Skunk Works Airships
9 June 2011
In 2013, an old idea will become new again when the captain of the first SkyTug issues the traditional command: “Up ship.” Then, this hybrid airship – a vehicle nearly the length of a football field that is part blimp, part aircraft and is capable of carrying twenty tons of cargo – will lift off for the first time. And by 2016, the captain of an airship nearly the length of three football fields that can carry one million pounds of cargo could issue the same command.
Unmanned, Virtually Unlimited
6 April 2011
The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, based in Palmdale, California, is responsible for a number of unmanned vehicles that vary in size and mission with capabilities that range from hypersonic speeds to loitering quite literally for years.
F-35 Flight Test Update 4
22 March 2011
As of mid-March 2011, the five F-35Bs flying at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, have completed a total of 316 flights and seventy-three vertical landings.
AFRC Special Missions Conference
15 March 2011
Air Force Reserve Command contributes 100 percent of the US Air Force weather reconnaissance and aerial spray capabilities and twenty-five percent of the Air Force’s Modular Airborne Firefighting System capabilities. These capabilities represent a significant portion of the support the command provides under its federal Defense Support to Civil Authorities mission.
Kelly Aviation Center
1 March 2011
The company credited with designing, developing, and manufacturing the U-2 Dragon Lady, C-130 Hercules, C-5 Galaxy, and F-16 Fighting Falcon also maintains, repairs, overhauls, and tests the engines that power these military aircraft. Kelly Aviation Center also repairs engines for some commercial aircraft.
3 February 2011
The operational career of the F-111 came to an end on 3 December 2010 at RAAF Amberley near Brisbane, Australia, as a crew in an F-111C (serial number A8-125) of the Royal Australian Air Force touched down for the aircraft’s last landing.
9 December 2010
The Convair Super Hustler was a Mach 4 strategic weapons delivery system designed in the late 1950s. The aircraft was to be carried and launched from below the B-58B -- a proposed, but never built, larger version of the B-58A Hustler. The two-part design consisted of a front manned capsule powered by two ramjet engines with a turbojet for subsonic flight and landing. The nose of the manned section would droop for visibility on landings. The expendable, unmanned rear section was powered by two ramjet engines and carried fuel for the outbound legs. The rear section was designed to detach and deliver a large weapon, carried in the nose. The fueled weight of the composite craft was 46,000 pounds.
9 December 2010
The 314th Air Wing at Little Rock AFB, Arkansas, trains approximately 1,800 C-130E/H and C-130J aircrew members annually—about 450 daily—from the US and from nearly thirty-five countries around the world. Close to 1,600 Hercules maintainers from the US and from more than fifteen allied nations are also trained every year.
2010 NATO Tiger Meet
14 November 2010
The 2010 NATO Tiger Meet was hosted by 313 Squadron, the Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 unit based at Volkel AB. This meet was the first time the yearly gathering of air squadrons with the Tiger mascot was hosted by 313 Squadron.
F-35 Flight Test Update 3
10 November 2010
The previous installment of the F-35 Flight Test Update ended with F-35A AF-1 completing its fiftieth flight on 27 August 2010. Since then, the aircraft has been flown an additional thirty flights and a total of more than 140 flight hours.