North American (Rockwell) B-1B 'LANCER'

Notes: Improved B-lA with increased weight and better automatic TERRAIN-FOLLOWING capability.
  Manufacturer:North American (Rockwell)
  Base model:B-1
  Designation System:U.S. Tri-Service
  Designation Period:1962-Present
  Basic role:Bomber





Recent comments by our visitors
 guy graff
 lancaster, CA
many of us that poured our collective hearts and souls into the production of this beautiful bird are still here to stand up for it!!
the b-1b was and is amazing. To the whiners on the maint. crews just keep it in the air thats your job.
dont whine just get her done!!!
12/24/2011 @ 11:11 [ref: 51326]
 R. West
 Palmdale, CA
I am also a former test and checkout inspector on the B1-B. Although there are some who decry this aircraft, I have to say I thought is was a beautiful bird and I am proud to have worked on it.

11/05/2009 @ 11:15 [ref: 25249]
 Frank Schiffel
 Valparaiso, IN
Sorry to hear B-1B/001 was scrapped, did a lot of data off of that at the B-1 CTF at Edwards from 85 to 92. B-1A/174 was at the AF Museum but it was loaned to the SAC Museum near Offut and they repainted it grey.

B-1B/049 was delivered on time, barely. When it arrived at Edwards, had all the equipment, just wasn't hooked up. Spent months getting everything that was in the racks wired up. It also didn't have the rivets in the fuel tanks. For some reason we took the skin off to look at some of the wing tanks and found out there were no rivets on them. TC/TD in the control room threw a fit over that one.

B-1B/068 was the first with the long weapons bay door rather than the forward and mid bay. Had a lot of discussions on how long we could keep the weapons bay doors open in flight. Rockwell kept saying doors were an integral part of the airframe, don't keep them open all the time.

I'm not sure at what point we discovered that the aft weapons bay had an interesting problem with some of the nuclear weapons hitting the tail on release. After much gnashing of teeth, weeks actually, cheap fix was open main bay doors when releasing from aft bay. Problem solved.

My claim to fame was proving that there actually was a vibration at the OSO/DSO location that did make you nauseous. Accelerometers at pilot seat didn't have a problem. When one was placed at OSO/DSO location and we ran some Fast Fourier Frequency analysis, found there was a problem. Did some software adjustments and more guidance and control work to solve the problem. Yvonne DeLauriers was one of the best guidance and control engineers the AF had at the time, great group she was in charge of.

Biggest problem it ever had was engines but that got solved eventually. They initially estimated they'd be good for 9 hours or so. The Rockwell and AF maintenance force will always be the unsung heroes. Lots of engineers and pilots, but from rewiring the aircraft for different test missions, to uploading munitions, downloading them, uploading them again, making sure data was acquired, it was a lot of work and not always appreciated as it should have been.

And we finally did train the firefighters NOT to use foam on our hot brakes. Its not going to catch fire like the B-52 always did at Edwards.
07/01/2009 @ 22:02 [ref: 24275]
 W Saunders
 , MN
I remember the first windshield replacement at Ellsworth...bird strike. Plane was in the hangar for almost 2 weeks. Shortly after it was pushed out, an AIC, thankfully not me, took a B-5 stand up to clean the glass. Once his weight was on the stand, it sagged a little, right into the windshield and totally shattered the glass! From what I heard, he was white as a sheet!
01/20/2008 @ 04:18 [ref: 19369]
 4056 & 5073
 , IL
I was a B-1 crew chief at Dyess from 86-93 and probably worked on every airframe as soon as it came from Palmdale. Some planes were just built better than others 4054 was a maintenance nightmare 6132 and 5073 were just good airplanes. And for those who say a B-1 was a nightmare to work on, believe me, the B-52 had its issues too. In most ways, the B-1 was a zillion times easier to preflight than the buff. And I did manage to pull alert a few times on a B-1 (and a B-52) before peace broke out and we stood down. The B-1 was 100000x easier on alert, trust me. Compare weapons uploading on a B-1 compared to buff. So much faster.

Now that being siad, the B-1 had some real nasty streaks. Windshields, vreacked backbones, fuel leaks---the list goes on.
12/22/2007 @ 12:20 [ref: 19009]
 Zman 07
 , RI
Can anybody tell me if the B-1 on display at Ellsworth is B1B ship #1? I was Test Director on that bird for Rockwell from 1985 through it's delivery around 1988. By the time we delivered it to the AF after its test program was complete, it was one beat up airplane! We literally beat it to crap with flutter vanes and other diabolical tests (it's nickname was "Leaker of the Fleet"). I was sorry to see it go. It's amazing how attached you get to inanimate objects (and friendships to the AF and Rockwell workers that made the program work).
05/01/2007 @ 09:56 [ref: 16364]
 Ellsworth AFB, SD
I'm an egress systems mechanic on the B-1B at Ellsworth. From what I've seen Dyess's jets are less reliable than Ellsworth's for some reason. Yes we occasionally run into some launches where the spare of the spare needs to be used to get a jet off of the ground. This deployment I'm on right now we've made all of our sorties so far in a harsh, hot, desert environment. The B-1B is an impressive jet. Makes lots of noise and drops lots of bombs!
04/22/2007 @ 11:49 [ref: 16276]
 Lancer Inspector
 Palmdale, CA
As a former test and check out inspector I got to see a lot of this aircraft in all phases of it's construction and testing. As with any aircraft it had and may still have it's bugs, However, given the complexity of it as a system to deliver ordnance to a given target and return it is an engineering marvel. The combination of multiple operating systems into one single funtioning system can only be appreciated when one knows more than one aspect of maintaining such a machine.
There were times when I had the opportunity to go over to the production line to assist in their inspection needs. Watching the wing swing pins being inserted was something to see.
The B1-B has to be the most aesthecially appealing bomber aircraft to ever fly.
09/20/2006 @ 08:58 [ref: 14236]
 Lancer Builder
 Palmdale, CA
Dang, sounds like the BONE is a lousy airplane. Maybe we should have bought Tupolev's or Dassault's? Come on, ten year crew chief, are you sure you weren't dreaming about being a crew chief on BONE's while you swept out the crappers at Dyess? The funny thing is, I'll bet you brag about working on Lancers to everyone else. "My job is a crew chief in charge of mx on one of the most impressive planes in the inventory." Wouldn't be as impressive if you worked on the 172's down at the flying club. Actually, chief, I'll bet you put all the real mx on your subord's and you sit on your sorry whinny ass in the line office drinking coffee and eating frumunda cheese and mystery meat sandwiches all afternoon until it's time to go home to Katie Couric and the news.
04/14/2006 @ 19:49 [ref: 13167]
 Lancer Crew Chief
 , TX
I don't know what that guy is smoking. I have been a crew chief on B-1B's for 10 years at Dyess AFB. I will honestly say that the B-1B is the biggest piece of crap in the world as far as maintenance goes. She flys beautiful and does her airborn job wonderfuly, however, getting them off the ground is nothing short of a miracle. Parts are extremely hard to come by, the software the jet relies on and the "digital readouts" that are supposed to be so heavenly are EXTREMELY out of date. The B-1B is a complete nightmare in the maintainer world. It is pretty sad when you have to green up three jets just to try to make one combat sortie. Even with a primary and two spares, there are many times when the sortie is missed due to all three jets going tits up. The B-1 may look beautiful,extremely intimidating with a full load of 2000 pound JDAMS(500 pound conventional warfare is completely and totaly dead), and may fly beautifully, but don't let looks decieve you. It is nothing but a big hunk of CRAP!!! If I were an ememy on the ground, I would be more scared of the jet falling out of the sky on top of me rather than what lies inside her weapons bays.
04/23/2005 @ 19:15 [ref: 10022]


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