Here’s a $200 Million B-1B Lancer Bomber on Fire at the Dyess Texas Airbase

A $200+ million bomber jet that also happens to be one of the most impressive and iconic aircraft in the American Air Force (USAF), a B-1B, has been damaged in a fire at the Dyess Airbase in Texas.
B-1B Lancer burns at the Dyess Texas Airbase 21 photos
B-1B Lancer landing at Naval Support Facility Diego GarciaB-1B Lancer over the Persian GulfB-1B Lancer taking off from UK baseB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B Lancer at Edwards Air Force BaseB-1B Lancer taking off from UK baseB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B LancerB-1B Lancer at Edwards Air Force Base
An alleged video of the fire was posted to the Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook channel and is available below. It shows an aircraft that looks like a B-1, apparently engulfed by a ball of fire, as sirens of emergency vehicles wail from a distance. The Dyess Air Force Base has confirmed the incident and acknowledged the existence of the video but is yet to confirm whether the footage is authentic.

The fire broke out during “routine maintenance" of the B-1B Lancer and resulted in injuries in two DoD personnel, who had to be admitted to a hospital near the airbase. Col. Joseph Kramer, commander of the 7th Bomb Wing out of Dyess, says that both victims were discharged soon after and are on the mend.

This week, the Dyess Air Base was hosting a “Medium Grit” exercise by the 317th Airlift Wing. Reports online suggest that the B-1B, a newer Lancer version, was scheduled to take off the next day. This is the second time a B-1 has been involved in a serious incident at Dyess: in 1992, a B-1 that had just taken off crashed, killing the four-person crew.

The B-1, also dubbed The Bone, is one of the most legendary, powerful, and expensive aircraft in the USAF fleet. In 2021, it still had 62 of the original 100 B-1s ordered, but that number went down to 44 by March this year. A newer model is in the works to replace the old and overused B-1s.

In 2021, USAF temporarily grounded some B-1s to investigate a fuel system issue and then the entire fleet, looking for other problems. Weeks later, the bombers were cleared to fly, but there was no word on how many defective units were found.

The B-1 was introduced in the 1980s as a supersonic heavy bomber designed to carry a payload of 75,000 lbs (34,019 kg), including nuclear bombs. Powered by four General Electric turbofans engines, it can hit top speeds Mach 1.2 (921 mph/1,482 kph) and holds over 50 world records in its class. The B-1 has also seen plenty of action in Iraq, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.

An aging but mighty legend, at over $200 million estimated cost per unit, the B-1 is also the priciest aircraft in the USAF fleet. The jewel in the USAF crown, if you will – and one such jewel may have been lost for good.

press release

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