When the FAA Blasted Oklahoma City with Sonic Booms For 6 Months

Have you ever experienced a sonic boom? A sonic boom so forceful that your dishes fell from the cupboards, your photos fell off the walls, and maybe your ceiling even started to crack? This was the reality that residents of Oklahoma City endured for six months in 1964 — eight times per day. » 4/28/15 3:11pm 4/28/15 3:11pm

A fascinating view into the US Air Force boneyards

You can zoom in this 48-megapixel image of the USAF boneyard in Tucson, Arizona—stitched from Bing Maps satellite images—and try to identify all those airplanes. Or you can watch this USAF documentary on how the US stockpiles thousands of planes in deserts around the country to keep the active fleet flying.* » 2/26/15 10:14pm 2/26/15 10:14pm

Pentagon Scolds Air Force for Wasting Nearly $9 Billion on Drones

Drones are expensive. Aircraft like General Atomics's MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper cost millions of dollars piece, while the cost of maintaining the fleet stretches into the high tens of billions dollars over their lifespans. The Pentagon's internal watchdog is aware of this, and recently lambasted the Air Force for… » 1/22/15 10:33am 1/22/15 10:33am

The Trillion Dollar F-35 Won't Even Be Able to Shoot Its Gun Until 2019

At this point, it's not even funny how much the Pentagon has screwed up the development of its new stealth fighter jet, the F-35. But the latest report that the jet's 25mm cannon won't be operational until 2019 at the earliest is just laughable. Even more laughable is that it probably doesn't even need the gun to… » 12/31/14 2:48pm 12/31/14 2:48pm

How Fighter Jets Lock On (and How the Targets Know)

The primary technology that a military aircraft uses to lock and track an enemy aircraft is its onboard radar. Aircraft radars typically have two modes: search and track. In search mode, the radar sweeps a radio beam across the sky in a zig-zag pattern. When the radio beam is reflected by a target aircraft, an… » 10/10/14 1:28pm 10/10/14 1:28pm

Watch a Pilot Snag Cold War Spy Satellite Footage as It Falls From Orbit

The Corona program was the opening salvo in the effort to peer into Soviet-controlled territory from orbit. In order to recover the top-secret physical photographs it took, Air Force pilots took to the sky for what amounted to a claw arcade game, played miles above the Earth. Here's a rare look at it in action. » 9/02/14 12:14pm 9/02/14 12:14pm

The Pentagon Can't Keep Track of Ammo So It's Destroying $1B in Bullets

Outdated technology and government wastefulness seem to go hand in hand, but this time the two are combining for a startlingly huge money sink: the Pentagon is planning on destroying $1.2 billion in excess bullets and missiles, some of which could still be used by troops. And it's all because the military has no way… » 4/30/14 12:45pm 4/30/14 12:45pm

Northrop's Flying Ram Would Have Sliced Enemy Planes in Midair

War drives technological innovation like little else. No proposal is too ambitious, impractical, or downright foolhardy for consideration if it provides a strategic advantage. This school of thinking has led to atomic bombs, autonomous vehicles, and, in 1945, a short-lived fighter prototype that could cut through… » 4/17/14 11:42am 4/17/14 11:42am

Air Force Is Sending Brand New Cargo Planes Straight to the Boneyard

The C-27J Spartan is a hell of a plane. Famous for its ability to take off from unfinished runways, it's a staple used by militaries around the world, including the United States. At least it was until recently. The Air Force is sending its latest batch of beautiful, brand new C-27Js straight to the boneyard in… » 2/03/14 7:00pm 2/03/14 7:00pm

This swarming horde of black stealth fighter jets is not a movie scene

We're not preparing to fight the aliens. This isn't a scene from Independence Day 2. It's just a throwback photo of 25—yes, twenty five—Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk black stealth fighter jets celebrating its 25th anniversary back in 2006. What a beautifully intimidating celebration of power it was. » 1/02/14 9:57pm 1/02/14 9:57pm