Northrop Grumman Kick Starts 20th Anniversary Year for B-2 Bomber With Custom-Built Motorcycle

B-2 Stealth Bike Celebrates Company's Bomber Partnership With U.S. Air Force

Core News Facts

In July 2009, Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) and the U.S. Air Force will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first flight of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, which occurred on July 17, 1989.

As a visual centerpiece of its year-long celebration of this milestone, Northrop Grumman, the Air Force's B-2 prime contractor, commissioned Orange County Choppers, Newburgh, N.Y. to design and build a B-2 bomber-themed motorcycle.

The design, development and production of the B-2 Stealth Bike will be featured on the 2009 season premiere of the cable TV series "American Chopper," which airs on TLC at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday nights.

Northrop Grumman will feature the Stealth Bike at B-2 20th anniversary events throughout 2009 including social events, trade shows, and air shows. One of the highlighted events will be a B-2 first flight re-enactment ceremony in July in Palmdale, Calif., site of the original B-2 production and first flight.

The B-2 Stealth Bike is named "The Spirit of Innovation" to celebrate Northrop Grumman's leadership in innovative air systems and the spirit of partnership with the Air Force that enabled the successful development of the B-2. Its "tail number" is 0789 to commemorate the date of first flight.

The Stealth Bike's design mimics many of the visual details of the B-2 stealth bomber:

  • Its gas tank and extended front cowling are shaped to resemble the B-2's unique cockpit and fuselage; major components are painted to match its color.
  • Each side of each wheel contains five machined aluminum B-2 models positioned in the shape of the Air Force star, each model engraved with the tail number of one of the 20 B-2s in the current fleet.
  • The "aft deck" of the bike is made from a scrap piece of the titanium used on the B-2 Spirit of Oklahoma.
  • Top view of the bike reveals that its handlebars and aft deck are set parallel to the "leading edge" of its gas tank, mimicking the B-2's unique "planform aligned" design.


"The B-2 Stealth Bike celebrates not only the first flight of the B-2, but also the insight of Jack Northrop in the 1940s when he envisioned the perfect aerodynamic bomber, the YB-49 Flying Wing. The bike also celebrates the men and women of Northrop Grumman who stand shoulder to shoulder with the young men and women of the 509th bomb wing - the B-2 maintainers, supporters and aircrews." -- Dave Mazur, Vice President of Long Range Strike and B-2 program manager, Northrop Grumman

"The B-2 Stealth Bike doesn't just honor the fleet of B-2s. It honors the dedicated airmen warriors, their professionalism, their courage, and the sacrifices that they and their families make each and every day." -- Brig Gen. Garrett Harencak, USAF, Commander, 509th Bomb Wing

"Orange County Choppers brought to this bike the same level of engineering artistry that Northrop Grumman engineers brought to the original design and development of the B-2 bomber." -- Dave Mazur, Vice President of Long Range Strike and B-2 program manager, Northrop Grumman

"Because of the B-2 bomber and all that U.S. airmen do each and every day, there is no sanctuary for America's enemies. The B-2 represents airpower in its purest, most elegant and most deadly form. I want to thank the great patriots of Orange County Choppers, and our incredible partners, Northrop Grumman, for making this fleet of revolutionary aircraft and this bike possible." -- Brig Gen. Garrett Harencak, USAF, Commander, 509th Bomb Wing.

Boilerplate Info About B-2

The U.S. Air Force's B-2 stealth bomber is the flagship of the nation's long-range strike arsenal, and one of the most survivable aircraft in the world. Its unique capabilities, including its stealth characteristics, allow it to penetrate the most sophisticated defenses and hold at risk high value, heavily defended enemy targets. The B-2 has demonstrated its capabilities in three combat campaigns: Operation Allied Force, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The B-2 is the only U.S. aircraft that combines stealth, precision weapons, long range and large payload in a single platform, giving it the ability to project air power anywhere in the world. It can fly more than 6,000 nautical miles unrefueled and more than 10,000 nautical miles with just one aerial refueling. With its ability to carry more than 20 tons of conventional and nuclear ordnance and deliver it precisely under any weather conditions, the B-2 also has the ability to change the outcome of a conflict with a single mission.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.


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