Air & Space Museum

Rockwell B-1A Lancer

Rockwell B-1A Lancer

Rockwell created the B-1A bomber in the early 1970s to meet a US Air Force requirement for a bomber combining the long range of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress and the supersonic speed of the Convair B-58 Hustler, in order to replace them both. The result was a sleek, fast, four engine bomber with variable sweep wings that could deliver nuclear weapons at intercontinental distances. It also came with a very large price tag.

Rockwell built four B-1As, which began a test program demonstrating their ability to fly at Mach 2.2 (over 1,400 mph) at high altitude while carrying either conventional or nuclear weapons. As the B-1 fell farther behind schedule and budget overruns more than tripled the cost per airplane, the program came under scrutiny. In 1977, President Carter canceled the program, believing that the B-1’s vulnerability to new Soviet defenses and the capabilities of new American cruise missiles and development of a new secret stealth bomber canceled any benefits the B-1 might offer. President Reagan reinstated the B-1 program in 1981 with a new mission. Rockwell designed the new B-1B model to fly at low level and lower speeds with an emphasis on delivery of conventional weapons and cruise missiles. They built a total of 100 B-1B Lancers.

The B-1A had a number of unique design features that did not make their way into the B-1B, including variable aspect engine intakes which moved to give the best performance at a variety of speeds, and an escape capsule that would eject the entire crew together in case of an emergency.

This B-1A was the third aircraft built. The Air Force assigned it to Lowry AFB in 1989 to serve as a ground trainer for munitions loading procedures. It is on loan from the National Museum of the US Air Force.

Aircraft specifications:
Wingspan: variable from 78 ft 2 in to 136 ft 9 in (23.8-41.7 m)
Length: 150 ft (44.7 m)
Maximum speed: Mach 2.3 at 50,000 feet (1,450 mph; 2,334 km/h)
Maximum weight: 395,000 lb (179,169 kg)
Range: 6,100 mi (9,817 km)

Air & Space Museum Air & Space Museum

Lowry - Denver

Air & Space Museum

Upcoming Events

Tuesday Dec 6

Colorado Gives Day

Colorado Gives Day
Tuesday, Dec 6

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Saturday Dec 10
10:00AM TO 2:00PM
Air & Space Museum

Cockpit Demo Day

Cockpit Demo Day
Saturday, Dec 10 | 10:00AM to 2:00PM

Get an up close look inside select aircraft at the museum and learn all about the history of the aircraft, instruments and controls!

Featured Aircraft in December:

  • North American F-100 Super Sabre
  • Martin EB-57
  • Alexander Eaglerock
  • Bede BD-5 (WC)
  • Cessna U-3A

 

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Saturday Dec 10
10:00AM TO 2:00PM
Exploration of Flight

Vettes and Jets Showcase

Vettes and Jets Showcase
Saturday, Dec 10 | 10:00AM to 2:00PM

Airpower meets horsepower! Join us at Exploration of Flight to see various models of classic, vintage and new Corvettes featured alongside the finest in air travel, a private jet.

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