B-2 Spirit Test Team Facility

The southern facility at Edwards was formerly home to the B-2 test team when the Northrop stealth bomber was undergoing flight testing at Edwards AFB. Early on in the program, the USAF wanted to try and keep the exact details of the B-2’s planform secret. While the aircraft was publicly unveiled at Palmdale, it was only shown from the front and side and the upper surfaces were not visible. This was rendered moot when an Aviation Week photographer took an image of the aircraft from an overflying aircraft and revealed the upper surface details. Earlier, when Northrop was preparing the Edwards AFB facility for use by the ATB test team, one of the enterprising designers devised the outdoor pavillion seen above, and it was found to bear a striking resemblance to the B-2. As the aircraft was still largely classified when the pavillion was created, senior officials were not very impressed! The pavillion remains today as an amusing indicator of an interesting facet of the B-2 program.

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