B-1B Lancer with Forward-swept wing
B-1B Lancer with Forward-swept wing, at Aviation Nation Nellis AFB, Nevada.
The wings can sweep from 15 degrees to 67.5 degrees (full forward to full sweep). Forward-swept wing settings are used for takeoff, landings and high-altitude maximum cruise. Aft-swept wing settings are used in high subsonic and supersonic flight. The wings of the B-1B originally were cleared for use at settings of 15, 25, 55 and 67.5 degrees. The 45-degree setting was later cleared in 1998–99 timeframe.
The B-1's variable-sweep wings and thrust-to-weight ratio provide it with better takeoff performance, allowing it to use more runways than previous bombers. The length of the aircraft presented a flexing problem due to air turbulence at low altitude. To alleviate this, Rockwell included small triangular fin control surfaces or vanes near the nose on the B-1. The B-1's Structural Mode Control System rotates the vanes automatically to counteract turbulence and smooth out the ride.
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