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Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Roogalator, Nov 4, 2004.
Is there some other aspect of its design that compensates for not having vertical stabilizers?
It has a pretty sophisticated fly-by-wire computer which deflects one of the B-2's many movable surfaces, when needed, to achieve stability.
I think the intent with the design of Northrops original flying wing was that it reduced drag. With the new flying wing, it also reduces the radar signature. Notice there are no flat, vertical surfaces anywhere.
The B2 is one case where I actually believe in voodoo.
Any idea of the handling characteristics of this bird? Is it one of those really cantankerous machines that's trying to kill you every second you're in the air, and that only a very few highly trained individuals can handle? Or does it behave itself?
It is my understanding that the B2 is one of those machines that would like to kill you. However, the flight computers don't let it do so (at least without you trying yourself).
The computers probably make it fly like any large jet (it has Boeing 757 landing gear trucks ).
If you want to read about things other than a vertical stabilizer that contribute to "stability", go buy a copy of "Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators". This is the "bible" as far as aerodynamics are concerned.
B2's use drag rudders, which open like a clamshell on the trailing edge. They cause the craft to yaw towards the side of the one that opens because of aerodynamic drag. No vertical surfaces are needed with this method. Some old German designs had a tube with holes that extended from the wingtip to cause a turn. The F117 was called "The Wobblin Goblin" by the first pilots that flew it. The Air Force was not amused. I think the B2 would be in the same league. I know the original Northrop wing (XB47) had a tendency to porpoise in level flight.
BTW, this is from WWII
Vertical stabilizers would also make this plane's radar signature very much larger than it currently is, which sort of defeats the purpose of the plane to begin with.