Air Force Discovers B-2 Bomber Cracks

Associated Press

The Air Force said Friday it has discovered "hairline cracking" in a rear section of the B-2 Stealth bomber that may be caused by exposure to high temperatures.

The exact reason for the cracking, found during a routine inspection of the radar-evading aircraft on March 30, is still under study, said Air Force spokesman Maj. Dick Cole.

The cracking is located in the aft deck of the plane behind its engine exhaust outlets. The problem was first reported in the magazine Aviation Week & Space Technology.

Cole said that the sections with the cracking will be removed and replaced with new titanium patches.

Titanium, which is highly heat resistant and is very strong, also was used in the now-retired reconnaisance aircraft SR-71. However, there are shortages of the material plaguing the aerospace industry.

Cole said it wasn't clear whether the problem would delay the plane's testing process.

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