Northrop Grumman tweeted Wednesday that its new stealth bomber "made strides toward flight readiness with a successful loads calibration test."
— Northrop Grumman (@NGCNews) May 25, 2022
A press release from Northrop Grumman described how the B-21 Raider "completed the first — and most critical — loads calibration test." The first of three ground test before the aircraft takes to the skies in 2023.
The next two tests will be engine testing and low-speed and high-speed taxi tests. Air Force Magazine noted the B-21 was initially supposed to take flight in the second half of this year, though Northrop Grumman has pushed that back to 2023 (cause of delays weren't cited).
"The B-21 test aircraft is the most production-representative aircraft, both structurally and in its mission systems, at this point in a program, that I've observed in my career," Randy Walden, director of the Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office and program executive officer of the B-21 Raider program, recently said.
Northrop Grumman said the stealth bomber would be unveiled later this year.