Midwest Mystery Jets are Actually B-2 Stealth Bombers

April 28, 2014 5:17 PM
A B-2 in 2010. US Air Force Photo
A B-2 in 2010. US Air Force Photo

The mystery jets that were spotted over Amarillo, Texas, and Wichita, Kan. earlier this year are in fact Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bombers on a training sortie, military sources told USNI News on Monday.

“The Amarillo jets were B-2 training sorties,” an U.S. Air Force official with direct knowledge of the incident told USNI News on Monday.

The jets were enroute to the Utah Test and Training Range to practice dropping bombs after a brief delay at the Melrose Air Force Range in New Mexico.

Flying out of Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., the B-2s would likely have navigated via Amarillo to get to Melrose Range.

View Mystery Planes Are B-2s in a larger map

“The Kansas picture is likely any number of training sorties flown around Kansas and Missouri,” the official added.

Whiteman, the home station of the B-2 fleet, is just outside of Kansas City near the border between Kansas and Missouri.

Earlier reporting that suggested that the images showed a thus far unknown type of triangular aircraft were mistaken due to the poor resolution of the photos.

Photo taken by amature photographer Jeff Templin in Kansas on April 16, 2014
Photo taken by amature photographer Jeff Templin in Kansas on April, 16 2014

The triangular planform on apparent display in those shots is the result of an optical illusion that obscured the trailing edge of the B-2s design.

“Given the resolution of this photo, we can’t even tell if it is a military
aircraft, much less an Air Force one,” Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Cassidy told USNI News on April 21.

The U.S. Air Force fields 20 of the stealth bombers.

Dave Majumdar

Dave Majumdar

Dave Majumdar has been covering defense since 2004. He has written for Flight International, Defense News and C4ISR Journal. Majumdar studied Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary and is a student of naval history.

Get USNI News updates delivered to your inbox