Saturday, January 3, 2009

Stealthy Rider

Stealthy Rider: "

Northrop Grumman is'kick-starting peparations for'the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the B-2 bomber's first flight, next July 17. The first step:' working with Orange County Choppers and The Learning Channel on a custom bike patterned after the B-2. Its construction will be the season premiere of the show American Chopper.

blog post photo

The bike features a gas tank shaped like the B-2's nose. Its manufacture was the cause of some of the show's characteristic' father-son moments - and while the Teutel family's dysfunctional behavior might seem out of place in this context, if you've ever spent a lot of time talking to B-2 design leaders John Cashen and Irv Waaland, that's not the case at all.

The bike also has a tailpiece made from spare titanium and patterned after the B-2's aft deck structure, and wheels carrying five B-2 shapes on each side, reminiscent of the star pattern painted on the ramp for the B-2's rollout in November 1989.

B-2 program vice-president Dave Mazur says that Paul Teutel Sr was given a tour of Whiteman AFB, the USAF's B-2 base, as well as a Planform Alignment 101 briefing. And before you ask, Mazur confirms that one of the wisenheimers at Tejon Pass has already proposed putting the bike 'on the pole' for radar cross-section tests.

Mazur neither'confirms nor denies that the bike was, in fact, the subject of the notorious $2 billion'secret contract that Northrop Grumman pulled in earlier this year. But a company spokesman does say that the B-2 20th'anniversary celebrations reflect the fact that 'Northrop Grumman is a bomber company.'

Now, why would they consider that an important'message?


(Via Ares.)

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