AN RAF Top Gun known as “Killers” has been recruited to fly the world’s deadliest aircraft for the elite US Grim Reapers squadron.
13th bomb squadron ... badge of the elite Grim Reapers
Squadron Leader Jon Killerby pilots the £1billion state-of-the-art Stealth Spirit B2 bomber.
The former Tornado ace, 34, is based with the 13th Bomb Squadron in Missouri, US.
His flying overalls sport the squadron’s badge of a skeleton wielding a scythe above a B2 with the words “Grim Reapers” beneath.
Jon, on a two-year exchange with the US Air Force, is only the second British pilot trusted with the amazing “flying wing” aircraft.
Awesome ... Stealth bomber
It is invisible to radar and can carry 40,000lbs of satellite-guided bombs. There are just 20 in service.
He said of the bomber: “It loves to be flown and I love flying it. It is the most amazing thing.
“For the first ten years of its life it was so classified that it was not even acknowledged to exist — so to be invited to fly it was an honour.”
Jon, who lives near the B2 base with wife Marie, is on standby to fly the bomber on operational missions if the Pentagon or Nato think its unique qualities are needed. With the support of airborne tankers, the bomber can fly round the world in one go and stay in the sky for two days.
It has been used in Iraq and Afghanistan to destroy enemy command and communications centres with pin-point accuracy.
Jon was flying ground-attack Tornados of 14 Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland when he was picked for the elite Stealth Spirit programme.
He said: “The B2 can attack dozens of targets at once with a precision that is measured in metres. About four Tornados could fit under it when it is parked. The payload is ten times that of a single Tornado, making it a truly awesome aircraft.
“But is very quiet and simple to handle. It’s easy to forget you are flying a bomber.
“And it is very easy on fuel due to its advanced design.”