Guam – An article posted on Ohio’s Wright-Patterson Air Force Base website this past month reveals that the B-2 fire on Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base back in February 2010 was far more serious then Air Force officials acknowledged to Guam media at that time.
The article, written by 88th Air Base Public Affairs Officer Daryl Mayer, describes the fire as “horrific” which left the stealth bomber unable to fly for months.
The multi-billion dollar B-2 is named the “Spirit of Washington.”
As PNC News reported on Feburary 26th of 2010, the fire broke out in one of the engines of the stealth bomber about 7 am that morning as the plane was preparing for takeoff.
Andersen officials referred all comment to Air Force Pacific Command in Hawaii where Lt. Col. Kenneth Hoffman told us that the “engine bay” fire was “minor.” But, according to the Wright-Patterson report, the fire was so severe that the plane suffered structural damage.
A team of engineers had to fly to Guam to make the “Spirit of Washington” flight worthy.
And only last month, 18 months after the initial fire, was the B-2 able to take off again and fly to a Northrop Grumman maintenance facility in Palmdale California for more extensive repairs.
The wounded B-2 flew non-stop to California from Guam, re-fueling in the air to that the plane never had “to take on the weight of a full load of fuel” on the ground. A support aircraft followed the “Spirit of Washington” during the flight back across the Pacific to help the B-2 flight crew avoid turbulent weather.
The still damaged stealth bomber now begins a 24 month maintenance process that will restore it to full operational duty.