Watch: How B-1 Pilot Crash Lands Without Nose Gear
US Air force’s strategic bomber fleet consists of 3 amazing aircraft with advanced technologies. B-2 Spirit, B-52 Stratofortress, and B-1 Lancer are the 3 of them. Out of these, the B-1 Lancer is a supersonic, heavy bomber with sweep wings. This aircraft is manufactured by the North American Rockwell/Rockwell International and the date of the first flight is December 23rd of 1974 which is 46 years ago.
Up to today 4 B-1A and 100 B-1B Lancers have been built and this aircraft is powered with a General Electric F101 engine. With internal and external payloads combined, B-1 Lancer can carry up to 125 000 lbs. With all these payloads it can fly at Mach 1.2 speed (900+ mph) and has a range of 11 999 km. B-1 (one) also commonly called as “BONE”
All the specs aside, this article is about an awesome landing performed by B-1 crew while its front landing gear is up. Back in October of 1989, this B-1B was on a training mission from Dyess AFB, Texas. When the aircraft was preparing to land the crew identified that the nose landing gear would not extend. After discussions, the aircraft was diverted to Edwards air force base where less damage would occur when landing without the nose landing gear due to the smooth unpaved surface of Rogers dry lake.
Credits for this landing should go to the skillful pilot who did an amazing job. In the video, you can see how he keeps the aircraft leveled up and only letting it hit the ground at the last moments. The crew of this aircraft including the pilot capt. Jeffrey K. Beene earned a trophy for the “most meritorious flight of the year”.
Even if this footage is not the one with the best quality, incidents like this are very hard to catch on camera as they happen unexpectedly. Hope you would enjoy this video.
Video credit: airailimages
Photo credit: Edwards History Office file photo / U.S. Air Force