Spirit of Pennsylvania Rejoins the Fleet

"Spirit of Pennsylvania" is First B-2 to Receive Insignia of Global Strike Command

Spirit of Pennsylvania is First B-2 to Receive Insignia of Global Strike Command

Northrop Grumman Returns Restored B-2 Bomber to Active Duty

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has returned to service with the U.S. Air Force a freshly painted, completely overhauled B-2 stealth bomber known as the “Spirit of Pennsylvania.”

The aircraft lifted off from Air Force Plant 42 here early in the morning on Jan. 26 for its return flight to Whiteman Air Force Base, operational home of the Air Force’s 509th Bomb Wing and the nation’s fleet of B-2s.

“The Spirit of Pennsylvania is the latest B-2 to complete a comprehensive overhaul process called programmed depot maintenance (PDM) that we perform in Palmdale on every B-2 every seven years,” said Dave Mazur, vice president of long range strike and B-2 program manager for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector. “We’ve put this national asset back into its optimal form to serve the strategic needs of the country.”

The Spirit of Pennsylvania is the first B-2 to be painted with the insignia of the newly formed Global Strike Command, added Mazur. It was also featured in an early 2009 Sports Illustrated photo showing a B-2 flyover of the Rose Bowl football game in Pasadena.

Is Murdoc the only one concerned with the fact that we have so few of these that we feel the need to give them names?

Comments

  1. I don’t like those high-falutin’ names. If there are so few that it is helpful to name them, I’d go with real names: Steve, Doug, Joe, etc.

    1. Phelps,

      Try painting a half-naked lady on one of those things. You’d be Article 15’d for even commiting the hatecrime of thinking about such a thing.

  2. When the aircraft costs as much as a guided missile destroyer, I would say that they deserve names.

  3. At $1.5B a copy, they’d better let the crews name them — but they should carry names the crews either pick, or the historical names of decorated bombers. For example, most of the names of the aircraft from the original 509th Composite Group are still not in use (minus Enola Gay and Bockscar) and would be worth recycling.

    Full list here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/509th_Composite_Group

  4. As an 11th generation Pennsylvanian descended from Scottish entrepreneurs/adventurers who settled here in 1680 something, I’m very cool with the name!

    I’m still workin that land.

  5. Go to wikipedia, lookup “B2 Bomber” and there is a table of all 21 names of the aircraft and when they were built. It’s interesting that Spirit of Pennsylvania was the first B2 refurbished since it was the 20th plane (of 21) built. I would think that the first plane, Spirit of America, would get refurbished first.
    All but Spirit of America are named for states, which is OK with me since we don’t have any more battleships or missile subs being built to carry the names of the states.

  6. Murdoc – it’s not just the B-2s that are given names. Check out the next press release when a C-17 is delivered. I believe the C-17s are all named for cities (Spirit of Charleston for example). Not sure if the C-130Js are named or not.

  7. There’s not much question our intercontinental bomber fleet has withered away. I wish we’d bought at least 100-150 of the B2s; on the other hand I can understand why we didn’t (sticker shock).

    1. There seems to be plenty of nobama dollars out there for everything else, we should make it an even 100!!

  8. Once we are totally transformed into a European-style nanny state, we will be naming tanks after presidents, if we can even afford tanks.

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