US Military Aviation
Lockheed P-38 Lightnings brought many a pilot home. This pilot would like to return the favor.
November 2009 | By David F. Toomey
A hundred years ago today, the U.S. military got its first pilot. On October 26, 1909, Frederick E. Humphreys, a 26-year-old Lieutenant with the Army Signal Corps, soloed for the first time in a Wright Flyer at College Park, Maryland, under the watchful eye of no less an instructor than Wilbur Wrig...
October 26, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Boeing and the U.S. Air Force have been busy this summer testing the Advanced Tactical Laser, a high-power directed energy weapon mounted on a C-130H Hercules transport.In this August 30 test at New Mexico's White Sands Missile Range , the laser was fired at a target for the first time, with the fo...
October 02, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Led by famed fashion photographer Edward Steichen, a group of camera men captured the action of World War II naval aviation.
October 01, 2009 | By Mark D. Faram
Aerial warfare took another step into the robo-future on September 13 when a U.S. Air Force F-15E pilot was sent to destroy an out-of-control MQ-9 "Reaper" drone as it headed toward the Afghan border. It was the first time an errant Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) had to be shot down by a human pilot...
September 22, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Patrolling over northern Iraq in 2001 felt like driving through a small town with Hell's Angels.
September 22, 2009 | By Randy Gordon
From the company that brought you the P-51 Mustang, F-86 Sabre, and F-100 Super Sabre came the F-107, North American's entry in a 1950s Mach 2 fighter-nuclear bomber competition. Though it was based on the F-100 design, evident in the wings, aft fuselage, and tail section, something went seriously ...
September 21, 2009 | By Pat Trenner
An F-16 crash has claimed the life of Lieutenant Assaf Ramon, the son of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, who died when the space shuttle Columbia broke apart in 2003. One year after losing his father, Assad revealed his own astronaut aspirations. "I want to share my father's experiences, and to under...
September 14, 2009 | By Pat Trenner
Memo to bad guys: Wanna know what U.S. warplanes you’ll tangle with in the future? Visit an aerospace model shop.
September 2009 | By Chad Slattery
Clinical depression is a significant health problem in America; even by low estimates, it afflicts 6.7 percent of the general population in a typical year.For military pilots, it can be a career-ender. Air Force pilots and navigators diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) are taken off fli...
August 27, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Most pilots would head away from a thermonuclear explosion.
August 2009 | By Mark Wolverton
When you’re 200 miles up, it’s easy to hide what you’re up to.
August 2009 | By Michael Cassutt
August 2009 | By Darisse Smith
Another video too cool not to pass on: Speeded-up assembly of an F/A-18F Super Hornet:
July 13, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
While a group of well-wishers recently marked the 100th birthday of Spanish Civil War pilot Frank Tinker, one aficionado took it a step further by simulating one of the American-born aviator's most famous victories, a shoot-down of a Messerschmitt Bf-109 in July 1937. See the video here:
July 13, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Courtroom sketches from aviation's Trial of the Century.
July 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
A B-47 pilot remembers when an airplane—and Curtis LeMay—stiffened the spine of the Strategic Air Command
July 2009 | By Walter J. Boyne
Even 20 years later, this is an amazing piece of footage: Russian test pilot Anatoly Kvochur bailing out of his MiG-29, just 300 feet off the ground, at the 1989 Paris Air Show. I actually saw this happen—or rather, I was standing talking to a friend when we saw a cloud of black smoke and people r...
June 08, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Grumman has built some venerable seaplanes—think Goose, Albatross, Mallard, and Widgeon—but it ran aground when it put a portly F4F-3 Wildcat on floats and called it an F4F-3S seaplane fighter (a classic oxymoron). The only redeeming feature of the F4F-3S was its nickname: Wildcatfish.
In 1942, th...
June 05, 2009 | By Pat Trenner
A bit of Memorial Day perspective from Mark Wells, a historian at the U.S. Air Force Academy, from his excellent 1995 book Courage and Air Warfare: The Allied Aircrew Experience in the Second World War:
However dramatic or tragic, statistics alone cannot possibly tell the whole story of the Allied ...
May 22, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt