the parking lot to the new hospital going in across the way. It would be way more impressive than the Hummer I had sitting there for a little while.

I mean--what girl wouldn't love to have her own Bomber sitting in the front yard?

The last time I saw a B-1 it was on the ground,
taller than the hanger it was sitting beside.
It would dwarf my house.

Bigger than the SR-71 Blackbird, the B-1 Lancer is a strategic bomber used by the United States Air Force. Its origins began in the 1960s as a supersonic bomber with sufficient range and payload to replace the B-52 Stratofortress, (which is also really big), but developed primarily into a low-level, subsonic penetrator with long range.

The B-1B is the last variable-sweep wing aircraft remaining in U.S. military inventory.

Wings swept forward.

You know, I envied the gentleman at the Air Force Museum his time flying the B-1.

I didn't get the chance to go see it up close, like I did the SR-71, though I really would have loved to.

My secret fly one of these giants? So not going to happen.
Though, I'd settle for just a ride.

I'd have a better chance getting my hands on a Lamborghini Reventon, the most exclusive, and expensive super car on the market.

Length: 146 ft (44.5 m)
Extended: 137 ft (41.8 m)
Swept: 79 ft (24.1 m)
Height: 34 ft (10.4 m)

None of the photos are mine.

1 comment:

Jaime Theler said...

Give me a call if you ever really do have one parked in front of your house :) Like the blog.