The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is the most expensive aircraft in all of aviation history, and to see it flying up close is an amazing sight.
This afternoon UK Aviation Movies posted a rare video: two B-2 Spirit bombers making their approach to the British air base at RAF Fairford, in Gloucestershire (England). There are many videos of B-2 bombers on the net, but this one has the peculiarity that one of the bombers had a problem with its landing gear and had to make two low approaches for the turret to Base control could confirm if its forward landing gear was extended.
These approaches are similar to a normal landing, with the difference that the plane does not touch the runway. The video shows the second of these low approaches, 21069 "Spirit of Indiana" (82-1069) , followed by the landing of the other B-2 that accompanied it (1088 "Spirit of Louisiana", 93-1088), and finally the landing of the B-2 with problems, as well as the taxiing of both planes on the runway. The two planes came from Whiteman AFB, in Missouri (United States). The planes belong to the 110th Bomb Squadron, part of the 131st Bomb Wing and located at the aforementioned US base.
Here we can see some video captures with some striking details. This is the B-2 that had landing gear problems, the "Spirit of Indiana".
Another image of the "Spirit of Indiana" during the second low approach , this time seen from the rear. Above the engines, a little behind the air intakes, we see four small open hatches: they are the secondary air intakes of the engines. They serve to provide additional air to the engine, in order to to increase its power during takeoffs.
Taxiing of the two planes on the runway at RAF Fairford, after landing. We see first the "Spirit of Louisiana" and behind the "Spirit of Indiana" (the plane that had the problem with the landing gear). In the image you can see a difference between both planes that I comment below.
The "Spirit of Indiana" during filming on the runway. In this image we can see in more detail the four secondary air intakes. The on-board computer closes them automatically during taxiing on the runway. However, in the video we see that during filming, the first of the planes (the "Spirit of Louisiana") has them closed, while the "Spirit of Indiana" keeps them open.
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