Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Australian International Air Show 2017 - USAF Rockwell B-1B Lancer 86-0123

Undoubtedly a personal highlight at the Australian International Air Show was the arrival of United States Air Force (USAF) Rockwell B-1B Lancer 86-0123 on Thursday, 02 March 2017.

Designed by Rockwell International (now part of Boeing), the B-1 Lancer is a four-engine, supersonic, long range, variable-sweep wing, strategic bomber used by the United States Air Force (USAF), and was originally intended to replace the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bomber, however, did not eventuate as intended.

Initial production of only four B-1A Lancer bombers were assembled in 1973-74, however, production of additional aircraft were delayed several times, and eventually cancelled, due to changes in the perceived need of manned bombers.

Several years later, production of the Lancer recommenced with a renewed focus towards low-level penetration, thus, leading to the development of the B-1B. In total, 100 were assembled between 1983-88, and anticipated to continue in service with the USAF until the 2030's.