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Air Force plans a 'first-of-its kind' flyover before Super Bowl

A B-2 Spirit taxis at at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., in 2014.

BRYAN CRANE/U.S. AIR FORCE

By PETE GRATHOFF | The Kansas City Star | Published: January 28, 2021

(Tribune News Service) — The Chiefs may be playing Super Bowl LV in the Buccaneers' home stadium, but there will be a touch of Kansas City before kickoff at Raymond James Stadium.

A B-2 flyover before a Chiefs game happens at least once each year at Arrowhead Stadium. On Feb. 7, a B-2 Spirit from Whiteman Air Force Base will take part in a special flyover before Super Bowl LV.

The Air Force announced that three bombers "will conduct a first-of-its-kind trifecta flyover during the national anthem performance" at Raymond James Stadium.

"Supporting this event is a tremendous honor for our command and the U.S. Air Force," Gen. Tim Ray, commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command said in a news release. "We look forward to this opportunity to showcase the reliability, flexibility and precision of our bomber fleet to the nation during this exciting event."

The other aircraft to take part in the flyover will be a B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota and a B-52 Stratofortress from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.

Add the numbers on those bombers: 1, 2 and 52, and you get 55, which not coincidentally matches Super Bowl LV.

The Air Force said the three bombers will take off from their respective bases and join up for the flyover. They will return to their bases afterward.

In the news release, the Air Force said "flyovers are done at no additional cost to the taxpayer and serve as time-over-target training for our pilots, aircrew and ground control teams."

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