The Osprey’s complicated history made everything harder by JOSEPH TREVITHICK In January 2015, the U.S. Navy decided to replace its fleet of traditional C-2 cargo planes with V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transports. At that time, the U.S. Marine Corps was flying MV-22Bs and the Air Force had its own CV-22Bs. So,... Read more
Modified helicopter could barely manage the weight by JOSEPH TREVITHICK On June 7, 1957, a group of U.S. Army troops showed off seven prototype armed helicopters at a symposium the private Association of the United States Army was sponsoring at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Among the experimental gunships was an odd... Read more
Vipers are set to get an overhaul, but will anyone want them? It’s a truism that planes — and almost anything else for that matter — eventually get old and worn out, their wings, fuselages and other parts weakening to the point of failure under the strain of day-to-day use. This is one of... Read more
‘Dragon’s Eye’ didn’t work out on AC-130J prototype By JOSEPH TREVITHICK The U.S. Air Force wants to install a powerful radar to track enemy targets on its new AC-130J Ghostrider gunships. But engineers are going to have to find something other than Northrop Grumman’s AN/ASQ-236 Dragon’s Eye pod. By May... Read more
U.S. Air Force personnel work with Jordanian airmen on an armed AT-802 in 2016. Air Force photo Planes are ideal flying spies and attackers for small air arms by JOSEPH TREVITHICK Defense contractors and air forces around the world are finding crop dusters carrying powerful cameras and deadly weapons make ideal... Read more
Concerns and fears may still be slowing operations by JOSEPH TREVITHICK On Jan. 22, 2017, Iraqi troops were looking for help cleaning up an apparent chemical weapon laboratory that Islamic State terrorists set up inside Mosul University, according to Stars and Stripes. Later in January, Baghdad’s troops showed journalists... Read more
Iraqi Capt. Hama sits in an F-16IQ fighter jet in at Tucson International Airport. U.S. Air Force Photo Muslim-ban ensnares U.S. allies by JOSEPH TREVITHICK On Jan. 28, 2017, Pres. Donald Trump issued an executive order banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days — no exceptions.... Read more
It’s a blunt lesson in chemical weapons being a very bad thing by JOSEPH TREVITHICK Syria’s brutal civil war has put the horrors of chemical weapons back on many people’s minds. But it’s still difficult to imagine the actual effects and scale of attacks with these terrible weapons. Just how much... Read more
Senior Scout turned C-130 cargo planes into part-time spooks by JOSEPH TREVITHICK On Jun. 8, 2004, an American spy plane took off from Karshi-Khanaba Air Base — aka K2 — in Uzbekistan and began making its way toward Afghanistan. Rather than one of the regular Air Force’s iconic Cold War-era U-2 Dragon Lady... Read more
Precision-guided weapons are an improvement over dumb bombs by JOSEPH TREVITHICK In November 2016, Iraqi military helicopters were spotted dropping dumb bombs, raising concerns about inaccurate air strikes that pose a danger to civilians. The next month, some of Baghdad’s pilots started blasting away at the Islamic State with laser-guided... Read more
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