PALMDALE, Calif. — The long-awaited reveal of the B-21 Raider on Dec. 2 at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, was preceded by a display of aviation history that Northrop Grumman dubbed the “Advancing Aeronautics Expo.”
Most of the aircraft on display were made in whole or in part by Northrop Grumman, including the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, the E-2 Hawkeye and the MQ-4C Triton. An Air Force F-35A fighter, whose center fuselage is made by Northrop, was also present.
But the most historic aircraft there was a B-25 Mitchell bomber, the same type of aircraft that Jimmy Doolittle and the Doolittle Raiders flew off of an aircraft carrier in April 1942 to strike Tokyo, months after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. The B-21 was named in tribute to the Doolittle Raiders, and the ceremony included tributes to the storied airmen.
Here’s a look at the aircraft Defense News saw at the event:
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.