America Had a Problem With Its Nuclear Warheads Freezing
This story originally appeared on Nov. 5, 2015. The U.S. Air Force is once again pushing for a nuclear-armed cruise missile to “fill the gap” between heavy bombers and ballistic missiles. The W-80 warhead will be the missile’s business end. The flying branch’s push comes during the largest planned overhaul... Read more
Here Come the Hypersonic Attack Planes!
Like a bolt out of the blue, Lockheed Martin’s renown Skunk Works publicly teased one of aviation’s great snark hunts—revealing plans for a successor to the SR-71, the legendary Mach-3 reconnaissance plane designed with slide rules and retired when the millenials were born. That 59-year old aircraft, originally developed... Read more
U.S. Marines’ Portable Helicopters Were Too Crazy to Survive
This story originally appeared on Feb. 15, 2015. During the Korean War, quite a few American pilots went down behind enemy lines. Some got lucky and escaped with the help of daring airborne-search-and-rescue crews, while others never made it home alive. The U.S. Marine Corps looked to helicopters to... Read more
Her Majesty’s Nuclear Seaplane
Originally published on Oct. 22, 2013. She was a dazzling aircraft, a great winged hope of postwar Britain, the largest all-metal flying boat ever built. Her design incorporated brand-new technologies: a pressurized cabin, all-hydraulic controls and turboprop power. Yet even as she took to the skies over the 1953... Read more
How America’s Airline Went to War
Originally published on Jan. 4, 2015. Now only a distant memory, Pan American Airways once flew so high that even the moon seemed within its grasp. Its advanced technology, skilled workforce and global reach were the envy of its competitors. It had such a wide reach around the world,... Read more
Weather Command!

Weather Command!

WIB culture September 12, 2017

This story originally appeared on Nov. 26, 2013. Mark Twain once quipped, “Everyone complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it.” But what if we could change the weather at will? That’s the sort of huge dream we once dreamed during the 20th century, when our technological... Read more
Sí, la CIA voló aviones espía U-2 desde portaaviones
El 1 de mayo de 1960, la Unión Soviética derribó un avión espía U-2 de la CIA y capturó al piloto, Francis Gary Powers. El incidente supuso una crisis internacional para la agencia de inteligencia estadounidense. La cumbre que estaba previsto que mantuvieran el presidente Dwight Eisenhower y el... Read more
Testing Satellites … by Nuking Them
Here’s the challenge. You want to make sure your military satellite is tough enough to withstand the radiation from a nuclear blast. Here’s the problem. You can’t just put the sat in orbit and nuke it. That’s illegal and dangerous. Plus, you’ll need to study the spacecraft after the... Read more
The Concrete Battleship
This story originally appeared on Oct. 21, 2014. Throughout history, coastal fortifications have guarded strategic seaports. And until recently, forts easily outgunned ships. Hence legendary British admiral Horatio Nelson’s quip—“A ship’s a fool to fight a fort.” But you don’t have to fight a fort when you can just... Read more
How to Nuke a Submarine
Can you kill a sub with a nuke? It seems pretty obvious that a nuclear explosion deep in the ocean should sink a submarine, but you need to be sure if you’re gearing up for World War III. During the heyday of nuclear testing in the 1950s, the U.S.... Read more
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