The Most Expensive Air Crash in History

Via Wired’s Danger Zone, a story in the UK’s Independent about the most expensive air crash in history. And it happened just the other day. What’s that you say? You never heard of it, you say? Ayup, it happened the other day:

Nobody was seriously hurt and no damage was done on the ground. But the crash of a B-2 stealth bomber on the Pacific island of Guam yesterday – the first involving this type of aircraft – was the world’s worst air disaster by one measure: money.

Only 22 B-2s have ever been made. The cost of building each one is between $1.2bn (£610m) and $1.3bn, but once development costs are factored in, the figure approaches $2bn per aircraft. By comparison, the British Airways Boeing 777 written off in the Heathrow crash last month (again without serious injury) would have cost around $160m.

Fortunately, nobody was seriously hurt, but there went about four and a half percent of the country’s B-2 fleet. Are those things really worth $1.2 at the margin?