You Can Buy an Ejector Seat From an F-4 Phantom for Quick Escapes

If you're an aviation enthusiast, there's a lot of fun stuff to be found in Boeing's online store. But none are as unique—and some would say even historic—as this authentic de-commissioned ejector seat from an McDonnell F-4 Phantom II fighter jet, one of the U.S. military's workhorses of the Vietnam War. » 10/24/14 4:15pm 10/24/14 4:15pm

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

Meet the Rocketman Who Made Jet Fighters and Car Crashes Survivable

In the early jet fighter days, nobody knew how much G-force the human body could withstand. Testing the limits of survivability came down to human testing. Today, we owe much of that knowledge to Dr. John Paul Stapp, who strapped himself into a crazy rocket sled to see just what the human body could endure. » 9/27/14 9:03am 9/27/14 9:03am

Taking Photos From Inside Fighter Jets Is the Coolest Job Ever

For all the boring photography jobs out there—weddings, corporate, et cetera—Sergeant Larry Reid Jr. did pretty well to avoid them all and land one of the most thrilling jobs imaginable. He is the photographer for the Air Force Thunderbirds. His job is to fly with the team and document their amazing flights. » 7/09/14 1:41pm 7/09/14 1:41pm

The designer of the F-16 explains why the F-35 is such a crappy plane

According to the Pierre Sprey, co-designer of the F-16, the F35 is a turkey. Inherently, a terrible airplane. An airplane built for a dumb idea. A kludge that will fail time and time again. Just impossibly hopeless. And judging from the bajillion times the F-35 fleet has been grounded, well, he's probably not wrong.… » 6/17/14 12:54am 6/17/14 12:54am

Man, look how crazy close Blue Angels fighter jets fly together

Absurd. Like seriously. Look at this fleet of Blue Angels fighter jet planes fly in a perfect pattern in a practice session. The flight pattern they were practicing, I'm assuming here, is called "Let's get these flying metal beasts as close as possible so that one inch of a mistake will kill us all". I mean the wing… » 4/21/14 11:33pm 4/21/14 11:33pm

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

Bing Maps Has Revealed Russia's Secret Stealth Fighter Jet

Bing Maps is apparently really great at one thing: revealing top secret military information. After capturing a top secret military base, Bing has now caught a stealth Russian airplane that's been shrouded in mystery. The Bing Maps image above shows Russia's MIG Project 1.44, Russia's first attempt at building a… » 6/27/13 11:10pm 6/27/13 11:10pm

US Military Will Install Laser Turrets on Bombers and Fighter Jets

It was science fiction before, but now it's really happening, Young Skywalker: The US Navy and Air Force are going to install liquid-cooled, solid-state lasers in combat airplanes. Laser turrets designed to defend the planes by shooting incoming threats like surface-to-air missiles and rockets. Seriously. The above is… » 1/24/13 2:20pm 1/24/13 2:20pm

These Kids Want To Blow Up the White House

Hordes of children ran around as wild as a locust swarm at the recent USA Science & Engineering Festival. The main attraction: the Lockheed Martin booth, with its faux F-22 cockpit and Orion spacecraft simulator. There, the virtual big guns provoked a surprising mix of reactions from the 7-year-olds. Some apathy. Some… » 7/10/12 12:00pm 7/10/12 12:00pm