Category Archives: History

Know the past so you don’t repeat it in the future!

IT COULD HAVE BEEN: THE RF-117 RECONNAISSANCE NIGHTHAWK

Shortly after the massive success of the F-117A Nighthawk during the Operation Desert Storm, Congress and Lockheed moved together to support buying 24 more F-117s that would be primarily configured as reconnaissance platforms. The jet would have additional cockpit interfaces … Read the rest of this entry

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FAST HISTORY: LOCKHEED’S DIVERTERLESS SUPERSONIC INLET TESTBED F-16

                Before there was the mound like intake bulges and racked intake cowlings seen on the American F-35 and Chinese J-20, JF-17, J-10 and J-31, there was Lockheed’s Diverterless Supersonic Intake F-16 testbed. … Read the rest of this entry

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HISTORIC DAY FOR AVIATION!

First off, Felix Baumgartner and Team Redbull, completed the worlds first supersonic free fall by a human being. Jumping from a balloon at close to 130,000 feet in a pressure suit, Felix hit a top speed of an astounding mach … Read the rest of this entry

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FAST HISTORY: A HANDFUL OF USAF & CIA U-2s WERE CAPABLE OF AERIAL REFUELING

Lockheed modified less than a dozen U-2s with aerial refueling capability. By doing so the Dragon Lady, as it is now fondly called, doubled its operational range from about 4,000 miles to 8,000 miles, and could stay aloft for over … Read the rest of this entry

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PREDATOR vs FOXBAT: THE FUTURE OF AIR TO AIR COMBAT VIA DRONE BEGAN ALMOST A DECADE AGO

One of the most frequently asked questions I get asked is “when will drones take on the air to air fighter role?” I have answered this with a constellation of pieces and will continue to do so with some upcoming … Read the rest of this entry

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WHY IS THE STEALTHY F-117 NIGHTHAWK STILL FLYING?

I am trying to catch up with reader requests and one common strain of emails pertains to questions surrounding why the F-117 Nighthawk, America’s first stealth attack aircraft, is still flying around the Nellis Range Complex years after it’s official … Read the rest of this entry

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FAST HISTORY: THE STRAIGHT DOPE ON THE HUGHES HK-1 HERCULES, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “SPRUCE GOOSE,” BY THE MEN WHO DESIGNED & BUILT HER

Howard Hughes’s monstrous HK-1 Hercules got me interested in aviation at a very early age. Something about it, the size obviously, but also the time and the person behind it made it so special. When I was very young my … Read the rest of this entry

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INSEPARABLE TO THE END: TWO COLD WAR TREASURES, SEA SHADOW & THE HUGHES MINING BARGE, MAY FACE THE SCRAPPER’S TORCH

I am flabbergasted, stunned really, that an air and space museum, such as the USS Midway in San Diego, has not snapped up the legendary Hughes Mining Barge (HMB-1) and the Lockheed Sea Shadow (IX-529) from the US Navy for … Read the rest of this entry

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SEA BASING’S ANCESTOR: THE FORGOTTEN COMMERCIAL FREIGHTER “AIRCRAFT CARRIERS” OF THE FALKLANDS WAR

Many people know about the Harrier’s exploits during “Operation Corporate,” the UK’s offensive to reclaim the Falkland Islands in 1982. The two Royal Navy carriers that played a key role in countering Argentina’s air force, which outnumbered the Royal Navy’s … Read the rest of this entry

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BACK TO THE FUTURE: USN & SOCOM MODIFY THE USS PONCE IN PREPERATION FOR “TANKER WARS II”

In breaking news it would appear that the US Navy, working with Special Operations Command (SOCOM), is rushing to deploy a floating sea base, tailored to support special forces and mine-sweeping operations. This floating outpost will come in the form … Read the rest of this entry

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RQ-170 SENTINEL ORIGINS PART II: THE GRANDSON OF “TACIT BLUE”

PLEASE READ RQ-170 ORIGINS PART I FOR FULL CONTEXT BEFORE CONTINUING ON: My first piece on the ancestry of the RQ-170 Sentinel, America’s secret unmanned stealthy sensor truck of choice, got a lot of traffic and was the topic of … Read the rest of this entry

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BOEING/USAF’S AIRBORNE LASER GETS ZAPPED, BUT NEW DETAILS ABOUT IT’S POSSIBLE SUCCESSOR ARE REVEALED

It is sad to see this program go, even just because of the whiz-bang nature of it, and hey lets be honest it looks really cool. I always have enjoyed explaining to people who want to know about some of the coolest weapons America has in the works that … Read the rest of this entry

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Yak-141 “Freestyle”- The F-35B Was Born In Moscow

People look at the F-35B and see an ultra modern transformer of sorts, with massive doors that open up and an articulated exhaust tube that seems to warp downward unnaturally on command. The next thing you know the 5th generation stealth fighter is … Read the rest of this entry

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Great Little Clip From A Couple Decades Back…

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