The Unloved, Forgotten Bolo Bomber
The rescue team slashed through eight miles of marshy thicket on their way to the crash site. Two days before on Feb. 15, 1941, the USAAF B-18 Bolo bomber — serial number 36-446 — carrying five crew and two passengers suffered a left-engine failure and went down in thick... Read more
The U.S. Air Force Has a Brony Squadron
This story originally appeared on July 24, 2013. In July 2014, word hit the Internet that an Air Force unit training to fly America’s most advanced military aircraft are wearing a patch inspired by the television show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Now the Air Force has confirmed... Read more
The U.S. Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes Watch for Chinese Stealth Fighters
The Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye completed its first aerial refueling earlier this summer. The new capability, which will be eventually be retrofitted onto the U.S. Navy’s entire E-2D fleet, will greatly increase the range and endurance of the Advanced Hawkeye. That is particularly important as the United States... Read more
These Madmen Flew B-52 Bombers at Wave-Top Heights
This story originally appeared on July 22, 2013. 160 feet from tip to tail. 185 feet across. 240 tons of metal, fuel, bombs and human flesh traveling at 650 miles per hour. You wouldn’t think something so big, moving so fast, would also be capable of skimming the ocean... Read more
Jet Fighter Influence
This story originally appeared on June 4, 2013. Sometime in the spring of 2012, Al Bunting received a message imploring him to publicly endorse America’s warplane of the future. Bunting, a retired senior Air Force officer and administrator for the tiny New Jersey coastal town of Sea Girt, was... Read more
China’s Air Force — 1,700 Combat Aircraft Ready for War
The People’s Liberation Army Air Force of China and its sister branch, the PLA Naval Air Force, operate a huge fleet of around 1,700 combat aircraft — defined here as fighters, bombers and attack planes. This force is exceeded only by the 3,400 active combat aircraft of the U.S.... Read more
China’s Accidental Spies
This story originally appeared on June 5, 2013. The jet fighter suddenly appears directly overhead, twin engines roaring, landing gear dangling like claws, diamond-shaped wings tracing an impressive black silhouette against the grayish sky. The airplane, displaying the red-star insignia of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, whips past and... Read more
Iran Is Building Air Defenses Against Stealth Aircraft
Read parts one and two. How did the Iranians manage to develop a host of entirely new radar designs and several new surface-to-air missile systems and even produce a match for the Russian-made S-300 — all within less than 10 years? Perhaps more importantly, are systems such as Talash-3... Read more
French Mirage 2000s Came to the Rescue of Green Berets in Niger
Around noon on Oct. 4, 2017, a team of 12 U.S. Army Special Forces operators and 30 soldiers from the Nigerien Security and Intelligence Battalion were departing the village of Tongo Tongo, near the Nigerien-Malian border, when they were ambushed by roughly 50 insurgents from an “ISIS-affiliated group” riding... Read more
Iran Is Building Air Defenses Against Stealth Aircraft
Read part one. The repeated use of same or similar designations for different radar and missile systems has created the impression that Iranian air-defense development is a chaotic mess. In fact, projects are proceeding along four main lines. The overhaul and upgrade of MIM-23B I-HAWK, S-200/SA-5, SA-6, SA-11 and... Read more