The US military's next stealthy, long-range strike bomber has a name, to go with the B-21 designation, and if you were a fan of Hell Pigeon, Stealthy McHidden, or the Why College Isn't Free, you're probably going to be disappointed by the winning entry – Raider.
Yes, the B-21 Raider. It's not very fun, we know, but it does represent a valuable piece of Air Force lore, honoring the Doolittle Raiders of World War II – these pilots managed to launch hulking B-25 Mitchell bombers off the USS Hornet to strike Japan's capital, Tokyo, and other cities on the home island of Honshu, mere months after the attack at Pearl Harbor.
Alongside the two active duty airmen – Lt. Col. Jaime I. Hernandez and Tech. Sgt. Derek D. White – that suggested and then justified the new bomber's name, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James paid tribute to another airman, retired Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, one of the Doolittle Raiders. Cole, the last surviving Raider according to Military.com, was in attendance and called the B-21's new name "a nice tribute."
According to the USAF's official release, it received 2,100 entries for the contest, presumably not counting the satirical entries we mentioned up top. Secretary James Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein picked the ultimate winner after staff from Air Force Global Strike Command and Headquarters Air Force whittled down the initial list.