The Stealth Bomber: Will This Bird Fly?

The radar-invisible Stealth bomber could give the U.S. a lead over the Soviets. Or it could bust the budget

Sleek and sinister, the plane resembles a death machine out of Darth Vader's workshop. Swept back in a single delta-shaped wing, its curved surfaces feature no protruding stabilizers, almost no sharp corners or bends; its dark gray-and-black skin and skeleton consist of layers of graphite epoxies and ceramics honed to extremely fine tolerances. Virtually invisible to radar, it has been called the greatest achievement in military technology since the atom bomb. With the advent of the B-2 Stealth bomber, the U.S. could be on its way to maintaining military dominance well into the next century. Yet the B-2 is an enormously...

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