Updated:
Original:
Year
1988
Month Day
November 22

Stealth bomber unveiled

In the presence of members of Congress and the media, the Northrop B-2 “stealth” bomber is shown publicly for the first time at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California.

The aircraft, which was developed in great secrecy for nearly a decade, was designed with stealth characteristics that would allow it to penetrate an enemy’s most sophisticated defenses unnoticed. At the time of its public unveiling, the B-2 had not even been flown on a test flight. It rapidly came under fire for its massive cost–more than $40 billion for development and a $1 billion price tag for each unit.

In 1989, the B-2 was successfully flown, performing favorably. Although the aircraft had a wingspan of nearly half a football field, its radar signal was as negligible as that of a bird. The B-2 also successfully evaded infrared, sound detectors, and the visible eye.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the original order for the production of 132 stealth bombers was reduced to 21 aircraft. The B-2 has won a prominent place in the modern U.S. Air Force fleet, serving well in bombing missions during the 1990s.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Angela Merkel becomes Chancellor of Germany

Angela Merkel is sworn in as Chancellor of Germany on this day in 2005. The first woman to hold the position, Merkel emerged as one of the strongest forces in European politics over the subsequent decade. She has frequently been called the most powerful woman in the world and the ...read more

Margaret Thatcher resigns

Margaret Thatcher, the first woman prime minister in British history, announces her resignation after 11 years in Britain’s top office. Margaret Hilda Roberts was born in Grantham, England, in 1925. In 1959, after marrying businessman Denis Thatcher and giving birth to twins, she ...read more

Blackbeard killed off North Carolina

Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard, is killed off North Carolina’s Outer Banks during a bloody battle with a British navy force sent from Virginia. Believed to be a native of England, Edward Teach likely began his pirating career in 1713, when he became a crewman aboard a ...read more

John F. Kennedy assassinated

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, is assassinated while traveling through Dallas, Texas, in an open-top convertible. First lady Jacqueline Kennedy rarely accompanied her husband on political outings, but she was beside him, along with Texas ...read more

Soviets encircle Germans at Stalingrad

On this day in 1942, a Soviet counteroffensive against the German armies pays off as the Red Army traps about a quarter-million German soldiers south of Kalach, on the Don River, within Stalingrad. As the Soviets’ circle tightened, German General Friedrich Paulus requested ...read more

First B-52 shot down over North Vietnam

The United States loses its first B-52 of the war. The eight-engine bomber was brought down by a North Vietnamese surface-to-air missile near Vinh on the day when B-52s flew their heaviest raids of the war over North Vietnam. The Communistss claimed 19 B-52s shot down to date. ...read more