All posts by Joe Baugher

About Joe Baugher

Joseph F. Baugher is a retired physicist, software engineer, and author, who has also written articles on aviation. He graduated from Gettysburg College in 1963 and studied physics under Philip J. Bray at Brown University, receiving a Ph.D. in 1968. Baugher's American Military Aircraft website provides detail from the initial design phases to the final fate of the built aircraft, covering practically all the US fighter and bomber models, and several foreign types as well.

EF-18 Hornet in Spanish Service

Spanish flag Spain (1985)
Multirole Fighter Aircraft – 96 Built

The first European customer for the F/A-18 Hornet multirole fighter was the Spanish Air Force, the Ejercito del Aire Espanol (EdA). Spain did not join NATO until May of 1982, but even before that date the Spanish government had issued a requirement for a new fighter/attack aircraft that would replace its fleet of F-4C Phantoms, F-5 Freedom Fighters, and Mirages. In response to the announced requirement, the US government initially offered Spain an interim loan of 42 ex-USAF F-4E Phantoms, followed by the sale of 72 F-16s. However, the F-18 entered the competition in 1980, offering the benefit of a twin-engine safety margin.


In December of 1982, Spain announced that they had selected the Hornet and made plans to order 72 single-seaters (F/A-18A) and 12 two-seat (F/A-18B) versions. However, this proved more than the Spanish government could afford, and the order was reduced to only 60 A variants and 12 B variants on May 31, 1983. An option was put aside for 12 additional Hornets, but due to budgetary restrictions, they were not taken up.

As part of an offset agreement reached with Spain, Construcciones Aeronauticas SA (CASA) at Gefale is responsible for the maintenance of the EdA Hornets. CASA is also responsible for major overhauls of Canadian Hornets based in Europe, as well as the Hornets of the US 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean.

EF-18 on takeoff at exercise Anatolian Eagle, Turkey (USAF)

The Spanish Hornets are sometimes referred to as EF-18A and EF-18B, the “E” standing for “España” (Spain) rather than for “Electronic” as would normally be the case for an official Department of Defense designation. They have local EdA designations C.15 and CE.15 respectively. Serial numbers are C.15-13 through C.15-72 and CE.15-01 through CE.15-12 respectively.

The first EdA Hornet, EF-18B CE.15-01, was presented in a formal ceremony at St Louis on November 22, 1985, and made its first flight on December 4. The first few two-seaters were sent to Whiteman AFB in Missouri, where McDonnell Douglas personnel assisted in the training of the first few Spanish instructors. The first two-seater was flown to Spain on July 10, 1986. By early 1987, all 12 two-seaters had been delivered to Spain, after which the single-seaters were delivered. A total of 60 EF-18As and 12 EF-18Bs were delivered to Spain, the last planes being delivered in July of 1990.

The Hornet serves with Escuadron (Squadron) 151 and Escuadron 152 of Ala de Caza (Fighter Wing) 15 at Zaragoza-Valenzuela and with Escuadron 121 and Escuadron 122 of Ala de Caza 12 at Torrejon de Ardoz. Escuadron 151 was established first and declared combat-ready in September of 1988. In EdA service, the Hornet operates as an all-weather interceptor sixty percent of the time and as a night and day fighter-bomber for the remainder. In case of war, each of the four front-line squadrons is assigned a primary role. 121 is tasked with tactical air support for maritime operations, 151 and 122 are assigned the all-weather interception role, and 152 is assigned the suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) mission.

Spain has ordered 80 Texas Instruments AGM-88 HARM antiradiation missiles and 20 McDonnell Douglas AGM-84 Harpoon anti-shipping missiles. The Spanish Hornets carry the Sanders AN/ALQ-126B deception jammer and, on the last 36 aircraft, Northrop AN/ALQ-162(V) countermeasure systems. For air-to-ground work, EdA Hornets carry low-drag BR and Mk 80 series bombs, Rockeye II cluster bombs, BME-300 anti-airfield cluster bombs, BEAC fuel-air explosive bombs, GBU-10 and GBU-16 Paveway II laser bombs, AGM-65G Maverick air-to-surface missiles, and AGM-88 HARM antiradiation missiles. In the air-to-air missions, EdA Hornets carry a 20-mm M61A1 cannon, AIM-9L/M Sidewinders and AIM-7F/M Sparrows. The Sparrows were supplemented from late 1995 onward by AIM-120 AMRAAMs. Spanish Hornets can also carry AN/ALE-39 chaff/flare dispensers, ALR-167 radar homing and warning systems and ALQ-126B Jammers which have been supplanted in most of the aircraft by the more advanced ALQ-162. EdA Hornets can carry the AN/AAS-38 Nite Hawk FLIR/laser designator pod on the port fuselage stores station. Air refueling for the Spanish Hornets is provided by KC-130Hs from Grupo (Group) 31 and Boeing 707TTs from Grupo 45.

In 1993, plans were announced for the EdA’s fleet of EF-18A/B Hornets to be upgraded to F/A-18C/D standards. McDonnell Douglas reworked 46 of these planes, with the remainder being upgraded by CASA. Most of the changes involved computer improvements and new software, although some changes were required to the weapons delivery pylons. Following the rework, the planes were redesignated EF-18A+ and EF-18B+.

Worried about a “fighter gap” opening up early in the next century because of delays in the Eurofighter 2000 program, Spain searched for additional fighter aircraft, acquiring some additional Mirage F1s from Qatar and France. The USAF offered Spain 50 surplus F-16A/B Fighting Falcons and the US Navy offered about 30 F/A-18As. These F/A-18s had the advantage in the contest, since Spain already operated the Hornet, and in late 1995 the Spanish government approved the purchase of 24 US Navy surplus F/A-18A/Bs. This marked the first sale of US Navy surplus Hornets. There was a separate deal for new F404-GE-400 engines, which were being contracted directly from General Electric.

The US Navy surplus Hornets were intended to equip the 211 Escuadron of Grupo 21 based at Moron. Escuadron 211 had been operating the F/RF-5A fighter, but these planes had been phased out of front-line service and transferred to Ala 21, while the Moron-based unit was temporarily equipped with CASA C-101 Aviojets. The first six were delivered in late 1995. They bore EdA serials C.15-73 to C-15-78 (being ex-US Navy BuNos 161936, 162415, 162416, 162426, 162446, and 162471 respectively). The remainder would follow at a rate of six per year until 1998. After a period of service, they were retrofitted in Spain and later subjected to a mid-life update.

With the withdrawal of USAFE and Canadian squadrons from Europe, Spanish F-18s (and Mirage F1s) have been in demand for NATO exercises and are frequent visitors to air bases in Europe and the UK. In 1994, eight EF-18s participated in a Red Flag exercise at Nellis AFB in Nevada. Eight EF-18s participated in Deny Flight operations out of Aviano, Italy beginning in December of 1994. On May 25, they received their first taste of combat when they participated in an attack against a Serb ammunition depot near Pale (currently in Bosnia and Herzegovina).

The Hornet is extremely popular with its EdA crews and is reportedly a pure joy to fly, stable and yet highly maneuverable and with good acceleration. By 2002, only six Spanish Hornets had been lost in accidents. This is the best safety record of any EdA fighter that ever served, and as good, if not better, than that of any other F/A-18 operator.

Active Service

Spanish Hornet at a NATO Tiger Meet exercise (FloxPapa)

After the Bosnian War began in 1992, the UN Security Council passed a resolution prohibiting military flights in Bosnian Airspace. Despite this no-fly order, hundreds of violations were committed. As a result, enforcement of the UN no-fly zone over Bosnia and Herzegovina by NATO began in 1993 as Operation Deny Flight, which was successful in denying unauthorized airplane access over Bosnia, but was ineffective with regards to helicopters. However, Operation Deny Flight was extended beyond the enforcement of the no-fly-zone, with ground air strikes in support of UN forces being made in the operation. As a NATO member state, the Spanish Air Force was involved and flew missions jointly with the U.S. Air Force, with eight EF-18s, two KC-130s and one CASA 212 participating in 23,000 fighter sorties, 27,000 close air support missions, 21,000 training sorties and 29,000 SEAD and other types of sorties.

The next military operation of the Spanish Forces was Operation Deliberate Force, aimed at weakening the military power of the Bosnian Serb Army which had perpetrated the Srebrenica massacre in July 1995, in which 8300 Bosnians were murdered. The air campaign lasted for three weeks, with eight EF-18s and several other Spanish aircraft involved in operations flying over 3500 sorties.

Spanish Air Force EF-18 Hornets have also flown Ground Attack, SEAD, and combat air patrol (CAP) combat missions in Kosovo, under NATO command, in the Aviano detachment (Italy). They shared the base with Canadian and USMC F/A-18s. Over Yugoslavia, eight EF-18s, based at Aviano AB, participated in bombing raids in Operation Allied Force in 1999, a NATO military campaign directed against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as part of the Kosovo War. The operation was carried out without UN approval due to China and Russia vetoing it. The end of the campaign lead to the withdrawal of Yugoslav forces from Kosovo and end to the Kosovo War.

During the 2011 Libyan Civil War, a coalition of nations imposed a no-fly zone over the country in order to prevent Muammar Ghadaffi’s Lybian Armed Forces from using the air force to bomb the rebels, along with an arms embargo. Six Spanish Hornets, along with a few other Spanish planes, participated in enforcing the no-fly zone. Spain also allowed the use of its Rota, Morón and Torrejón bases by the coalition. The total costs for Spain over the 7-month operation ammounted to more than 50 million euros.


  • EF-18A – Single seat version, locally designated C.15
  • EF-18B – Two seat version, locally designated C.15E
  • EF-18A+ – Single seat version upgraded to F-18C standard
  • EF-18B+ – Two seat version upgraded to F-18D standard*Note: The “E” in “EF-18” stands for “España” rather than “Electronic [warfare]” as typically designated by the U.S. Department of Defense

EF-18A Specifications

Wingspan 40 ft 5 in / 13.5 m
Length 56 ft 0 in / 16.8 m
Height 15 ft 4 in / 4.6 m
Engine 2x General Electric F404-GE-402 turbofan engines
Maximum Takeoff Weight 51,900 lbs / 23,540 kg
Climb Rate 833 fps / 254 m/s
Maximum Speed Mach 1.7+
Range 1250 mi / 2,000 km
Maximum Service Ceiling 50,000 ft / 15,240 m
Crew 1 pilot
  • One M61A1/A2 Vulcan 20mm cannon
  • AIM 9 Sidewinder, AIM 7 Sparrow, AIM-120 AMRAAM
  • Harpoon, Harm, SLAM, SLAM-ER, Maverick missiles
  • Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW)
  • Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM)
  • various general purpose bombs, mines and rockets


llustrations by Haryo Panji

Two Hornets prepare for takeoff at exercise Anatolian Eagle, Turkey (USAF)
Armed EF-18, with laser guided GBU-10 Paveway II bombs and and AIM-9 Air to Air missiles (USAF)



Rockwell B-1A Lancer

USA flag United States of America (1974)
Prototype Supersonic Heavy Bomber – 4 Built

B-1A 74-0159

The B-1A program arose out of a need for a long-range, supersonic, low-flying heavy bomber. The program’s initial development was pushed forward through an ever-shifting geopolitical landscape, as well as opposition and contention among the the top levels of the U.S. government. Even with advanced features such as variable sweep wings, and variable air intake and exhaust capability, it was derided as a ‘dinosaur’ in the age of ICBMs. The opposition and political infighting nearly ended the Lancer, before it was given a miraculous second chance.


B-1A 74-158 taxiing on ground. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The origin of the Rockwell B-1 can be traced back to 1961, when the Air Force began to consider alternatives to the North American B-70 Valkyrie, which had just been downgraded from production to test aircraft status. At that time, the long range strategic missile was assumed to be the weapon of the future, with manned long-range bombers being relegated to a secondary role. The B-70 had been designed to fly at extremely high altitudes and at Mach 3 speeds, and increasingly effective Soviet anti aircraft defenses had made such an aircraft rather vulnerable.

Nevertheless, the Air Force commissioned several studies to explore possible roles for manned bombers in future planning. If successful, these would replace the B-52. At this time, the ability to fly through enemy airspace at extremely low altitudes was was thought to be the key for survival in the face of sophisticated air defenses.

The first such study was known as the Subsonic Low Altitude Bomber (SLAB), which was completed in 1961. It envisaged a 500,000 pound fixed-wing aircraft with a total range of 11,000 nautical miles, with 4300 nm of these miles being flown at low altitudes. This was followed soon after by the Extended Range Strike Aircraft (ERSA), which had a weight of 600,000 pounds and featured a variable sweep wing. The ERSA was supposed to be able to carry a payload of 10,000 pounds and achieve a range of 8750 nautical miles, with 2500 of these miles being flown at altitudes as low as 500 feet. In August of 1963, a third study known as Low-Altitude Manned Penetrator(LAMP) was completed. It called for a 20,000 payload and a 6200 nautical mile range, 2000 miles being flown at low altitude. None of these projects ever got beyond the basic concept stage.

In October of 1963, the Air Force looked over these proposals and used the results as the foundation of a new bomber proposal, termed Advanced Manned Precision Strike System (AMPSS). In November of that year, 3 contractors were issued Requests for Proposals for the AMPSS. The companies were Boeing, General Dynamics, and North American. However, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara kept a tight rein on funds, and expressed doubts about the assumptions behind AMPSS, so the RFPs only involved basic concept studies and did not focus on a specific aircraft. In addition, the contractors all agreed that some of the suggested USAF requirements either did not make much sense or else were prohibitively costly.

In mid-1964, the USAF had revised its requirements and retitled the project as Advanced Manned Strategic Aircraft (AMSA). The AMSA still envisaged an aircraft with the takeoff and low-altitude performance characteristics of the AMPSS, but in addition asked for a high-altitude supersonic performance capability. The projected gross weight for the aircraft was 375,000 pounds, and the range was to be 6300 nautical miles, 2000 of which would be flown at low altitude.

Secretary McNamara was never very excited about the AMSA, since he thought that strategic missiles could do a better job of “assured destruction” than manned bombers, and thought that the cost of the AMSA would probably be excessive. Nevertheless, there was a potential gain in avionics and propulsion technology that could be achieved if the project were to proceed, and McNamara released a small amount of funding for preliminary AMSA studies. The airframe for the AMSA would be worked on by Boeing, General Dynamics, and North American, whereas Curtiss-Wright, General Electric, and Pratt & Whitney would work on the engines. Both IBM and Hughes aircraft looked at potential avionics systems. These contractors issued their reports in late 1964. General Electric and Pratt & Whitney were given a contract to produce two demonstrator engines, but no airframe and avionics contracts were issued at that time.

74-0160 on display at Edwards AFB in 1980. (U.S. Air Force photo)

A bit of confusion entered the picture when the Defense Department selected the FB-111A as the replacement for the B-52C, B-52F, and B-58. The Air Force had not requested a bomber version of the controversial F-111, and was not all that enthusiastic about the choice. Nevertheless, a low-cost interim bomber did have some attractive features, and the Air Force went along with the choice of the FB-111A provided it did not interfere with AMSA development.

By 1968, an advanced development contract was issued to IBM and the Autonetics Division of North American Rockwell. On September 22, 1967, North American Aviation had merged with Rockwell Standard Corporation to create North American Rockwell. Earlier in that year, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had recommended the immediate development of the AMSA, but Secretary McNamara was still opposed, preferring instead to upgrade the existing FB-111 and B-52 fleet. McNamara vetoed the proposal.

When Richard Nixon became President in January of 1969, his Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird reviewed Defense Department needs and announced in March of 1969 that the planned acquisition of 253 FB-111s would be reduced to only 76, since the FB-111 lacked the range and payload required for strategic operations, and recommended that the AMSA design studies be accelerated.

The AMSA was officially assigned the designation B-1A in April of 1969. This was the first entry in the new bomber designation series, first created in 1962.

New Requests For Proposals were issued in November of 1969. IBM and Autonetics were selected for the avionics work on December 19. The selection of airframe and engine contractors was delayed by budget cuts in FY 1970 and 1971. On December 8, 1969 North American Rockwell and General Electric were announced as the winners of the respective airframe and engine contracts for the B-1A.

The original program called for 2 test airframes, 5 flyable aircraft, and 40 engines. This was cut in 1971 to one ground test aircraft and 3 flight test articles (74-0158/0160). First flight was set for April of 1974. A fourth prototype (76-1074) was ordered in the FY 1976 budget. This fourth plane was to be built to production standards. At one time, some 240 B-1As were to be built, with initial operational capability set for 1979.


B-1A Orthogonal Projection. Note the difference between the wings at maximum and minimum sweep. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The fuselage of the B-1A was fairly slim, and seated a crew of four in the nose. There was a large swept vertical tail, with a set of all-flying slab tailplanes mounted fairly high on the vertical tail. The aircraft’s fuselage blended smoothly into the wing to enhance lift and reduce drag. In addition, the fuselage was designed to reduce the aircraft’s radar cross section in order to minimize the probability of detection by enemy defenses.

In order to achieve the required high-speed performance and still be able to have a good low-speed takeoff and landing capability, a variable-sweep wing was used. This made it possible for the aircraft to use short runways that would be inaccessible to the B-52. The outer wing panels were attached to a wing carry-through attachment box which faired smoothly into a slim, narrow fuselage. Each outer wing had full-span slats and slotted flaps, but used no ailerons. Lateral control was provided by a set of spoilers on the wing upper surface, acting in conjunction with differential operation of the slab tailplanes.

The engines were four afterburning General Electric F101-100 turbofans. The engines were installed in pairs inside large nacelles underneath the wing roots,, and close to the aircraft’s center of gravity to improve stability while flying at high speed through highly-turbulent low-altitude air. The nacelles were far enough apart so that the main landing gear members could be installed in the wing roots between them with enough clearance to retract inwards. In order to achieve the required Mach 2 performance at high altitudes, the air intake inlets were variable. In addition, the exhaust nozzles were fully variable.

Initially, it had been expected that a Mach 1.2 performance could be achieved at low altitude, which required that titanium rather than aluminum be used in critical areas in the fuselage and wing structure. However, this low altitude performance requirement was lowered to only Mach 0.85, enabling a greater percentage of aluminum to be used, lowering the overall cost. Titanium was used primarily for the wing carry-through box, the inner ends of the outer wings incorporating the pivots, and for some areas around the engines and rear fuselage.

Eight integral fuel tanks were planned, one in each outer wing panel, and the rest in the fuselage. About 150,000 pounds of fuel could be carried. There were three 15-foot weapons bays in the lower fuselage, two ahead and one behind the wing carry-through box. Each bay could carry up to 25,000 pounds of conventional or nuclear weapons. The total weapons load was almost twice what a B-52 could carry. All of the offensive weapons were to be carried internally, with no provision for externally-mounted pylons. A key weapon was to be the AGM-69A SRAM (Short-Range Attack Missile), 8 of which could be carried on a rotary launcher in each of the weapons bays.

No defensive armament was planned, the B-1A relying on its low-altitude performance and its suite of electronic countermeasures gear to avoid interception.

An extensive suite of electronics was planned, including a Litton LN-15 inertial navigation system, a Doppler radar altimeter, a Hughes forward-looking infrared, and a General Electric APQ-114 forward-looking radar and a Texas Instruments APQ-146 terrain-following radar.

The B-1A carried a crew of four–a pilot, copilot, offensive systems officer, and defensive systems officer. The crew escape system resembled that of the F-111 crew escape module. In an emergency, a capsule containing all four crewmembers would separate from the aircraft and be steered and stabilized by various fins and spoilers. A rocket motor would fire and lift the capsule up and away from the aircraft. Three parachutes would then open and would lower the capsule along with the crew safely to the surface. Once down, the capsule would serve as a survival shelter for the crew members.


The B-1A mockup review occurred in late October of 1971. There were 297 requests for alterations.

The first B-1 flight aircraft (74-0158) rolled out from USAF Plant 42 at Palmdale, CA on October 26, 1974. It made its first flight on December 23, 1974, a short hop to Edwards AFB where the flight testing was to be carried out. The crew was Rockwell test pilot Charlie C. Bock,; Jr, Col. Emil Sturmthal, and Richard Abrams. The third aircraft (74-0160) was to be the avionics testbed and flew for the first time on March 26, 1976. The second aircraft (74-0159) was initially used for some static ground testing and did not make its first flight until June 14, 1976.

The B-1A test program went fairly smoothly. However, there were numerous modifications introduced throughout the program and some items of additional equipment were added. The avionics suite of the B-1A was perhaps the most complex yet used on an aircraft. The Initial Operational Test and Evaluation tests were successfully passed in September of 1976. The Phase 1 flight test program was completed on September 30, 1976. In December of 1976, the Air Force concluded that the B-1A was to go into production, with contracts placed for the first three aircraft and plans were made for an initial Block 2 production batch of 8 aircraft.

It seemed that the B-1A was well on its way to a full production run of 240 aircraft. However, the cost of the B-1A program began to escalate, and there were still some unresolved issues concerning the avionics suite. In 1970, the estimated per-unit price was $40 million, and by 1972, the cost had risen to $45.6 million. Although this sounds like small-change by today’s standards, this was considerably greater than the figure for any previous production aircraft. Moreover, by 1975, this number had climbed to $70 million.

Alarmed at these rising costs, the new presidential administration of Jimmy Carter (which had taken office on January 20, 1977) began to take a second look at the whole B-1A program. On June 30, 1977, President Carter announced that plans to produce the B-1A would be cancelled, and that the defense needs of the USA would be met by ICBMs, SLBMs, and a fleet of modernized B-52s armed with ALCMs. President Carter genuinely wanted to reduce the arms race, but he was unaware at the time of the secret projects that would ultimately lead to the F-117A stealth attack aircraft and the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.

B-1A during the B-1B flight test program. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Despite the cancellation of the production program, the Carter administration allowed the flight testing of the B-1A to continue. Most of the effort involved the avionics, in particular the defensive systems. In addition, General Electric continued to work on improvements for the F101 engine, and most of the contractors kept their engineering teams intact. Perhaps most important, work continued in reducing the radar cross section of the aircraft. Less than a month after the cancellation, 74-0160 launched a SRAM on July 28, 1977 at an altitude of 6,000 feet over the White Sands missile range. This aircraft was later modified with an advanced electronic countermeasures system mounted in a dorsal spine, and Doppler beam sharpening was added to the forward-looking radar. 74-0158 had achieved Mach 2.0 in April of 1976, and after completing its stability and control tests was placed in storage in 1978. On October 5, 1978, 74-0159 achieved a speed of Mach 2.22, the highest speed achieved during the B-1A program.

74-0158 was retired from flying in April of 1981 after having flown 138 sorties, the largest number of flights of any of the prototypes. By this time, it had acquired a three-tone desert camouflage scheme. It was eventually dismantled and used as a weapons trainer at Lowry AFB.

74-0159 was later used as a flight test article in the B-1B program. It was modified by having B-1B flight control system features installed. It began flying on March 23, 1983. Unfortunately, it crashed on August 29, 1984 when the aircraft’s center of gravity got unbalanced during fuel transfer management procedures, causing it to lose control. The escape capsule deployed successfully, but the parachute risers did not deploy properly. The capsule hit the ground at a steep angle, so steep that the inflatable cushions could not shield the impact. Chief test pilot Doug Benefield was killed, and two other crew members were seriously injured.

74-0160 was later converted to a ground trainer under the designation GB-1A and is now on display at the Wings Over The Rockies Air and Space Museum (formerly Lowry AFB), near Denver, Colorado.

76-0174 had been ordered to serve as a pre-production B-1A aircraft and was configured with full avionics systems. When the B-1A program was cancelled, work on this aircraft was well under way. Unlike the first three B-1s, 76-0174 was equipped with four conventional ejector seats in place of the escape capsule. This change was made after tests had determined that the crew escape module was unstable if ejected at speeds above 347 knots. It flew on February 14, 1979 and carried out 70 sorties. This plane was later used as a test article in support of the B-1B program. It resumed flying on July 30, 1984. Externally, the main change was the removal of the long dorsal spine but many of the B-1B avionics systems were installed internally. It is now on display at the USAF Museum at Wright Patterson AFB in Ohio.


  • B-1A – The initial prototype run of four aircraft


  • U.S. Air Force – The sole operator of the B-1A was the USAF


B-1A Lancer

(at max sweep)
78 ft 2.5 in / 23.84 m
(at min sweep)
136 ft 8.5 in / 41.67 m
Length 143 ft 3.5 in / 43.8 m
Height 34 ft 0 in / 10.36 m
Wing Area 1,950 ft² / 181.2 m²
Engine 4x General Electric F101-GE-100 turbofans, 17,390 lbf dry, 30,000 lbf with afterburner
Fuel Capacity 29,755 US Gal / 11,2634 L
Loaded Weight 389,000 lb / 176,450 kg
Maximum Take Off Weight 395,000 lb / 179,170 kg
Maximum Speed Mach 2.2 / 1,688 mph / 2716.5 kmh at 50,000 ft / 15,240 m
Maximum Service Ceiling 62,000 ft / 18,900 m
Crew 1 pilot, 1 copilot, 1 offensive systems officer, 1 defensive systems officer


Illustrations by Basilisk

B-1A 74-0158 seen in Anti-Flash White
B-1A 74-0160 seen in a SAC Low Level Livery
B-1A 76-0174 seen in camouflage paint scheme
B-1A 76-174 seen in camouflage during testing. (U.S. Air Force photo)
A right side ground view of a B-1A aircraft wearing dark green camo. (U.S. Air Force Photo)
B-1A 76-174 in flight with wings extended in the 25-degree sweep position. (U.S. Air Force photo)