PALMDALE (CBSLA.com) — The B-2 bomber, considered the country’s greatest weapons delivery system, celebrated its 25th anniversary Thursday at a ceremony at Northrop Grumman in Palmdale.
At a cost of $1 billion apiece, the stealth bomber continues to draw ooohs and ahhhs from crowds.
The radar-evading plane flew overhead in a ceremony commemorating the plane’s maiden flight.
CBS2’s Art Barron attended the ceremony, along with hundreds of dignitaries and people instrumental in the plane’s history.
Test pilot Bruce Hinds flew the stealth bomber for the first time 25 years ago. Thursday, he suited up in his flight suit and appeared just as excited to see it overhead.
“Brings back some good memories,” Hinds said, “And it’s a hell of a good airplane. Doing good service. Wish we had more of them.”
Hundreds turned out for this special ceremony, including the program’s biggest ambassador, former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda.
“When I first saw the B-2, it took my breath away,” Lasorda told the crowd.
“It means to me our military is strong,” Lasorda later told Barron. “We have to have the strongest military in the world.”
The tailless, bat wing-shaped aircraft was developed in the early 1980s. More than 40,000 people worked on the $20 billion project. Northrop Grumman was its biggest contractor.
“Every day was a new challenge,” said Duke Dufresne, the sector vice president, “and together, we figured it out.”
The B-2 will remain in service for at least the next 25 years, reported Barron.