Archive | December, 2011

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BREAKING: USAF web site confirms Saudi Arabia sale

A US Air Force web site appears to confirm the blockbuster Boeing F-15SA sale to Saudi Arabia. [UPDATE: Within two hours of my blog post, the USAF removed the image from the web site.] The picture shown above was released to a USAF web site at 3:31pm on 28 December. That means the image appeared […]

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How an A-12 Avenger II canopy landed on eBay [UPDATE]

Seth Kettleman makes a living buying and selling surplus aircraft machinery on the web. In late November, a strange item popped up on an A-12 Avenger II fighter canopy. Kettleman had never heard of the A-12, but he was intrigued so he started Googling. He read that the highly classified A-12 had been canceled […]

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F-22 crash mystery finally explained

The US Air Force has ended the mystery of what happened to the Lockheed Martin F-22 that crashed on 16 November 2010. According to the newly-released accident investigation board report, the cause wasn’t the onboard oxygen generation system (OBOGS), although it did stop working. Instead, the pilot apparently struggled to activate the back-up oxygen system […]

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F-22 assembly line fades into history

There are now four active fighter assembly lines in the US, one less than a few hours ago.Lockheed Martin confirms that F-22 tail number 4195 rolled off the assembly line earlier this morning. The last of the 185 operational F-22s has now moved to the flight line, with final delivery to the US Air Force […]

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MUST-READ: F-35 concurrency report

A damaging report on the F-35 concurrency strategy is in the news this morning. Flightglobal, Ares and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram have the story, and each account is based on the same leaked Pentagon report. Read the full 20-page report by clicking here: F35 concurrency report.pdfThe report takes aim at the amount of concurrency risk […]

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Predator C heading to Afghanistan, packing a 2,000-pounder

The US Air Force in Afghanistan has given itself an early Christmas present — a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Predator C Avenger.The jet-powered, stealthy unmanned air system (UAS) with — and this is important — an internal weapons bay is going to Afghanistan. The Aeronautical Systems Center on 9 December released a document justifying why […]

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Iran: We will reverse engineer RQ-170

Iran Press TV reports this evening: Iran has announced that it intends to carry out reverse engineering on the captured RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft, which is also known as the Beast of Kandahar, and is similar in design to a US Air Force B-2 stealth bomber. We have a few thoughts for our friends in […]

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PICTURE: Raptor snapshots by the Rafale

At LIMA 2011 air show in Malaysia, Dassault released a set of imagery from an apparent engagement between the Rafale and the Lockheed Martin F-22. One of the images have been released before, and it came from the sort-of-friendly fighter jet show-down in November 2009 at Al Dhafra AB, United Arab Emirates. The imagery was […]

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PICTURE: Reaper spotted at secret CIA UAV base

Zach Rosenberg, Flightglobal’s UAV and space editor, has found something very interesting in the latest release of satellite imagery posted on Google Maps last month. On the ramp of the Yucca airstrip in Nevada — a site officially owned by the Energy Department and unofficially suspected of being a secret, CIA UAV base — is […]

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PICTURE: China’s Wind Blade UAV revealed

What was the joke around the office almost the instant after Iran announced possession of an RQ-170 Sentinel?“Look for the RQ-170 copy at the Zhuhai [air show] next year.”If you’ll forgive the streak of cynicism, it seemed at the time like a fair swipe at the reverse-engineering skills and loose intellectual property safeguards in both […]

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