monster machines

These Secret Cold War Radio Stations Are Still Broadcasting

In the early days of espionage, long before the advent of burner phones, satcoms, and other modern-day spy gadgets, getting word to field agents — especially those working behind the Iron Curtain — proved a dangerous game with global consequences should the agent’s cover be blown. But that’s where number stations, and their uncrackable radio codes, come in.


Monster Machines: NASA's High Altitude Glider Can Fire Rockets Into Space From The Air

It still costs an arm and a leg (and sometimes an entire Antares rocket) to lift crews and cargo into space. So until we get around to building that space elevator we’ve always wanted, NASA will just have to use this drone-towed, pilot-less, rocket-launching glider.


Monster Machines: Say Hello To America's Newest Attack Sub

After five years of construction, the newest submarine in the US fleet is ready to set sail. But this Virginia-class sub is not like the others — it’s far more deadly and way less expensive to operate.


Monster Machines: France's New Ship-Defence Turret Is A Remote-Controlled Missile Launcher

The US Navy’s SeaRAM is far from the only ship-based missile defence turret sailing the high seas. French weapons manufacturer MBDA, in fact, has just begun testing a remotely controlled missile launcher of its own. One that finally moves the turret’s operator out of the line of fire.


Monster Machines: The Early Warning Radar Systems That Defended WWII Britain

In 1940, less than a year after blitzkrieging its way through Poland and the rest of Western Europe, the Nazi army set its sights on the UK and commenced a vicious bombing campaign targeting the nation’s major cities. Luckily, the British Royal Air Force saw this threat coming and cleverly deployed a series of radio stations to counter the Luftwaffe’s legions in what would become one of the world’s first practical radar early warning systems.


US Special Force's New Sniper Scope Works Like A Human Eye

Conventional sniper scopes may allow for superlatively long shots but they are far from perfect, requiring a time-consuming refocusing of the sights should the target (or shooter) have to move position. But with the new RAZAR scope from Sandia National Labs, that refocus is handled almost instantly with the push of a button.


Monster Machines: The First Flying Wing Jet Could Have Won WWII For The Nazis

The B-2 Spirit blew more than a few minds when it made its public debut in 1988. But America’s flying wing was not the first of such aircraft. In fact, one such plane nearly darkened the skies over Washington at the end of WWII with a nuclear present from the Fuhrer.


Monster Machines: This Flying Wing Was 3D-Printed From Plastic Dust In A Day

Embraced by industry titans like Boeing and amateur R/C enthusiasts alike, 3D printing never been adopted more aggressively than in the aerospace industry. And when taken to the limits of its capabilities, 3D printing can produce more than just lightweight composite fan blades. We’re talking full-blown flying wings.


Monster Machines: This Electronic Stonehenge Once Divined The Secrets Of Soviet Radio

In the early days of electronic espionage, the US intelligence community didn’t have the benefit of all-seeing spy satellites — it had to intercept and interpret high-frequency radio waves transmitted by the Soviet Union. To do so, the Americans relied on a network of mysterious structures whose real purpose was kept highly classified throughout the Cold War.


Monster Machines: Bell's Newest Tiltrotor Could Finally Improve On The Osprey's Feathers

The V-22 Osprey’s mechanical and aeronautical shortcomings have been well-documented. That’s why, for its third-generation tiltrotor, Bell has taken a good hard look at the ill-fated aircraft (one it helped design) and built the plane-copter hybrid it should have back in 1983.


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