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A 4 post collection

The Staying Power of the B-52

 •  Filed under Military, Aircraft

Makes you wonder why on Earth the US military has needed billions for more advanced bombers when this still works.

The B-52 is an Air Force plane that refuses to die. Originally slated for retirement generations ago, it continues to be deployed in conflict after conflict. It dropped the first hydrogen bomb in the Bikini Islands in 1956, and laser-guided bombs in Afghanistan in 2006. It has outlived its replacement. And its replacement’s replacement. And its replacement’s replacement’s replacement.

After 60 Years, B-52s Still Dominate U.S. Fleet by The New York Times

The B-52, Still Flying

 •  Filed under B52, Aircraft, History

This planning deficit is nothing unusual. It would be a tribute to Boeing engineers’ advance planning that the BUFF (Big Ugly Fat, er, Fella) is due to keep flying until at least 2040, when the airplanes will be octogenarians...except that the longevity has been achieved despite the best that military planners could do.

The B-52 Just Keeps on Flying by Air & Space Smithsonian


The Real Life Thor

 •  Filed under Military, Aircraft

An amazing account of a USMC pilot who ejected from his F-8 Crusader over a thunderstorm.

As the parachute opened, he felt the familiar tug upwards. Except instead of a slow descent, he experienced a rapid ascent. The powerful updraft filled his parachute like a sail and rocketed him vertically thousands of feet at a velocity of nearly 100 mph. During his ascent, he could see hail stones forming around him. The lightning was described by him as “blue blades several feet thick” and incredibly close. The thunder was so loud, he could feel it resonating in his chest cavity and remembered this more so than how loud it was.

Lt. Col William Rankin - Ejects Into a Thunderstorm by WeatherImagery


Transporting the Lockheed A-12

 •  Filed under Aircraft, Links

Amazing account of the moving of these spy planes from the Lockheed plant to Area 51.

Dorsey Kammerer was appointed to head up the activity to build and use the transportation carriage system. An early-on step was to equip a pickup truck with a set of extension poles sized to the width, height of the main transport carriage trailer. An initial plan was to drive the best estimate route of travel, noting the obstacles to easy movement of the carriage boxes. Several photos show this arrangement and its use along the roads.

Transporting the A-12 by Roadrunners Internationale