Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spirit Over Nebraska

Of course, I can't go too long without highlighting a Northrop - now Northrop Grumman - product. Like the Lockheed Blackbirds, the B-2 Spirit is an iconic aircraft. Flying wings have that appeal. While Jack Northrop wasn't the only man obsessed with all-wing designs, he and his company were certainly the most identified with them in the United States. Just as the earlier XB-35 and YB-49 aircraft were controversial and graceful, so too is the B-2. But while the earlier wings were cut up and discarded while still in the flight test phase, the B-2 made it into limited production and has proved itself in combat.

This shot was taken in 1997 during the U.S. Air Force's 50th anniversary airshow celebration at Nellis AFB near Las Vegas, NV. The Spirit of Nebraska (all B-2s have individual Spirit names) was on static display with the mountains and runways behind it. I noticed that if I pulled back instead of concentrating on getting close ups of the B-2 on the ground or of the aircraft flying by I could capture both in the same frame. I have several different aircraft passing over the Spirit of Nebraska, but this is one of the neatest: a Spirit over Nebraska.

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