In January 1991, Both Iraq and America Claimed Fictional Air-to-Air Victories
During the U.S.-led air war on Iraq in 1991, a U.S. Air Force EF-111A electronic-warfare plane forced an Iraqi air force Mirage F.1EQ to fly into the ground. The EF-111 thus scored an air-to-air kill without ever firing a shot. At least, that’s what the U.S. Air Force claimed.... Read more
How North Korea Could Hunt U.S. Warplanes
North Korea considers a recent Twitter comment from U.S. Pres. Donald Trump to effectively be a declaration of war against Pyongyang. As such, the Kim regime says that it will retaliate — potentially even engaging U.S. Air Force bombers flying around the Korean peninsula over international waters. “The whole... Read more
In 1988, a Horrific Crash Changed Air Shows Forever
It is 3:40 in the afternoon on Aug. 28, 1988. Ten brightly-painted jets swoop in a neat v-formation over Ramstein air base, a major U.S. military installation in West Germany. Below, 350,000 spectators cheer at the final act of the Flugtag ’88 air show as they scoop up ice... Read more
The U.S. Congress Is Trying to Give the F-35 a Pass For All Its Problems
The $700-billion defense authorization bill for 2018 contains a number of provisions that are likely to increase the risk of cost overruns for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and undermine the ability of Pentagon officials and Congress to assess the combat suitability of new weapon systems in the... Read more
What the Hell Is Angola Doing With These State-of-the-Art Fighters?
The first two of 12 Sukhoi Su-30K fighters Angola ordered nearly four years for $1 billion have arrived in the country, giving a country with one of the most formidable air forces in the region some of the best military hardware Russia has to offer. Angola enters the club... Read more
In 1970, Soviet Planes Intervened to Save North Yemen
September 2017 marks the second anniversary of the Russian military intervention in Syria. Foreign military observers are frequently drawing parallels between this operation and the deployment of Soviet air-defense troops and manned interceptors to Egypt in early 1970, pointing it out as the first Soviet – and thus Russian... 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
France Says ‘Oui’ to Armed Reaper Drones
On Sept. 6, 2017, French Defense Minister Florence Parly announced that France’s MQ-9 Reaper drones — used for surveillance and reconnaissance purposes only — would be armed. The soon-to-be lethal drones will give France “endurance, discretion, surveillance, and a strike capability at the right place and the right time,”... Read more
America Has a Long Tradition of Covertly Flying Enemy Aircraft
On Sept. 6, 2017, the U.S. Air Force announced that one of its aircraft had crashed the previous day in the Nevada Test and Training Range, roughly 100 miles north of Las Vegas. Just a day earlier, two A-10s crashed during a training mission over the same range. Both... 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
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