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VIDEO: Lockheed YF-12 Blackbird

Check out this NASA video about the Mach 3+ Lockheed YF-12 Blackbird interceptor, which was developed from the Central Intelligence Agency’s A-12 reconnaissance aircraft. Though ultimately it would not go into production, the three pre-production aircraft did find success as research planes for NASA. The YF-12 was developed after the cancellation of the North American […]

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B-58 Hustler: Champion of Champions

Check out this old Cold War propaganda video of the Convair B-58 Hustler strategic bomber hosted by actor and US Air Force Brigadier General Jimmy Stewart. The B-58 was, as Stewart says, a spectacular aircraft with extraordinary performance—especially for the 1950s, just over a decade after the introduction of the Luftwaffe’s Arado Ar-234, which was […]

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The Lockheed L-225 nuclear-powered bomber–can you imagine if this thing had actually been built?

This Lockheed aircraft design from 1951 is for anuclear-powered bomber–which the United States and the Soviet Union had both exploreddeveloping during the Cold War. According to Lockheed Martin, the L-225 design was thecompany’s second attempt at a bomber powered by a small nuclear reactor.   Ultimately, neither the US nor the USSR actually built anoperational […]

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Lockheed M-21 Blackbird at Boeing Museum of Flight

During last week’s media tour of the Pacific Northwest I wasfortunate to be able to stop off at the Boeing Museum of Flight in Seattle. The Museum of Flight is one of the best aviation museums inthe United States and it gives the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum a good runfor its money. In some […]

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Northrop awarded MQ-8C contract

Evening minions, I’m off to Phoenix, Arizona, in the morningto cover my first civilian story. There will be flying involved–I’ll reportback if anything interesting should happen…   In the meantime here is a link to my MQ-8C story- or justread the Cliff’s Notes version below.   Northrop Grumman is porting over the guts of its […]

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US Air Force to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the B-52

The US Air Force’s Global Strike Command is planning on commemoratingthe 60th anniversary of the first flight of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress on15 April. The original event happened on 15 April, 1952, when the YB-52prototype took to the air over Seattle, Washington.  The YB-52 is actually the second Stratofortress built byBoeing. The XB-52, which was […]

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New mystery: is Boeing still building the E-10?

The E-10A program is supposed to be deader than a door-nail. The E-10A is so dead Northrop Grumman went to the trouble earlier this year to issue a press release stating that its formerly prized surveillance and command and control aircraft program is, indeed, dead. So why would Boeing apparently still be building it? The […]

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Return of the J-UCAS

Anybody remember something called the Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS)? That was the multi-billion dollar project that came just before what we now call UCAS-D, and just after what we used to call UCAV and UCAV-N. I hope that’s all clear. But J-UCAS died an obscenely protracted death in 2006 on the busy gallows […]

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Flashback: the original US Air Force acquisition scandal

Ike Eisenhower got it wrong when he called it the “military-industrial complex”. It’s really the military-industrial-and-congressional complex, and each component plays an equal part in the long history of flubs and scandals involving the process of developing and buying weapons. At least, that’s the message of a book I just finished called “The C-5A Scandal”, […]

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