Boeing Team Rebuilds B-1 ‘Backbone’ for US Air Force

b1b Lancer

LONG BEACH, Calif., May 29, 2009 – A U.S. Air Force B-1B bomber returned to flight last week after a team led by The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] replaced its catastrophically damaged upper-center boron longeron – the aircraft’s “backbone.”

The B-1, Swift Justice, was damaged during a routine training mission in December 2007. An engine-bleed air duct rupture triggered a temperature warning light, forcing the crew to land the aircraft at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.

Replacing the upper-center boron longeron, which is essential for stability in flight, is not a simple task because the part is unique to each aircraft, with no spares available.

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