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US Air Force’s Stealth Bomber Captured on Google Maps Flying Over Missouri Farm

Eagle-eyed Reddit users quickly caught onto the unique aircraft spotting.

Stealth Bomber plane spotted flying over Missouri fields. Credit: Google Maps

Reddit is home to many things, but no one would have expected it to be the spot for a post capturing an image of the US Air Force’s B-2 Spirit stealth bombers. 

The Reddit user known as Hippowned posted the image captured on Google Maps of the craft back in December of 2021, which quickly gained popularity of over 100 thousand upvotes.   

The posts notoriety quickly led to 3,000 comments and a YouTube video from My Garden Channel who zoomed in on the image which now has over 130 thousand views.  

The blurry image shows one of the 20 B-2 Spirits flying over a farmer’s field in Davis, Missouri. It was discovered just 20 miles out from the Whiteman Air Force base, which houses the 20 B-2 planes. 

The coordinates for the image were found to be 39 01 18.5N 93 35 40.5W on Google Maps, which profiled the plane in a mix of red, blue, green and gray streaks. This was a result of the satellite’s use of RGB channels that combine to make a single full-color image. 

Taking its first flight in 1989, the B-2 Spirit, also known as the Stealth Bomber, was developed by military technology provider Northrop Grumman. The 21 planes were designed to sneak into enemy lines, past anti-aircraft technology. 

Zoomed out image of the B-2 Spirit. Credit: Google Maps

But this craft couldn’t seem to escape from the Google satellites despite its advanced militaristic technology, which Reddit users were quick to comment on. 

“No one escapes Google,” writes user p1um5mu991er. 

“More like a photo bomber,” comments another user by the name of RandyGareth. 

The original Reddit user has since credited Scott Wagner with the find who posted the image in a Facebook group, the post goes down in infamy.

What is a Stealth Bomber?

Developed first for usage in the Cold War, the B-2 Spirit is capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear explosives. Each can carry up to 40,000 pounds (~18,000kg) with a total length of 69 feet (20.9 meters), height of 17 feet (5.1 meters) and weight of 160,000 pounds (~72,000kg) according to Air Force’s website

B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber for US Air Force. Credit: Shutterstock/Mike Mareen

With its insane technology and build, each plane costs over $2 billion to make, which makes it no wonder why only 21 B-2 Spirits have ever been made. 

Its silence in the air and impressive speed has allowed the B-2 Spirit to have an effective role within the US Air Force. According to the manufacturer’s website, while the B-2 only flew for less than 1% of total missions, within eight weeks of conflict, it destroyed 33% of targets. 

Not only that, but it continues to hold the record for the longest combat mission in history at 44 hours in 2001. 

With its impressive run, obviously spotting one in such a nonchalant manner, such as within Google Maps, is quite an exciting and unique situation. 

The Future of the Stealth Bomber

With one B-2 Spirit destroyed via crash in 2008, 20 have remained in service. 

In December of 2022 the aircrafts faced a six month grounding due to a fiery explosion on the Whiteman base runway, but they quickly resumed service.  

Ultimately, though, all good things come to an end and they will soon be replaced with the upgraded B-21. These will cost a hefty $203 billion to make, with at least 100 models in commission.

Upgraded B-21 planes by Northrop Grumman. Credit: Shutterstock/Mike Mareen

The B-21 has been detailed by the US Air Force to be “the backbone of the future Air Force bomber force consisting of B-21s and B-52s.” It continues to be a creation by Northrop Grumman, the developer of the original B-2. 

One can only imagine what sort of technology this plane has to have to garner such high praise. 

Despite an impending retirement, the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber remains one of the Air Force’s most formidable and recognizable aircraft, which only solidifies this Google Map’s capture in history.

Written By

Kaitlyn Mahan (she/her) is currently a freshman at Columbia College Chicago double majoring in creative writing and journalism. She predominantly focuses on prominent news coverage both nation and world wide and hopes to pursue a career in news publication writing.

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