A video has surfaced online that shows a Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber dropping inert dummy bombs on a range in Kansas earlier this month.
A stealth bomber from the 110th Bomb Squadron belonging to the 131st Bomb Wing out of Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, using the callsign "Misty-11," can be seen in the video dropping five BDU-50, a 500 lb. practice bomb that releases a cloud of smoke on impact, over the Smoky Hill Bombing Range in Salina, Kansas, during an open house event on Aug. 3.
"The Smoky Hill Weapons Range is opening its gates to the public for an open house on Aug. 3. Experience the sights and sounds of the largest bomb range in the Air National Guard, as we pack your day full of aerial gunnery demonstrations by fighter and bomber aircraft!" said the Kansas National Guard.
The Aviationist first reported the video on Saturday. YouTube account Brady Kendrick uploaded the video on Aug. 4, one day after the open house, has about 5,400 views as of Sunday.
The stealth bomber can deploy up to eighty 500-pound precision-guided bombs or sixteen 2,400-pound nuclear weapons. The B-2 is the only aircraft that can carry large air-to-surface standoff weapons in a stealth aircraft. It's capable of dropping bombs at 50,000 feet and can travel up to 6,000 nautical miles on a bombing mission.
The delivery of the BDU-50 bombs during the open house by the B-2 was from a low altitude, possibly a low dive angle, that allowed the inert bombs to hit targets with minimizing any ricochet that would be seen on impact. This was primarily due to a public audience that was at an unknown distance watching the demonstration.
While it's quite rare to see a B-2 stealth bomber drop inert bombs on targets, back in April, we were one of the first to report a rare glimpse inside the B-2 cockpit.
FIlmed by Dallas-based film producer Jeff Bolton, the Air Force allowed him to become the first civilian to fly and film aboard a stealth bomber.
The video was taken in 2018, shows Bolton aboard a B-2A with the 509th Bomb Wing out of Whiteman AFB. The short, seven-second video, gives viewers a first-ever look inside the cockpit.
And why are stories of the B-2 stealth bomber becoming more common in the press this year? Well, it could be due to the Air Force's next-generation stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider, is expected to be operational in the mid-2020s and could fly as early as 2021.