Pic of the Day: A B-1 Low and Fast

Happy Monday, everyone. Let’s kick this week off on a good note with this awesome pic of a B-1 Lancer bomber, commonly known as the Bone, performing a low-level, high-speed pass in April while practicing for the Fort Lauderdale, Fl., airshow.

Check out the condensation forming around the Bone’s four engines and even its Sniper targeting pod up front,  as the plane begins to push towward Mach 1.This particular jet belongs to the 28th Bomb Wing out of Ellsworth AFB in North Dakota, the same unit that participated in the bombing of Gadhafi’s forces last year in Libya.

Via the Aviationist.

  • Dfens

    Damn, that’s a lot of spillage. Too bad those intakes don’t work as originally designed.

    • Stormcharger

      That’s not spillage… It’s moisture being forced out of the air by compression as the aircraft nears the speed of sound. It also shows how well the engine inlets are actually designed as the pressure wave is outside and not inside the engine stalling it.

    • D.W.

      Are you referring to the redesign of the intakes from the B-1A (variable geometry, supersonic optimization) to the B-1B (optimized for subsonic and, I think, fixed geometry)? I was under the impression this was either to hit RCS targets or cut costs, but it always seemed a bit of a shame to relegate it to high subsonic when it seemed capable of much higher cruise performance.
      Still, awesome plane.

      • Dfens

        You’re part of the way there. The intakes are fixed now (the F-16 will go Mach 2 with a fixed intake), but why? Remember how the ‘B’ was sold to the US Air Force? It was the poor man’s low leverl stealth penetration bomber. You can’t have those radar waves bouncing off the face of the compressor and stay stealthy now, can you?

        • William C.

          And what’s your issue with this? The fixed intakes on the B-1B indeed help provide a lower radar cross section and were cheaper/simpler. This came at the cost of the Mach 2+ high altitude performance of the B-1A of course, but these design changes were reflective of USAF strategy at the time. The cheaper costs involved would have been a plus too, considering how the B-1B was viewed as a bridge to the definite ATB program.

          • Dfens

            No issue. Hell, I’m a big fan of redneck engineering. A little duct tape here and some bailing wire there and there you have it. Actually, if they’d ever build the ‘R’ someone mentions further on down, then who cares what kind of bs story it took to get the airplane built.

          • William C.

            The proposed ‘R’ variant would change the intakes among other things. Supposedly the F119 variant used would have RCS reducing features that would make the intake design on the ‘B’ unnecessary. Plus the F119 is a generation ahead in terms of performance.

            No idea if some structural changes would have to be made elsewhere.

          • Dfens

            Come on, William, in your heart you know that would kick ass! Admit it! I won’t tell anyone.

          • William C.

            I won’t lie. The B-1R would be damn impressive. Although I’m not certain about the 20% range drop. Perhaps if they used a development of the F119 with a larger fan, somewhat like the F135 but still optimized for supercruise, there wouldn’t be such a loss.

          • Dfens

            They could cut off that vertical stab while they’re at it and add 2 inboard canted verticals to the back end of the glove above where the engines are mounted while they are at it (very SR-71’ish). Then they could add some real canards up front instead of those “ride vanes”. If they copy the J-20 canard design (how ironic) it won’t hurt the forward signature any worse than the ride vanes do and it would make up for the missing horizontal stabilizer in back. — I meant to put this here, damit!

  • I live in Ellsworth

    Um, 28th Bomb Wing is in Ellsworth, SOUTH dakota.

    • McPosterdoor

      Yeah there not too worried about it here. It’s a loose and fast corner of the Blogosphere.

  • EThorne

    Just a correction. 28th Bomb Wing out of Ellsworth AFB is in South Dakota. Great pic!

  • Chops

    Beautiful plane with a lot of capability,we could use about 500 more of them.

  • jakemono

    beautiful pic. Anthropomorphically reminds me of a swimming seal at that angle.

  • Big-Rick

    Nothing like a low level high speed pass to rattle your fillings-I love it

    What even cooler is seeing a low level (about 100ft AGL) 90 degree bank turn I saw an F-18 do down in Pensacola.

  • RunningBear

    ….and more capacity than a BUFF! Glad they are on our side! :)

    • Ex b52crewchief

      The BUFF still rules!!!

  • Ara

    Holy moly!

  • Matt Sturgeon

    Oh what I would give to be behind the yoke on one of those things. Abilene squadron does low level mountain training down in West Texas where we mule deer hunt in the Big Bend area. Ever see one on a low level training run?? Now THAT is something!!! Especially at night…. Oh what I would give….

    • coolhand77

      No yoke on that baby, those pilots are stick jockys. On of the few heavy bombers that thinks its a fighter!

      • JCC3

        North American, even when assimilated into Rockwell, always built pilot focused airplanes.

      • exLoader

        ….and flies like one

      • exLoader

        2 bays or 3 ?? Don’t remember ???

        • Nicholson


    • Rose

      I have sat in the piolets seat. I worked on the B1B for 6 years as an electrical instalation mechanic. I loved every minute of it

      • Rose


  • Kodai

    I’ve never seen the device in the front edge of the right wing root before. Looking at google images I see that most didn’t have it, but a few do. Aparently it’s called the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod. It gives better vision on the battlefield, both TV and infrared. http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123140611

  • Ragincajun

    Awesome aircraft. We focus so much on the problems with newer aircraft. Pictures like this are a reminder that great airframes can evolve from rough beginnings. Read up on the teething problems with this baby and the LOX problems on the Raptor seem paltry in comparison. Just MHO. either way, I’m glad this bird is on our side.

  • Lance

    One noisy plane one flew over my house nearly knocked clock off the wall. it was well over 3000 ft off the ground.

  • Speedy

    How about they do a low pass over the crowd, open the bomb bays and drop a few tonne of lollies on the crowd… (M&M moving at Mach 1 would not hurt that much…) and it would be an awesome pic. (Just need to tell everyone to wear eye protection etc)

  • Chops

    Hopefully the B1B will be upgraded to the B1R with F119 engines,AESA radar,AIM120 and AIM9X air to air missiles,Lantirn pods,increased weapons load of J-DAMS and the 250lb small diameter bombs,also with the F119 engines it will have a increased speed to Mach 2.2 substainable speed so it can get out of trouble as quick as it gets into trouble.That would be one AWESOME aircraft.

    • Jim37f

      Just outa curiosity, how does it go from B1B to B1R? Why not B1C?

    • Dfens

      I hadn’t heard about that proposal. It would supercruise at M. 2.2? That would be cool. Wasn’t there some other stuff they did to the B-1 when they cut its nuts off to build the ‘B’? If it’s just new engines and nacelles, let’s do it!

    • blight_

      For a blast to the past about the B1R:

  • Charlie

    I’ve yet to see (or hear, for that matter) a high speed pass that equaled that of an F-104 at full bore just a couple of hundred feet AGL. The Germans did this in the late 70’s as part of an exercise, and cracked a reinforced concrete block building wall at a USAF airfield near Trier. The 104’s used to hold the level flight sea level record at 1000MPH or so.

    • exLoader

      How about that massive single F105 motor.
      I once saw, at Micheal’s Field, Utah, a low level Thud buzz past an F15, (both in full burner) like it was standing still. Eagle with ruffled feathers.

    • Paul

      Nobody does low level like the F/FB-111 did! Mach below a thousand feet thru the mountains.

  • anthony

    Remember the B-52 flying so high they were like dots onlly to hear that carpet of broom,boom en boom,kind af scary I think if fell like that wich it did 24 hours a few days,but sound never to forget and be proud of..

  • dphil0812

    Word Anthony! I remember very well the reverberations of the carpet bombing going on maybe 20-30 klicks away from our position near the Iraq/Saudi border. Went on for days, non-stop! I actually felt sorry for the poor sob’s on the receiving end of it! They did an outstanding job though! Supply lines cut, communication severed, extreme loss of motivation for them! Keep up the good work you crazy pilots!

  • Pappa51

    Well; aren’t we glad that Carter didn’t get his way back in the 70’s. . . One of these fly’s over my house at least twice a week. I only wish they would do it at a little lower alt.. The bird is awesome in every aspect. The Bone says it all…

    • JCC3

      The A version of the Bone was a different plane than the B in a bunch of ways. The inlets were revised for lower cross section, terrain following was better, the offensive and defensive avionics were revised, etc.

  • tom_m

    Would love to be near one of those bases. Two pleasures I miss most from my earlier days: F-4s going supersonic over my childhood home near Lambert in St. Louis and the near-constant rotor- and fixed-wing activity overhead when I lived near Ft Hood in Texas.

  • Chi Tran

    If u have a choice to chose between B1-B Lancer and B2 The Bat Wing then which one do u chose? To me, I chose the B1-B Lancer and not the Bat Wing because it blinds like a Bat and cost too much 4 the Tax-payer!

  • gkam

    As a young E-3 tech at Edwards from 1966-67, I dodged Blackbirds and watched XB-70’s, and worked on aircraft with rocket engines for Test Pilot School, . . . but it all costs too much.

    It is time to put away the killing toys and start getting along.

    I already did the other stuff.

    • G40D

      Then we could all sing Kumbaya and go for a ride on our unicorns.

      And btw, I’m ex-AF too (SAC).

    • liam burns

      si vis pacem para bellum

    • F4/15 crewdog

      I was at Spangdhalem AB when that F104 busted a wall. The next week a Luftwaffe F104 was flying in for a airshow. I was working on a apron near EOR
      when it flew over on final. It suddenly went very quiet. I walked out of the hardened shelter and saw a pilot in a orange flightsuit walking towards me. He asked if I would call a fire truck. His jet was in the grass next to the taxiway! While at Langley in 1992 we were heavy into a ORI. The sirens were wailing as a B1 flew overhead at 300ft/500knts and pulled a climbing right turn as if it were a fighter.What a sight!!! Scared the crap out of everybody.

  • rocketcrab

    GREAT pic! Reminds me of a painting I once saw of a B-52 on a low altitude run over the Nevada desert, entitled “Low Level Heavy Metal”.

  • Bill Harrison

    Saw it at the air show in Ft Lauderdale but a nasty day for weather.Thunderbirds
    made about three or four passes with no show do to bad weather on Sat. Show canceled on Sun. Bummer.

  • tiger

    I still think the Avro Vulcan is a sexier bird though. Sad the RAF is out of the bomber business.

  • Chi Tran

    One Man Show Rate Which is Turn Off n Out! Alien never Stay On I AM Holy Ground.

  • Chi Tran

    Sensor I AM and still the Sorcerer The Cheap Magician Out of My Sight!

  • tiger

    Too Bad Maj. Kong never flew the BONE. I can picture him in that cowboy hat Making that missile Complex At Lapuda. Pep pills & all.

  • Easternsailor Tran

    What the Stupid English the FUK the Freak United Kingdom Idea! IT still got None!

  • Easternsailor Tran

    The English is the Moron and u think u can keep on killing and Stop the others defense and the WASP The Fly never enter into I AM Kingdom!

  • Devin

    It’s very good to read all this useful information on dog training.

    I have a concern however. How do you work with a younger dog?