You may recall that a couple of weeks ago, the US Air Force announced that its proposed new bomber aircraft would be officially known as the B-21 Raider. The name was selected from thousands of public contributions and suggestions. According to Aviation Week’s Ares blog, not all of those suggestions were very helpful.
When U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah James announced an internal naming competition for the Northrop Grumman B-21 in February, she may have underestimated the creativity of airmen and the pitfalls of public polling. Nukey McMeltface and Trump Bomber were among more than 2,100 submissions to a list that was released by the air branch on Sept. 22 after a number of freedom of information requests were filed seeking the document.
The responses ranged from historically informed to odd, witty and downright inappropriate, with airmen requesting the names Death Star, Meme Machine, Chuck Norris, Taxslayer and Mecca Wrecka.
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Although most aspects of the B-21 program are steeped in secrecy, this document gives bomber observers at least 2,100 reasons to smile. Air Force leadership knew the list wouldn’t be pretty, but it cannot be happy about making submissions such as “9/11 Coverup, Trump-nator, Dank American Bomber, and God’s Sky Toy” public.
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Other suggestions targeted the bomber’s estimated $80 billion price tag, specifically: Costbuster, Dollar Black Hole and Cost Overrun.
Dozens of names played off the UK’s attempt at naming a polar research vessel, in which Boaty McBoatface emerged as the winner. James and her Chief of Staff wisely retained the right to select the name instead of holding a ballot, rejecting popular choices such as Stealthy McStealthface, Bombypants McGee and McLovin.
There are many more suggestions at the link.
Well, when they asked the large (and somewhat irreverent) community of aviation enthusiasts to come up with a name, what else did they expect?