U.S. Air Force Leaders Are Deliberately Slow-Rolling A-10 Refurbishment
In a victory for supporters of the battle-proven A-10 close air support aircraft, Congress provided the necessary seed money to extend the fleet’s lifespan for at least another decade in its last spending bill. The U.S. Air Force had announced in 2017 that 110 A-10s were in danger of... Read more
A Missile’s Combat Debut Allowed U.S. Bombers to Stay Away From Syrian Air Defenses
Lockheed Martin’s stealthy new AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range — JASSM-ER — made its debut on the raid on Syria on April 13. A pair of U.S. Air Force Rockwell International B-1B Lancer strategic bombers launched 19 of the new air-launched cruise missiles against the Barzeh Research and... Read more
Report Shows No Protection for F-22 Pilot Who Raised Safety Concerns
A U.S. Department of Defense Inspector General report investigating allegations that the U.S. Air Force illegally retaliated against one of the pilots concerned about F-22 hypoxia issues reveals how difficult it is to protect military whistleblowers. In late 2011, Capt. Joshua Wilson and Maj. Jeremy Gordon — both F-22... Read more
The U.S. Air Force Is Quietly Cutting A-10s
The U.S. Congress wants to keep the A-10 Warthog attack jet flying. The U.S. Air Force, not so much. Lawmakers have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to maintaining a dedicated ground-attack aircraft and, more importantly, an effective close air support capability. They have done so through legislation in successive National... Read more
Zapping North Korean Nukes With Microwave Weapons Is a Terrible Idea
One of the options that the United States is looking at to counter North Korea’s nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles is an experimental weapon called CHAMP. CHAMP stands for Counter-Electronics High-Powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project. It uses bursts of microwave energy — an electromagnetic pulse — to disable electronic systems. The idea would... Read more
Keeping the U.S. Air Force’s C-130s Flying
The U.S. Air Force is progressing with a massive technological overhaul of its warzone-tested C-130 aircraft, giving the aircraft new radios, digital avionics, collision avoidance technology and reinforced “wing-boxes,” service officials said. “The thing that causes the greatest risk to the airplane is the life of the wing. We... Read more
The B-58 Hustler Was a Beautiful Mistake
On Nov. 11, 1956, the first B-58 Hustler took flight. It would never see combat. An exotic, beautiful bomber designed for high-speed nuclear strike missions, a changes in Soviet tactics and a development method which dramatically hiked costs conspired to doom the Hustler — intended as a replacement for... Read more
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
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
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