B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber
Ken Johnson first saw the full-scale B-2 Spirit fly at the Northrop Grumman factory in Palmdale, California. Impressed, he decided to build an electric FF Sport Scale model of this unique aircraft.
Ken went to the drawing board using a Squadron/Signal booklet about the B-2 for reference. By enlarging a copy of the three-view, he drew plans over it for the 42-inch wingspan model that he envisioned. Although the full-scale airplane does not have vertical fins or dihedral, Ken felt they were necessary on the model to make it airworthy.
The B-2 was constructed from plywood and balsa; the wing was first completed from the top, then lifted and turned upside down to build the bottom part while Ken held it. The model’s CG had to be placed in exactly the same place as what was on the plan, but clay could be added to achieve a clean, flat glide and gentle right turn before flying.
The model was covered in its entirety with black Japanese tissue. Ken used a water bottle to lightly water shrink it, and then coated it with half-thinned nitrate dope. The white trim lines were added using a gel Excel pen.
The electric motor, battery pack, and switch were all from a Hobbico RTF Spitfire kit that Ken happened to have lying around. The battery and switch were mounted with sheet balsa in the fuselage and braced to the top parts. The back of the motor was 5¾ inches from the front of the batteries.
Ken’s target weight for the model was 95 grams. He noted in the feature that if the airplane was heavy, another battery cell could be added to achieve more power. He rounded out his model with a launch-loop handle made from a large paper clip and cemented to the top inside of the balsa sheet on the bottom of the fuselage area.
The B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber was one of three construction articles featured in the March 2004 MA. AMA Plans Service listing 954, the one-sheet plan is available for $9 plus shipping and handling.