Image copyright DoD
By W.J. Hennigan
Copyright Los Angeles Times (MCT)
LOS ANGELES — It wasn’t long after the morning sun came up over the Mojave Desert that Sean Byrne noticed a black speck fluttering just above the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.
He knew what it was, as did the other workers from Northrop Grumman Corp. surrounding him. They were waiting on this wind-swept tarmac at the company’s plant in Palmdale, Calif., to catch a glimpse of the aircraft nicknamed “Lazarus” — the plane that died in a fire on the island of Guam only to be resurrected.
The dot grew larger and larger. Suddenly, the unmistakable bat-winged silhouette of the B-2 stealth bomber emerged. As it touched down for a landing, the crowd erupted in applause, hugs and tears.
“After all that time, it finally made it back home,” Byrne said. “In some ways, we couldn’t believe we pulled it off.”