Watch a Russian Fighter Corral American Bombers and Tankers
In yet another sensational encounter between U.S. and Russian aircraft, two B-1B Lancer bombers from the 28th Bomb Wing, a B-52H Stratofortress bomber from the 2nd Bomb Wing — both deployed to RAF Fairford in the United Kingdom — and a KC-135R Stratotanker aerial-refueling aircraft from the 459th Air... Read more
United Nations Shines Light on Shadowy Libyan Air War
A group of U.N. experts studying the war in Libya released its final report on June 9, 2017. This nearly 300-page document details political and security developments, violations of human rights and the arms embargo, illicit crude oil exports, the dissemination of state funds and the financing of armed... Read more
The U.S. Air Force’s Next Killer Drone Is Disposable
The U.S. Air Force’s latest unmanned aerial vehicle is small, stealthy and cheap enough to be essentially disposable. The Low-Cost Attritable Aircraft, or LCAA, could radically change the way the world’s leading air arm wages war. The U.S. Defense Department revealed the first LCAA prototype as part of the... Read more
Watch a B-52 Drop a Bunker-Buster on ISIS
U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers have been bombing Islamic State since April 2016. Flying from Al Udeid in Qatar, the eight-engine warplanes launched their first strike — against an ISIS weapons-storage facility in Iraq — on April 18, 2016. The B-52s have mainly flown close-air-support and air-interdiction missions, dropping... Read more
France’s D.520 Fighter Flew for Many Sides in World War II
The British had their Spitfire Mark I and II and the Germans had their Messerschmitt Bf.109E — designs that set the standard for high-performance fighters at the beginning of World War II. It’s always been a small consolation to the French that they had just begun to field their... Read more
The 1950s-Era Stratofortress Can Keep Flying for Another 50 Years
Replacing the venerable Boeing B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber’s eight antiquated Pratt & Whitney TF-33 engines with modern turbofans is increasingly becoming a top-priority for the U.S. Air Force. Replacing those antiquated powerplants will greatly increase the range, endurance and fuel efficiency of the B-52 while also reducing the workload... Read more
Russia Is Upgrading Its Top-Tier Fighter to Fly From Rough Airfields
Russia hopes to upgrade its fleet of Sukhoi Su-35S Flanker-E multi-role fighters based on experience gained operating in Syria this year. As with almost all new aircraft—even those with otherwise excellent designs—minor but vexing flaws are often discovered during high intensity real world operations. In this case, the Russian... Read more
Shot Down in a Hail of Flak in an A-20 Bomber
Hurtling headlong into a vertical hail of razor-sharp shrapnel from the constant drum of enemy ack-ack, the Douglas A-20G light bomber crew wrestles the flight controls as their aircraft bucks wildly on turbulent eruptions of rising hot air at impossibly low altitude. It’s Oct. 16, 1944 over Bologna, Italy.... Read more
Egypt Has Joined the Air War in Libya
On May 26, 2017, armed men traveling in pickup trucks gunned down 28 Coptic Christians and wounded 26 as the Christians were on their way to visit a monastery in Egypt’s Minya province. Islamic State has claimed its responsibility for the attack. That same evening, Egypt announced that its... Read more
The U.S. Army’s Drone-Killing Missile Sprays Shrapnel
The Army’s well-known Stinger missile can now destroy small, moving drones using a newer proximity fuse to detonate near a target, service developers said. Firing from a vehicle-mounted Avenger Air Defense System, a Stinger missile destroyed a mini-drone more than one kilometer away using a proximity fuse—technology used to... Read more
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