How New B-21 Stealth Bomber Compares To B-2A

Credit: Northrop Grumman

A new rendering of the Northrop Grumman B-21A released by the U.S. Air Force Jan. 31 offers a fresh perspective on the overall size and features of the highly secretive stealth bomber, revealing an aircraft that, as expected, broadly resembles the B-2A but with several important differences.

Click on the interactive pieces below to see the differences. 

Photo Credit: Northrop Grumman

Some analysts have speculated the Air Force wanted a new bomber about two-thirds the size of the B-2A, and the rendering appear to back up those estimates. Tellingly, the images show a single-truck main landing gear for the B-21, indicating an aircraft significantly lighter than the B-2, which requires a double-truck gear. 

Air Force leaders unanimously say the program is on track and running smoothly, but some concerns still have emerged.It’s possible the renderings offer only a partial—and even intentionally inaccurate or obscured—early glimpse of the final, pre-flight test design of the B-21, but it could be another two years before the first real aircraft comes into public view.

Northrop started assembling the first test airframe for the B-21 in the Site 4 complex at Plant 42 in Palmdale, California—possibly in the same assembly bay of Building 401 where the B-2 fleet was assembled over 25 years ago. 

This is an abbreviated version of the Aerospace Daily & Defense Report article "New B-21A Renderings Reveal Diminutive Size Compared To B-2A". Subscribe to access the full analysis. Already a subscriber? Log in to read the full analysis. 

Comments

35 Comments
Here we go AGAIN ! I AM a subscriber - that is why YOU sent me these articles! Then you tell me I have to log in to see whole article. So I do - and then it STILL tells me I have to log in, and will not allow me to see the full article - which was the FIRST article on the list, and did NOT say it was from some special subscription! Oh, I finally got access to several articles, including this one, but when I clicked on ANY of them, I AGAIN got this same stinking requirement to log in again! Does ANYONE at AWST read these comments or care at all about us customers?
My opinion of this rendering leans toward the 'intentionally inaccurate' concept. The USAF have a long production run and service life planned for this platform, and aircraft in general get heavier as they mature.
EVRATZ is right on. The sign in process is bizarre and bizantine.
Also, I'm with @EVRATZ on this subject. This is the Aviationweek site, not Aerospace Daily. Stop trying to extract another $1800 from your subscribers.
Couldn't agree more with @EVRATZ. AWST is not what it used to be. By that I mean it has regressed.
Agree with EVRATZ 100%.
Sorry to say I'm with Evrath, as well. In the past years we went from a really nice newsletter, to a confusing panoply of different newsletters and, on to a newsletter system that simply doesn't work since it's hulloballooo definitive service introduction....
Back to the drawing board and, please offer one world class aviation news service. again, soon. This is not working, sorry.
Also frustrated by the log-in process and confusion as to which articles are supposed to be accessible to us long-time AvWeek (now AvFortnight) subscribers. Agree with EVRATZ , BPMGHUIJS and others.
Agree with Evratz. You send me an email, I should be able to just click and view. The B-21 is just a little B-2 or a Big F-117 with much needed upgrades. Wait for the final product, stop guessing.
I have the same website problems as Evratz.
Conditions at this website are likely even worse than Mr Evratz describes.
Access is usually denied, photos don't render, always locks up my devices so bad I have to shut down and reboot...terrible frustrating.
Getting to archives is a complete battle to get there...then fails.
Failure at the site is continuous.
I get much less reading material than the old website.
Contact says again and again .... "try it now"... Same problems, no progress...site crashes or locks up.
Not going to renew this year...is a waste of money...a rip off..to state it mildly.
Thank you.
Why not just go back to the WEEKLY print version? If you can't send out an issue weekly, send out a double issue bi-weekly and forget this newsletter. The login has been a hassle for me since the print version changed and the newsletter started.
I tried to login - yes, I subscribe - but that just returns back to the same login page. What is wrong with your web site?
Agree with EVRATZ 100%
Per Evratz, site not functional or user friendly!
You don't suppose AWST outsourced their website to Boeing, do you? Seems logical with the problems with the website and Boeing's recent track record with the MAX, KC-46, CST-100 Starliner (11-hour time error?).
One - Thanks for your fine magazine.
Two - When will you be changing your name from Aviation Weekly to Aviation Bi-Weekly?
Three - I am beginning to have problems telling your articles from the advertising. Any suggestions??
Many Thanks
EVRATZ,

I've complained repeatedly about how the site (doesn't) work - it just falls on deaf ears.

Fortunately, I didn't cancel the paper subscription because if I was stuck with this site, I'd ask for my money back and leave.
I agree with EVRATZ. Also, the pop up banner covers to everything, rendering what appears to be a teaser preview unreadable. Can you guys make it much less obtrusive, please? I understand the new backend of the new website is better for you guys, but we need a better front end, please!
I agree with EVRATZ. Also, the pop up banner covers to everything, rendering what appears to be a teaser preview unreadable. Can you guys make it much less obtrusive, please? I understand the new backend of the new website is better for you guys, but we need a better front end, please!
I'm with Evratz. Ever since the mobile app was yanked, AW&ST electronic content has been in a tailspin. Print edition has improved, but now I also get renewal nag notices via USPS a full 6mos before my expiration date. Seriously? Not making any friends here, kids.
Evratz is correct.
AWS&T should get its own site rather than continue with the current sham. Wasting time trying to access an interesting article is frustrating ... please make it clearer which subscription is required fro which article. If you believe you already do so ... you are wrong!
Agreed with EVRATZ - the double login requirements are stupid and overall the new site is terrible. Fire everyone responsible and start again, or just go back to the previous version.
These comments are correct. Why do we have to continually "log-on". I'll just wait for the print and forget about the on-line crap.
AWST, Understand this. Yee have clearly failed.
Can I please have have my weekly print AWS&T back again. This new stuff is s—t for the birds!
Log in is a joke! Please fix this nightmare soon.
Log in is a joke! Please fix this nightmare soon.
Log in is a joke! Please fix this nightmare soon.
this is the last time I log into this site, it was once a great place to get the latest aviation information but now I go to other sites. Why do organisations feel the need to upgrade their websites only for it be worse than their old one. So long AWST and thanks for all the fish.
I agree that the new website is very hard to navigate. It is almost impossible to access previous issues. Getting very frustrated. May not renew.
Agree with Evratz. Awful format and no archive anymore
I'm not adding anything new, but the log in process is ridiculous .
Aviation week needs to create its own app, and stop flailing with the cobbled together online/piecemeal/re-login version they’ve defaulted to now. AW&ST online has become an unwieldy abomination. Fix it. Please.
Aviation week needs to create its own app, and stop flailing with the cobbled together online/piecemeal/re-login version they’ve defaulted to now. AW&ST online has become an unwieldy abomination. Fix it. Please.
Another who agrees with EVRATZ. Why in Gods blue sky should an already signed-in subscriber need to sign in again and again? After reading AWST for 53 years & subscribing for the last 27, I must say, -please return to a signing-in format that doesn't frustrate your customer base.

 

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As a subscriber to one of Aviation Week Network’s market briefings, your searches only provide you with access to articles from within that product.

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