B-21 Raider’s First Flight: What We Learned

The War Zone

Our analysis of seeing the first B-21 Raider, nicknamed Cerberus, in the sky and from many new angles for the very first time.

byTyler Rogoway| PUBLISHED Nov 10, 2023 6:43 PM ESTContributor

The B-21’s first flight — a massive milestone for Northrop Grumman and the USAF — provides us with totally new looks at the world’s most advanced flying machine. Here are some key takeaways from what is really the Raider’s first full unveiling.

Check out our morning coverage of the B-21’s first flight here. You can read our past analysis on the B-21 and its mission set, which mirrors what we are seeing today with our own eyes, here and here.

First off, the name. Yes, It’s the B-21 Raider, but the first example of the type has a special nickname that is adorned on its gear door: Cerberus.

Cerberus is the hound of Hades that guards the gates of the underworld to prevent the dead from escaping. So, in Greek Mythology terms, the first of the B-21s has a very dark and ominous name. It is fitting for what is arguably among the most destructive flying machines ever created.

Many are asking about the long



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