US Military Aviation
In an annual ceremony, the last of the Doolittle Raiders recall their part in victory over Japan.
September 2011 | By Paul Hoversten
Four aircraft, 12 airmen, 25 days, 40 below zero, in the middle of nowhere.
September 2011 | By Edward Farmer
Stories about air traffic controllers that you probably didn’t see on the evening news.
September 2011 | By Michael Klesius
Three legendary astronauts—Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell, and Gene Cernan—were in Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday, meeting with American service men and women as well as young Afghan Air Force trainees. From the NATO press release: “This is the best day of my life!” said Lt. Fatama Abteen, one of a small handful of female Afghan Air Force [...]
August 17, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
Who can forget the immortal question posed by the Mongol General in the 1982 classic Conan the Barbarian? Wait…don’t tell me you’ve forgotten? When the Mongol General bellows “What is best in life?” some (sissy) barbarian offers the following: “The open steppe, fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair.” (“The [...]
August 12, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
The Army’s CH-47 Chinook helicopter has flown a stunning but standard maneuver—the aft-wheel pinnacle landing—since 1962. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the move has reached its peak. This month as many as 5,000 pairs of boots will leave the ground, with a goal to extract 33,000 by next September. Many will exit the same way they [...]
August 10, 2011 | By Roger Mola
After investigating a thousand suspects since a person who called himself (or herself) D.B. Cooper skyjacked a Boeing 727 on November 24, 1971, the FBI thought it finally had a “credible” tip. Until last night, that is, when CBS News reported that the Cooper lead had fizzled and the FBI was expected to formally rule [...]
August 02, 2011 | By Roger Mola
Who would think a kite could down a fighter?
August 2011 | By Michael Barton
Fifty years ago, the Navy ended its lighter-than-air program.
August 2011 | By George C. Larson, Member, NAA
While the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter continues its struggle with budget politics, the test program marches along. On Wednesday the F-35C—the version designed for aircraft carriers—made its first catapult launch during a ground test at Naval Air Systems Command in Lakehurst, New Jersey, with Navy test pilot Lt. Chris Tabert at the controls. Ship [...]
July 29, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
An Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker may haul more than 31,000 gallons to refuel other aircraft, but for long-haul missions, it needs to watch every drop of its own fuel. That’s why, when a KC-135 crew flew from Washington state to Kyrgyzstan over the North Pole last month, the Air Force brass was pumped. It wasn’t [...]
July 28, 2011 | By Roger Mola
“The Battle of Midway was probably the most important battle in the Pacific war during World War II,” says Russell Lee, a curator in the aeronautics division at the National Air and Space Museum. “On that day, American carrier forces defeated the Japanese, and stopped permanently their westward expansion.” Prior to the battle, Japan possessed [...]
July 14, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
Military aviation prepares for the inevitable.
July 2011 | By Michael Milstein
“One of the interesting things about airships,” says Tom Crouch, a senior curator at the National Air and Space Museum, who gave a lecture on the subject this week as part of the Museum’s Ask an Expert series, is that they were “transitional technology. They were capable of doing a great many things before airplanes [...]
June 17, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at this video of the Martin Aircraft Company’s recent mile-high test of its personal jetpack and safety parachute system. The flight topped out at 5,000 feet, but could have gone higher. While a dummy was on board for this test, the New Zealand-based company is marketing [...]
June 13, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
In 1966, Second Lieutenant Larry Liss was on the Czech-German border during a snowstorm, freezing his varlata off, when he saw something beautiful. It was a Bell UH-1 helicopter, still on the ground. The pilot—who was wearing short sleeves and drinking a cup of coffee—took one look at Liss and shook his head. “He said, [...]
May 31, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
Since 1963, hundreds of artists (and musicians, poets—even one fashion designer) have interpreted NASA’s aeronautic and space projects. The artists were given carte blanche to create what they wanted, in any medium, on any subject. In celebration of NASA’s 50th anniversary in 2008, more than 70 diverse artworks from the program began touring the country [...]
May 27, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
Whether it's a single letter or a 100-foot greeting, aircraft carrier crews stand ready to spell it out.
May 27, 2011 | By Roger Mola
During World War II, the Smithsonian Institution aided the war effort in many different ways. An “Ethnogeographic Board” was established to act as a clearinghouse for government wartime needs, and one of their major undertakings was the “Survival Project,” requested by the U.S. Navy. Smithsonian historian Pamela Henson writes in “The Smithsonian Goes to War: [...]
May 24, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
The “glass cockpit,” named for the new generation of flat panel, liquid crystal displays (LCDs), is commonplace now in all types of aircraft from the Cessna to the space shuttle. LCD technology began to appear in earnest in the 1990s. Today, with the continued price plunge of electronic displays, the perforated instrument panel, like that [...]
May 20, 2011 | By Mike Klesius