USAF officials begin search for new tanker

Today, the department is announcing its acquisition strategy for a replacement aerial refueling tanker fleet for the aging KC-135 and KC-10 fleet, said William J. Lynn, deputy secretary of defense. He termed the search to be a « best value » competition, not one based solely on cost.

READ FULL ARTICLE on www.af.mil

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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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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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DEW and FROST

Dew and frost - C-17 Globemaster III de-icing in Alaska

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Keith Brown

ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska – Members of the 703rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron de-ice a C-17 Globemaster III from the 517th Airlift Squadron before a training mission. Heavy snow and weeks of sub-zero temperatures require extra effort from maintenance crews to keep the aircraft clear of ice and snow. The training mission included dropping Army Airborne Soldiers from Fort Richardson, Alaska, and conducting air drops of training bundles that simulate the Soldier’s equipment. (from AIR FORCE LINK)

DEW

Dew does not actually fall; rather the moisture condenses from air that is in direct contact with the cool surface. During clear, still nights, vegetation often cools by radiation to a temperature at or below the dew point of the adjacent air. Moisture then collects on the leaves just as it does on a pitcher of ice water in a warm room. Heavy dew is often observed on grass and plants when there is none on the pavements or on large, solid objects. These objects absorb so much heat during the day or give up heat so slowly, they may not cool below the dew point of the surrounding air during the night. Another type of dew is white dew. White dew is a deposit of white, frozen dew drops. It first forms as liquid dew, then freezes.

FROST

Frost, or hoarfrost, is formed by the process of sublimation. It is a deposit of ice having a crystalline appearance and generally assumes the form of scales, needles, feathers, or fans. Hoarfrost is the solid equivalent of dew and should not be confused with white dew, which is dew frozen after it forms.

Source: www.tpub.com

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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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