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 enemy … » 4/17/14 11:42am Thursday 11:42am

The Air Force Just Fired 9 Nuclear Missile Commanders for Cheating

This is a little unsettling. A year-long investigation into alleged cheating on proficiency exams has resulted in the dismissal of nine nuclear missile commanders at the Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. The military expects to punish dozens of junior officers, as well. » 3/27/14 6:00pm 3/27/14 6:00pm

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

Air Force Officers Keep Leaving the Doors to Our Nuclear Missiles Open

Not to scare you or anything, but Air Force officers have left the blast doors to nuclear-tipped missiles open at least twice in the past year. These are the guys who help guard the launch codes who are also tasked with watching over the arsenal. Leaving the missiles available and unattended is a very, very big no-no. » 10/22/13 4:40pm 10/22/13 4:40pm

The Air Force Is Converting Its Old F-16s Into a Fleet of Drones

An awkward thing happens late in the life of a fighter jet. It becomes too decrepit for combat but too functional for the junkyard. Don't worry, though. The Air Force has a plan: convert them all into drones in order to offer fighter pilots in training more realistic target practice. » 9/24/13 12:20pm 9/24/13 12:20pm

Inside the Pentagon's Trillion Dollar F-35 Embarrassment

It's not news that the Pentagon's fated F-35 program is riddled with dilemmas. For more than a decade, it's bumped into roadblock after roadblock. When the planes aren't grounded, they're forbidden to fly in bad weather, combat missions or at night. Vanity Fair just published a lengthy look at just how bad a mess it… » 9/16/13 2:00pm 9/16/13 2:00pm

Nobody Wants to Fly Air Force Drones Because It's a Dead End Job

We've been hearing for years now unmanned aerial vehicles (a.k.a. drones) are the war machines of tomorrow, the weapons of a new age, the way of the future. There's only one problem: no one wants to fly the dang things. » 8/21/13 5:44pm 8/21/13 5:44pm

Watch Boeing's X-51A WaveRider Scramjet Blast Off to Mach 5.1

Boeing's X-51A WaveRider Scramjet has had its share of bad luck. While its first test flight in 2010 went fine, the two that followed ended with unsatisfactory plops. Now, the USAF has just completed the fourth and final test, and the result was a screaming 370 seconds of scramjet glory and literally hypersonic… » 5/04/13 12:00pm 5/04/13 12:00pm

Why Are the Most Vital Aircraft in the USAF Arsenal Owned by NASA?

While chatter between the US Air Force is spoken exclusively in English, communications between their aircrafts' electronic systems is more akin to the United Nations cafeteria—a "dog's breakfast of different datalinks," according to Lt. Gen. William Lord. Since the numerous competing defense contractors tasked with… » 2/11/13 12:20pm 2/11/13 12:20pm