Friday, January 18, 2008

B-1B Fly By

The phone rang at 8:30 this morning. My brother Ken is the Airport Secretary at Long Beach Airport. He was delivering a heads up: a B-1B bomber was on the taxi way preparing for take-off.

Photo: Ken Mason

According to "Boeing has been performing maintenance on the aircraft at its [Long Beach] C-17 facilities."

Long Beach Airport Public Affairs stated, "Boeing has advised that a U.S. Air Force B-1 Bomber will depart from Long Beach Airport on Friday, January 18th. This aircraft arrived in October and has been undergoing maintenance.

Please note, this aircraft must deploy its afterburners upon take off and will be louder than the typical airplane departure."

I immediately grabbed my camera and went outside for a front row view. My landlord, curious as to why I was standing in the front yard in my bath robe with my camera, came out to await the fly by. It turns out that his wife actually works manufacturing B-1B parts and his late father developed a metal still used in aircraft manufacturing.

My brother called back just after 9am and said, "I hope you're not outside freezing. It's powered up but just sitting on the taxi way. Oh, it just got cleared for take-off!"

And take off it did! It rose effortlessly into the clear morning sky, thundering away into the blue, looking close enough to touch.

Bob got off this shot from the back yard:

Oh and me? camera battery died.

It would have been great video...

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