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Plant 42 gears up “Spirit of Pennsylvania” for next mission

  • Published
  • By Giancarlo Casem
  • 412th Test Wing Public Affairs

The “Spirit of Pennsylvania” B-2 arrived at its new home at Edwards Air Force Base, California, Oct. 2, where it will serve as the 412th Test Wing’s test platform for B-2 flight testing.

The “Spirit of Pennsylvania” began its journey to Edwards in 2017, when the aircraft returned home to Unites States Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, where it was originally built, to serve as a test jet and undergo programmed depot maintenance (PDM) at Northrop Grumman.

“The B-2 PDM cycle is an end-to-end overhaul that ensures each B-2 is mission ready to serve the needs of the U.S. Air Force,” said Benjamin Davies, vice president and B-2 program manager, Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems. “Our team dedicated countless hours to the Spirit of Pennsylvania and we are thrilled to deliver it to our partners at Edwards Air Force Base where it will support their test mission in our local skies for years to come.”

B-2s undergo PDM every nine years, and this was the Pennsylvania’s third PDM cycle. During its PDM, the aircraft received a complete restoration of its airframe and underwent exhaustive inspections of all electrical and mechanical systems. A large part of the statement of work performed by Northrop Grumman was the restoration of the Low Observable System on the aircraft that included a complete removal and re-application of its radar-evading materials.  

The historic Plant 42 is the birthplace of all the Air Force’s B-2 Spirits, and where the first-ever Spirit conducted its maiden flight more than 30 years ago on July 17, 1989. It is also where they all conduct PDM services under the auspices of the aircraft’s manufacturer, Northrop Grumman.

Following its PDM, the aircraft conducted a short flight from Plant 42 to Edwards where it has been assigned to the 419th Flight Test Squadron. As a member of the Global Power Combined Test Force, the Spirit of Pennsylvania will be the base’s new test platform for B-2 flight testing.

Besides the B-2 Spirit, the Global Power CTF utilizes the two other bombers in the Air Force inventory: the B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress. The CTF is the lead organization in flight testing avionics, mechanical, weapons and electronic warfare upgrades to the bomber fleet.


Edwards provides care, opportunities for children aged six weeks through high school graduation

Edwards provides care, opportunities for childrenaged six weeks through high school graduation

The Child and Youth Program at Edwards AFB provides care and opportunities for kids ages six weeks old through high school graduation. A brief summary of those services follows:

  •                    The Child Development Center cares for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, with a DOD-wide curriculum. The curriculum is focused on learning through play activities supporting social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Installations across DOD follow the curriculum on the same timeline to allow seamless permanent change-of-station transitions for youth enrolled in care.
  •                    The School Age Center provides before and after-school care and summer camp for children ages 5 to 12. During school breaks, full-day camps are offered. SAC promotes cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, language and physical development through programs that encourage self-confidence, curiosity, self-discipline and resiliency.
  •                    The open recreation program at the Main Youth Center provides a safe space for ages 9 to 12 to attend after school. Programs include Power Hour, STEM, Torch Club, social recreation, youth camps, special events and more.
  •                    The youth sports program provides intro and league opportunities for ages 3 to 12, and promotes inclusiveness, self-discipline, commitment, resiliency and social skills. There are four sports offered annually for ages five to 12: baseball/softball, soccer, flag football and basketball. Smart start programs are available to ages 3 to 5. There are many other sports and camps offered throughout the year.
  •                    The Teen Center is available for ages 13 to 18 during the school year. Programs offered include Military Youth of the Year, Keystone Club, social recreation, STEM activities, college trips, leadership camps and more.
  •                    Youth programs (SAC, open rec and teen) are affiliated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and 4-H.
  •                    Family Child Care homes – there are currently three FCC homes on the installation. They can provide care for ages two weeks to 12 years. FCC providers are trained by Child and Youth Program training and curriculum specialists and have the flexibility to determine their hours of operation and the ages of youth within their care. The program’s new dedicated manager, Jennifer Stegmann, may be reached at 661-275-7529.

Although CDC enrollment capacity is 317, not all slots are currently filled because of a shortage of childcare workers. School Age Center enrollment capacity is 156. After-school care enrollment is 130. Before-school care enrollment is 75. Summer Camp 2022 was at its capacity and enrollment for Summer Camp 2023 opens April 3.