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Looking Back: Project FICON

Looking Back: Project FICON

U.S. Navy aircraft carriers are a dominant presence in waters around the world, and interestingly enough, the Air Force once tried to make a flying version. During World War II, bomber aircraft could fly thousands of miles to their targets, unlike gas-guzzling fighters, which had much shorter ranges. This was a big problem for bombers, since they were sitting […]
The Ever-Present Sidewinder

The Ever-Present Sidewinder

Kern County, California, 1952: a 1949 Kaiser raced down a desert runway with a streamlined object fitted to a crude bracket on the right side. Lacking a wind tunnel, the passengers — engineers in the front and back seats — took notes on the model’s aerodynamic performance. They were testing the XAAM-N-7, the world’s first […]

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ITA 1/72 Shawnee "Flying Banana" - 600x120

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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1937 – First flight of the Bell YFM-1 Airacuda, an American heavy fighter and the first such airplane built by Bell Aircraft Corp. 1961 – Birth of Christopher J. Ferguson, U.S. Navy fighter and test pilot as well as NASA astronaut. 1967 – The U. S. Navy’s first dedicated search-and-rescue squadron, Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 7 (HC-7), is commissioned at Atsugi, Japan; it operates […]
Students, Profs Build Record-Setting Plane

Students, Profs Build Record-Setting Plane

​The Anequim Project Team, a group of students and professors from Brazil’s Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), recently brought their slick new plane to Rio de Janeiro to put it through its paces. When they were done with the high-speed flights out of the Santa Cruz Air Force Base this past weekend, they’d set […]

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WW II First Dogfights

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A-10 Set to Compete with F-35

A-10 Set to Compete with F-35

Opponents of U.S. Air Force efforts to retire its Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II have said the 40-year-old close-air support plane can outperform the Pentagon’s most advanced aircraft. It turns out the lumbering old plane, nicknamed the Warthog, will get a chance to prove it. The Air Force’s top general and the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester […]
Saving a Burning Jet

Saving a Burning Jet

On April 30, 2015, a Boeing RC-135V Rivet Joint belonging to the 343rd Reconnaissance Squadron, 55th Wing, suffered a major incident at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. As the aircraft, using radio call sign “Snoop 71,” began the takeoff roll to start its mission in support of a special-operations training exercise, fire erupted behind the galley. Described […]

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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1883 – Birth of Otto Splitgerber, German World War I flying ace. 1939 – The Messerschmitt Me 209 sets a new world speed record of 469 mph. 1952 – The prototype English Electric Canberra B5 makes the first double transatlantic crossing by a jet, with a total time of just over 10 hours. 1975 – First flight of the McDonnell […]
USS Macon Crash Site Explored

USS Macon Crash Site Explored

Off the California coast lies the sunken wreckage of the U.S. Navy’s last flying aircraft carrier. The idea that the Navy had flying aircraft carriers is probably new to a lot of people. Imagine a nearly 800-foot “blimp” where five military airplanes can land and take off in midair.  Last week, a team of oceanographers got […]

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In Theater: Operation Magic Carpet

In Theater: Operation Magic Carpet

In the summer of 1945, the U.S. military spawned a generation of poets who shared one sentiment: “Those who want to be a hero, They number almost zero. Those who want to be civilians… Gee—they number in the millions!” As early as 1943, the Pentagon began contingency planning for returning millions of personnel from overseas […]
Ending The Greatest War

Ending The Greatest War

In the 70 years since VJ-Day, few wars have ended in outright victory. America tied in Korea, abandoned South Vietnam, quit while ahead on points in Iraq in 1991, declared victory there in 2011, and now plans to flee Afghanistan. The current global war against radical Islam is likely to last for generations. Israel won […]
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