Jim Zwayer and Bill Weaver took off that day – January 25th, 1966 !

USAF SR-71 strategic reconnaissance aircraft

SR71 Blackbird – USAF photo by Tech SGT Michael Haggerty – Source: www.af.mil

This unbelievable test flight happened in 1966, and remained top secret for decades given the constraints of the Cold war at that time. You can read this breath-taking story in browsing into Google. Type – SR-71 Blackbird breakup at Mach 3.18 – (or click on this link, then on the first webpage of the Google list proposed). Plant yourself firmly in an armchair, then you can start to read the most amazing aeronautical report I have ever read!

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F-22As scheduled to deploy to Japan, Guam

USAF F-22 Raptor 5th generation fighter aircraft

(U.S. Air Force photo/Scott Wolfe)

Air Force officials have scheduled to deploy two contingents of F-22A Raptors to the Pacific theater in January 2009 for approximately three months. Current plans call for 12 of the fighters to deploy to Kadena Air Base, Japan, from Langley Air Force Base, Va., and another 12 to deploy to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. The deployments support U.S. Pacific Command’s theater security packages in the Western Pacific.

12/16/2008 – HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii (AFNS)– Air Force officials have scheduled to deploy two contingents of F-22A Raptors to the Pacific theater in January 2009 for approximately three months.

Current plans call for 12 of the fighters to deploy to Kadena Air Base, Japan, from Langley Air Force Base, Va., and another 12 to deploy to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. The deployments support U.S. Pacific Command’s theater security packages in the Western Pacific.

The F-22A is a transformational combat aircraft that can avoid enemy detection, cruises at supersonic speeds, is highly maneuverable, and provides the joint force an unprecedented level of integrated situational awareness.

As part of continuing force posture adjustments to address worldwide requirements, the Defense leaders continue to deploy additional forces throughout the Western Pacific. This is the latest example of the flexibility U.S. forces have to meet their ongoing commitments and security obligations throughout the Pacific region.

Source: U.S. AIR FORCE LINK

 

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JAGUAR – Aircraft For Men

French Air Force SEPECAT Jaguars fighter aircraft

This photo especially for Michel « Riri » (Hi, mate!).

Some called this fighter a/c « flat-bottom boat » with amusement, some said that the Earth was round to let the Jaguar take-off, and some others called the Jaguar an « aircraft for men ». Having worked on Mirage F1CRs and Jaguars as well, I was used to using the latter phrase. I loved the F1CR though I’ve always been captivated by the Jaguars’ way of working. This fighter was rough but efficient, and I even dare say « multirole in advance » for the RP36P photo pod fielded Jaguars’ squadrons many times in France and abroad.

Jaguars regularly carried out war missions, and I can easily understand why their pilots and mechanics were proud of having worked on such aircraft. (a special thought for the former 7th and 11th Fighter Wings)

Have a good day Riri, see you, mate!

Source: Photo – SIRPA AIR

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F-35 Lightning II goes Supersonic

F-35 JSF Joint Strike Fighter

U.S. Navy photo: Chief Petty Officer Eric A. Clement

Written on November 15, 2008  8:00 am by Frontier India Strategic and Defence

USA flag billowing The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter flew supersonic for the first time yesterday, achieving another milestone. The aircraft accelerated to Mach 1.05, or about 680 miles per hour. The test validated the F-35 Lightning II’s capability to operate beyond the speed of sound and was accomplished with a full internal load of inert or « dummy » weapons on the one-hour flight.

« The F-35 transitioned from subsonic to supersonic just as our engineers and our computer modeling had predicted, » said Jon Beesley, Lockheed Martin’s chief F-35 test pilot. « I continue to be impressed with the aircraft’s power and strong acceleration, F-35 JSF Joint Strike Fighterand I’m pleased that its precise handling qualities are retained in supersonic flight, even with a payload of 5,400 pounds (2,450 kilograms) in the weapons bays. »

F-35  USAF photo  Senior Airman Julius Delos Reyes

Beesley said it was also a significant achievement for a test aircraft to fly supersonic for the first time with the weight of a full internal load of weapons. The milestone was achieved on the 69th flight of F-35 aircraft AA-1. Beesley climbed to 30,000 feet (9,144 meters) and accelerated to Mach 1.05, or about 680 miles per hour, over a rural area in north Texas. The F-35 accomplished four transitions through the sound barrier, spending a total of eight minutes in supersonic flight. The flight was preceded by a high-subsonic mission earlier in the day. Future testing will gradually expand the flight envelope out to the aircraft’s top speed of Mach 1.6, which the F-35 is designed to achieve with a full internal load of weapons.

F-35 AA-1, a conventional takeoff and landing variant (CTOL), and F-35 BF-1, a short takeoff/vertical landing variant (STOVL), together have combined for 83 test flights.

X-35 JSF fighter aircraftThe F-35 is a supersonic, multi-role, 5th generation stealth fighter. Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for 11 nations initially, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history.

X-35 JSF – U.S. Air Force photo

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TRIAL IMPERIAL HAMMER in SARDINIA

French Dassault Mirage F1CRs ER 02/033 Savoie reconnaissance aircraft

Mirages F1CR belonging to the 2/33 Savoie Reconnaissance Squadron.

Seventy French airmen along with fourteen other nations took part in an electronic warfare field test in Sardinia from September 27th to October 17th.

Boeing E-3 Sentry airborne early warning and control AWACS

French AWACS

This NATO exercise called « Trial Imperial Hammer » aimed at training the armed forces to fuse information gathered from various inteligence sources – aircraft, radars, satellites. An AWACS from the 702 French Air Force Base at Avord; 2 Mirages F1CR from 2/33 « Savoie » Reconnaissance Squadron at Reims, and a C160 Gabriel from Metz took part in the implementation of this field trial together with the French Navy and the French Army.

French Air Force C-160G Gabriel electronic warfare aircraft

C-160 Gabriel

The development of the information management and communication capabilities is critical to ensure support for the operations.

Source et photos: SIRPA AIR (http://www.defense.gouv.fr/air/)

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