For the first time in the 30-year history of the U.S. Air Force B-2 stealth bomber program, video footage showing the cockpit of a Spirit stealth bomber has been released.
Additional footage of the B-2 cockpit in-flight, as well as cockpit photographs, are also available at JeffBolton.org
FIlmed by Dallas-based film producer Jeff Bolton, along with air-to-air footage showing in-flight refuelling, the video provides a rare glimpse into the cockpit of the U.S. Air Force B-2A flying with the 509th Bomb Wing out of Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.
The B-2 has a crew of two pilots, a pilot in the left seat and mission commander in the right, compared to the B-1B’s crew of four and the B-52’s crew of five. Here is a video
This timely video of is a vivid reminder of the B-2’s unique capabilities,” said producer Jeff Bolton, “No other stealth bombers are known to exist in the world.”
The revolutionary blending of low-observable technologies with high aerodynamic efficiency and large payload gives the B-2 important advantages over existing bombers. Its low-observability provides it greater freedom of action at high altitudes, thus increasing its range and a better field of view for the aircraft’s sensors. Its unrefueled range is approximately 6,000 nautical miles (9,600 kilometres).
The B-2’s low observability is derived from a combination of reduced infrared, acoustic, electromagnetic, visual and radar signatures. These signatures make it difficult for the sophisticated defensive systems to detect, track and engage the B-2. Many aspects of the low-observability process remain classified; however, the B-2’s composite materials, special coatings and flying-wing design all contribute to its “stealthiness.
Details Of B-2’s Cockpit
- The front panel with the engine indicators has been replaced by large MFD (Multi-Function Display) that in the video is set on the EADI (Electronic Attitude Director Indicator) with the main engine parameters.
- The HSD (Horizontal Situation Display)/Nav Panel has a triangle-shaped airplane icon in the centre
- Additional MFD: 3x MFD in front of each pilot in the typical T-shape arrangement.
- On the top row, the first on the left should be the EICAS (Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System), the central one is the Primary Flight Display, the right one shows the FCS (Flight Control System) status.
- Throttles are not on the central console as each seat has its own throttles, on the left-hand side of the pilots.
- The bottom one is set on the HSD that is to the Situational Awareness as it shows the situation around the aircraft, including friendly (and if present enemy aircraft), threats, waypoints etc.
- On the right, take a quick look at the radio panel.
- There are two UHF frequencies tuned in the radios (COMM1 and COMM2)
- The panel also shows the Have Quick Radio: the WOD (Word Of the Day) that is shown in the video is the key used along with the TOD (Time Of the Day) and the NET (multiple networks of frequencies are available) to initiate the cryptographic pseudo-random number generator that controls the frequency hopping scheme.
- The panel also shows the message “ANT DPLOYD” that means “Antenna Deployed” above the Link 16 radio controls.
- The aircraft should embed the Common Very Low-Frequency Receiver Increment 1, or CVR-1, a modification to receive orders from the President of the U.S. via EAMs (Emergency Action Messages).