It’s not often anyone rolls hundreds of thousands of pounds of tactical bomber at low level in front of 50,000 people, but that was the surprise patrons of the Edwards Air Force Base airshow were in for earlier this month. A B-1B did a slow roll over the centerline during its bombing display at the show, the first one to be held in more than a decade at the normally secured facility. The Air Force trotted out all its frontline equipment for the show, which was sold out both days Oct. 15 and 16.


        • Remember when “Tex” Watson barrel rolled the Boeing 707 prototype? That raised a few eyebrows. The B-1 program suffered major setbacks, first when Carter cancelled the program (I was there at Edwards flight operations on that fateful day. You’ve never seen such long faces) then a fatal mishap with the plane occurred during Aft CG/Low Airspeed tests. When the plane was in congressional cross hairs for funding cuts, flight test crews would take representatives for rides during testing sorties. They did not spare those hapless bureaucrats with benign flight profiles. They put that bird on the deck with TFR “Hard Ride” settings along VR routes, and their passengers turned as green as grass. The crews showed mercy by feigning an emergency (Usually engine out) and recovered at the home drome. When they parked, right at the end of runway 22, an ambulance crew would remove the still-green politicians for treatment at the infirmary. The B-1 turned out be a bit of a lemon, but it is a capable combat aircraft.

  1. No issue here, Lots of positive G to get the nose up and then around u go. Just like Bob Hoover demonstrated. That could be done in an airliner….wait yes that has been done, back in the 60’s. My dad flew Connies and he said a roll could probably be done without the PAX even being aware of it…..
    He “Aimed High” well done.