Over the last several months, SpaceX has been seriously diversifying its clientele: In May, it flew a spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). On Tuesday, the US Air Force announced that in August, it will be launching a reusable X-37B mini-space shuttle on board a Falcon 9 rocket. While some of the details are still shrouded in mystery (because the military), the Air Force said it will use the launch to test some electronics and oscillating heat pipes aboard the spacecraft. Fun times!
Tagged With air force
The US Air Force's secretive X-37B spaceplane landed on May 7 after 718 days in orbit — just 12 days shy of a full two years. What was it doing up there in the sky? The government won't say. Even the spaceplane's budget is a secret. But the X-37B's landing wasn't so stealthy. The spaceplane caused a sonic boom that woke up people living near NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
By most standards, Robert F. Dorr lived the most all-American, patriotic life anyone possibly could. He served in the Air Force, he was a diplomat with the State Department from the 1960s to the 1980s, and he went on to be a successful author and TV pundit about military affairs. But as a teenager, Dorr was investigated by the FBI for potential espionage. His crime? He kept writing to Boeing asking for photos of their planes.
A B-52 Stratofortress landed safely on Wednesday after an engine "dropped out" over an unpopulated area of North Dakota, Defence News reports. Holy crap.
Lost in a thunderstorm over southeastern Australia, Captain R.D. Parmentier and his crew were desperately trying to find a place to land the big DC2 airliner. They were just a few hundred kilometres from the finish of an epic 18,000km race from London to Melbourne and the storm had rendered their communications equipment useless.
The name of America's latest stealth bomber was just announced this morning. And it's not Bomby McBomberface. The B-21 will be known as the Raider and it's all thanks to two airmen who submitted the name.
Back in May, the US Air Force announced that they had received over 4,600 entries in their crowdsourced naming contest for the new B-21 bomber. The announcement even said that they'd narrowed it down to 15 finalists. So, naturally, I did what any weirdo blogger does: I filed a Freedom of Information Act request to see the list. Today I got a letter from the US Air Force officially denying my request.
The F-22 Raptor is one of the US military's most powerful weapons, but everything — man, woman, sentient rotted orange — has a weakness. For the fighter jet, that weakness is BEEEEEEEEEES!
Let me get this out of the way: the trillion dollar US F-35 fighter jet program is an embarrassing mess. But it's hard not to marvel at the very expensive technology's promises. This conflict squeezed my brain this week, when the Air Force stopped by Gizmodo's US office with a $US400,000 ($554,212) F-35 helmet in hand. They even let me wear it.
First it was Boaty McBoatface. Now it's... Planey McPlanerson? I don't know why, but for some reason, everyone wants to crowdsource the names for multi-million dollar projects. Today the US Air Force even got in on the act.
Now, more than $US1 trillion into its development, the F-35 aircraft is experiencing glitches with its radar systems. US Air Force major general Jeffrey Harrigian explained the problem in an IHS Jane report: "What would happen is they'd get a signal that says either a radar degrade or a radar fail — something that would force us to restart the radar."
The US Air Force already has a drone-pilot shortage, but that's not the only problem with its fleet of unmanned aircraft: Its drones keep falling out of the sky.
Image Cache: Here's a photo of a US Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuelling an A-10 Thunderbolt II over the clouds. The perfect angle of the picture and the lovely nose art of the aircraft makes the fighter jet look like a flying shark machine that has a machine gun as its mouth and scars on its battered nose. It's such a cool angle of this apex predator of the sky.
When you got one of the biggest guns in the world, you can't just pop in a new magazine and start firing again. Well, you can but the new magazine is ginormous and requires multiple Air Force guys to get the gun reloaded. It takes time to get giant bullets on board. Here's the interesting process on how the largest combat jet gun gets reloaded.