More Spirits on the Line

Northrop Grumman shaved 41 days off of B-2 bomber programm?ed depot maintenance, redelivering the most recent aircraft in a record 359 days, the company announced. “Our success reducing PDM flow days to less than a year stems from an aggressive, on-going effort by Northrop Grumman and the Air Force to put more B-2s on the nation’s flight line,” company B-2 program manager Dave Mazur said in a release. The Air Force and Northrop Grumman are also moving to overhaul each jet every nine years—rather than seven—and induct two aircraft instead of three into PDM at a time to keep more of the fleet operational at any given time. “We’ve observed that many of the B-2’s major components are holding up much better than expected,” he said. “As a result, we’re able to extend its maintenance interval without jeopardizing its readiness to serve the nation’s global security interests.” The company most recently redelivered Spirit of Kittyhawk to the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo., on Sept 23.