Murphy's Law: April 12, 2002

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Reports of cracks in B-2 bombers are not deserving of the panic they have caused in Congress, the Pentagon says, and are simply propaganda to stop heavy bomber advocates from getting money for more of the giant bombers. The cracks are in the flat titanium plates behind the engines, and are not a flight safety issue. (Sixteen of the 21 bombers have such cracks, which are up to two inches long.) Similar cracks on F-117s never caused a problem. The plates in question are not a structural element of the aircraft, but simply part of the aerodynamic covering. Systems are being designed to repair the cracks before they get big enough to matter.--Stephen V Cole

 


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