The Bone

B-1B Lancer, 9th Bomb Squadron, United States Air Force

The Rockwell (now part of Boeing) B-1 Lancer is a four-engine, variable-sweep wing long-range strategic bomber used by the United States Air Force (USAF). First envisioned in the 1960s as a supersonic bomber with sufficient range and payload to replace the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, it developed primarily into a low-level penetrator with long range and supersonic speed capability. The B-1B has the largest internal payload of any current bomber. The B-1B became operational in 1986. The B-1 received the official name "Lancer" however, the bomber is more commonly called the "Bone". The "Bone" nickname appears to stem from an early newspaper article about the aircraft wherein its name was phonetically spelled out as "B-ONE" with the hyphen inadvertently omitted.