THE BONE IN ACTION
B-1 Lancers were envisioned as Mach-2 capable bombers with the B-52’s range and payload. If everything had worked out perfectly, it would have replaced the B-52 and B-58 entirely.
The B1-A could reach Mach 2, but its high cost and the introduction of the AGM-86 led to the project’s cancelation in 1977. When it was resumed in 1981, the redesigned B-1B had an improved low-altitude speed of Mach 0.96 but a lower top speed of Mach 1.25.
Nevertheless, the B-1B Lancer entered service in 1986 and is still used by the USAF today.
A Lancer crew consists of two pilots and two Weapons Systems Officers. In the video, we can see the crew enter the aircraft’s hatch from a ladder behind the front landing gear.
Later on, we even get to watch a Lancer get refueled by a KC-135. Frequent refueling significantly extends the Lancer’s already-impressive 6,500-mile range.