I've noticed that there isn't any type of hatch/plug door near the canopy of the B-1B Lancer. How do pilots enter and exit the aircraft?


2 Answers 2


The crew of Rockwell B-1 Lancer (4 in total) enter or exit the cockpit from the underside, using a ladder. It can be seen in this video.

This picture shows the ladder (the one on the right):

Cockpit enterance
Image Source

On the top of the ladder, there is a door, which looks like this:

entry door
Image Source

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That's not a ladder -- it's a bookshelf! $\endgroup$ Nov 14, 2016 at 10:24

This picture shows a ladder behind the front landing gear.

Ladder Image Source

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why is it situated behind the landing gear? $\endgroup$ May 11, 2015 at 14:43
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @MadhavSudarshan not enough room in front (the gear retracts forwards) and symmetry $\endgroup$ May 11, 2015 at 15:14
  • 11
    $\begingroup$ @MadhavSudarshan If there are crew riding on the jump seats, they do not have ejection seats and the bail out is manual through this hatch. If the hatch was in front of the nose wheel, this would be a problem if they had to bail out when the gear is down. $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    May 11, 2015 at 15:52
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I certainly wouldn't want to be in one of those jump seats if the pilots thought ejecting was a good idea. They're risky enough in multi-crew aircraft even when everyone has one, especially in side-by-side configuration (one reason the F-111 used cabin ejection instead of rocket seats; this design was also considered for the B-1). $\endgroup$
    – KeithS
    May 11, 2015 at 17:39
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    $\begingroup$ The B-1A did have an escape capsule. It was changed to ejection seats for the B-1B. check-six.com/Crash_Sites/B-1_crash_site.htm $\endgroup$
    – Joel M.
    May 11, 2015 at 18:53

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