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The B-1A program was cancelled under President Carter in 1979. The decision was based on the high cost, the success of the Air Launched Cruise Missile indicating that a penetrating bomber may no longer be required, and the promised of the Stealth Bomber (B-2) program. Faced with delays and rising costs of the Stealth Bomber President Reagan resurrected the B-1 program as the B-1B in 1981. The aircraft had many improvements in avionics capabilities and some trade-offs in high-altitude performance compared to the original B-1A. While waiting for B-1B test airframes, the USAF elected to get a leg up on testing with the original prototypes, with suitable modifications. 

 

These images show Ship No. 2, s/n 74-0159 after being painted as the program flag ship in 1983-84.

 

74-0159 B-1Bctf 6510tw KEDW 19831012 35cr

 

74-0159 b-1ctf 6510tw KEDW 19830800 21cr

 

74-159 b-1ctf 6510tw KEDW 19830923 31cr

 

74-0159 b-1ctf 6510tw KEDW 19830923 03cr

 

74-0159 b-1ctf 6510tw KEDW 19830923 04cr

 

74-0159 b-1ctf 6510tw KEDW 19830923 32cr

 

74-0159 b-1ctf 6510tw KEDW 19830923 36cr

 

74-159 b-1ctf 6510tw KEDW 19830923 37cr

 

Couldn't adjust the focus fast enough

74-0159 b-1ctf 6510tw KEDW 19840222 30cr

 

74-0159 b-1ctf 6510tw KEDW 19840222 31cr

 

74-0159 b-1ctf 6510tw KEDW 19830923 34cr

 

Thanks for looking,

Sven

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When everybody was complaining about the F-35, I was remembering what a train wreck the B-1 program was. And the F-18. And the AH-64. Thank God we didn't have the internet back then, huh?

 

 

Great pics!  I especially love #7. Is this a repaint of the camouflaged bird from the orginal program? 

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1 hour ago, Thud4444 said:

Is this a repaint of the camouflaged bird from the orginal program?

I don't think '159 was ever camouflaged before this time.

 

'158 was the first to get the dk gray/brown camo coming into use by SAC at the time.

 

'160 acquired the odd tan/brown/green camo in 1979 (I think). It also got that long spine used for the counter-measures systems.

 

'159 went to the paint barn at the end of March 1984 to get the dark SAC camo treatment (images to follow) - it crashed at the end of August 1984

 

The fourth prototype, 76-0174 was delivered in white, but also eventually got a SAC camo scheme. When Edwards finally got a B-1B, this bird went to the Air Force Museum (1986?), where it was replaced again when the museum got an operationally representative B-1B.

 

Sven

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Beautiful work!

 

I had a metal model in this scheme.

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  • 1 month later...

Incredible aircraft and a sight to behold at Airfete, RAF Mildenhall so many years ago. Loud just wasn't the best way to describe the noise.

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On 4/20/2018 at 6:18 PM, Thud4444 said:

When everybody was complaining about the F-35, I was remembering what a train wreck the B-1 program was. And the F-18. And the AH-64. Thank God we didn't have the internet back then, huh?

 

I remember as a teenager being very confused about the programme being cancelled after being told how capable a delivery system it was. And then it came back, which confused me even more! 🤨

 

Great pics, and definitely an aeroplane with presence.

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  • 2 years later...

They look so much nicer in the white scheme than the grey scheme...
Coincidentally my favourite Vulcan variant is the Vulcan B1a, which obviously shares half a name with the B1A

Edited by Adam Poultney
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6 hours ago, Adam Poultney said:

They look so much nicer in the white scheme than the grey scheme...
Coincidentally my favourite Vulcan variant is the Vulcan B1a, which obviously shares half a name with the B1A

In good ole anti flash white I trust? Nice.

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Beautiful pics, captured the lean aggressive looks of the A model.

 

On 4/20/2018 at 6:18 PM, Thud4444 said:

When everybody was complaining about the F-35, I was remembering what a train wreck the B-1 program was. And the F-18. And the AH-64. Thank God we didn't have the internet back then, huh?

Boy, you said it!

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