Damaged B-2 Returns to US

Following 18 months of intense work, a B-2 believed damaged beyond flyable condition in a fire at Andersen AFB, Guam, successfully landed at Northrop Grumman’s Palmdale, Calif., facility for overhaul, last week. “This was a truly amazing effort with tremendous teamwork . … A very large group of people came together to bring this aircraft home,” said Col. Mark Williams, B-2 division chief at the USAF Aeronautical Systems Center. USAF and Northrop Grumman technicians performed significant repairs in Guam, including fabrication of structural components needed to ensure basic flight-worthiness. Accompanied by a KC-135 to minimize fuel weight, “Sprit of Washington” made the 6,000 mile flight under the watchful eye of technical experts monitoring the airframe to troubleshoot any issues from aboard the tanker. The aircraft proceeded Aug. 16 to depot maintenance for a 24-month overhaul before it rejoins the active fleet. (Wright-Patterson report by Daryl Mayer)