During the 1950's, Wernher von Braun served as technical adviser for three space-related television films produced by Disney: Man in Space, Man and the Moon and Mars and Beyond. [more inside]
In 2006, the United States Air Force declassified part of one of its secret programs: Constant Peg, the 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron, which flew MiGs. [more inside]
AIRBOYD.tv has three Youtube channels: The eponymous AIRBOYD features 2000+ videos for "aviation and aerospace enthusiasts. Then there's the Nuclear Vault: Vintage Military, War and News Videos, with 1200+ full-length documentaries, news reels and other assorted footage, including 200 episodes of "The Big Picture (Army Signal Corps)" and a variety of Atomic and Nuclear energy films. Last but not least is US Auto Industry, an archive of over 450 vintage automobile films, including commercials from Buick, Pontiac, Chevy and Ford. [more inside]
Final Salute. Between 2004 and 2005, "Rocky Mountain News reporter Jim Sheeler and photographer Todd Heisler spent a year with the Marines stationed at Aurora's Buckley Air Force Base who have found themselves called upon to notify families of the deaths of their sons in Iraq. In each case in this story, the families agreed to let Sheeler and Heisler chronicle their loss and grief. They wanted people to know their sons, the men and women who brought them home, and the bond of traditions more than 200 years old that unite them. Though readers are led through the story by the white-gloved hand of Maj. Steve Beck, he remains a reluctant hero. He is, he insists, only a small part of the massive mosaic that is the Marine Corps." The full story ran on Veteran's Day, 2005 and won two Pulitzer Prizes: one for Feature Photography, another for feature writing in 2006. A nice single-page version of one section: Katherine Cathey and 2nd Lt. James J. Cathey (via.) The Rocky Mountain News closed in 2009. [more inside]
A Tragedy of Errors. On Feb. 21, 2010, a convoy of vehicles carrying civilians headed down a mountain in central Afghanistan and American eyes in the sky were watching. "The Americans were using some of the most sophisticated tools in the history of war, technological marvels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that allowed them to see into once-inaccessible corners of the battlefield. But the high-tech wizardry would fail in its most elemental purpose: to tell the difference between friend and foe." FOIA-obtained transcripts of US cockpit and radio conversations and an interactive feature provide a more in-depth understanding of what happened.
Could any of you in the US please check your attics?
“In all honesty, we don’t know when it’s coming back for sure” - The US Air Force's first launch of the X-37b reusable space vehicle has provoked much speculation, with some even wondering if the Pentagon is reviving Nazi space-bomber plans. But was the launch of spaceplane an attempt to mask the launch of another secret weapon?
Finally got around to sending this log, it scares me to read it, I don’t understand how we got out alive... [PDF] Joel Punches' first-person account of a B-17F Navigator assigned to the 8AF, 385 BW, Great Ashfield England during 1943-1944. The diary chronicles his missions during that time - including his Escape and Evasion after being shot down over Hamburg. His fifth mission was Schweinfurt Ball Bearing Factory on 10/14/43.
How to blog, or counter-blog, for the US Air force, in handy flow chart form.
Well boys I reckon this is it. A B-52 loaded with six nuclear cruise missiles leaves North Dakota and arrives in Louisiana with five prompting the ACC to schedule (and announce) an Air Force wide standown on September 14, 2007. What's next Major Kong?
Gaming Indian Wars. The Left Coaster has a good roundup of the conclusions drawn from the recent war games between the American and Indian air forces. The Indian fighter jocks were more than competitive, even responding to instructions from AWACS planes faster than their American counter parts. Are the Mirage 2000 and the SU-30 better planes than the F-15 or was the real reason that the Americans “lost” the war games because they were handicapped, and is this now being used as an excuse to get more money for the F-22 program?
USAF playing cat and mouse game over Iran and yes: there is no hard evidence that this is taking place. But we do recall what Bush had earlier said about the axis of evil and his warnings to Iran about nuke capability. "The U.S. Air Force is playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Iran's ayatollahs, flying American combat aircraft into Iranian airspace in an attempt to lure Tehran into turning on air defense radars, thus allowing U.S. pilots to grid the system for use in future targeting data, administration officials said. "We have to know which targets to attack and how to attack them," said one, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The bombing of Switzerland. This morning, CBC Radio 1's "The Current" covered the last year's friendly fire incident in Afghanistan. In the course of the programme one of the interviewees mentioned a part of the history of WW2 that I'd never heard of before - the repeated bombing of Swiss towns and cities by the USAF, which escalated to the point where the Swiss shot down a US bomber and forced down more. Will the USAF ever be able to eliminate the problem of friendly fire, and is it a uniquely American one?
Further Gov't WOD policy contradiction... Turns out the weel-publicised friendly fire incident in Afghanistan last year may now be attributed to the pilot and bobardier being strung out on speed? Why? Because in the Air Force, crank is standard issue and refusal to partake can even render a pilot not fit for duty. This is what they mean by "The War on Drugs"?