Having just taken part in other New Year events, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) didn’t want to miss out on the show, of course, and tasked the Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri with using one of its planes to do a flyover of the stadium. The plane chosen for the task was a B-2 Spirit, one of the most weirdly shaped aircraft currently being flown by the American military aviators.
Looking more like an alien UFO than an Earth-based airplane meant to bomb enemy positions into oblivion, the B-2 must have been quite a sight, as seen in this pic recently released by the military branch.
The USAF is a constant presence at sporting events across America, but the B-2 is not something one gets to see all that often. With just 20 of them in active inventory and a price per piece of $737 million back in 1997, when it first came to be ($1.2 billion adjusted for inflation), that’s pretty understandable.
The plane did not get to show all of its prowess in the skies over Pasadena, of course, but we all know what a formidable machine it is. During Operation Allied Force back in 1999, the plane was sent in combat over Serbia destroying 33 percent of all targets in the first eight weeks.
The incredible thing about that is the plane did not take off from a nearby operating base, but had to fly from Missouri to Kosovo (5,450 miles/8,770 km) and back it each time it went on a bomb run.
Separately, during Operation Iraqi Freedom in the 2000s, it dropped more than 1.5 million pounds of munitions during 49 sorties.
At the moment, with America not engaged in any open, large scale war, the bomber seems content to wowing crowds. And we’re not one bit sorry it does.