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The Air Force Just Dropped an Expensive (and Useless) Nuke in Nevada

In the face of mounting criticism, the Air Force just completed the first test flight of the B61 Mod 12 mock up nuclear bomb in the Nevada desert. This marks the next step in updating a cold war-era weapon that many experts consider to be completely useless today. The military might as well drop a nuke on a pile of… » 7/08/15 2:30pm 7/08/15 2:30pm

Drone of the Day: X-56A

If there is a future in unmanned commercial aviation, it is currently being explored by NASA in the form of the Lockheed Martin X-56A. Its adaptive structures and modular wing and tail surfaces are meant to be the cutting edge for designing future surveillance drones and transport aircraft. A little less than two… » 7/07/15 4:43pm 7/07/15 4:43pm

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