Two B-2 Spirit stealth bombers arrive at RAF Fairford in the United Kingdom during a deployment exercise last year.
Spirit bombers are the tip of the spear when it comes to the US Air Force’s strategic bombing capabilities. It is the only bomber aircraft in the world with a full stealth profile, allowing it to penetrate enemy air defenses when needed.
Although it has a legendary performance record to date, due to the high costs associated with constructing each airframe, only 21 of the planes were ever built.
The B-2’s stealth functionality is very apparent in its shape, a large flying wing with no central fuselage or vertical stabilizer.
Its design is so inherently unstable, the aircraft is only able to stay flying due to constant inputs by the flight computer.
B-21 Raider: Future Stealth Bomber
The B-2’s legendary design is validated further by the choice of the US Air Force for their next stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider. The B-21 will be slightly smaller, but overall very much resembles the shape and design of its predecessor.