Believed by many to be the most important German bomber of World War II, the Ju-88 was in front-line service throughout the 1939-45 conflict. Its versatile design enabled it to be used as a bomber, dive bomber, torpedo bomber, heavy fighter and night fighter.
Nicknamed the “Wooden Wonder,” the Mosquito was perhaps the most versatile aircraft to see action during World War II. As a bomber, it was also the fastest.
3.Boeing B-29 Super Fortress
The B-29 had a range of over 3,500 miles, an operational ceiling of 31,850 feet and a top speed of 358 mph. It could carry a huge payload of 20,000 pounds of bombs and was armed with 12 .50-caliber machine guns and a 20-mm cannon.
With a maximum speed of 650 mph, a range of over 8,000 miles and the capability to drop 70,000 pounds of bombs, the B-52 is the most lethal bomber in the world. It can also deliver nuclear weapons, cruise missiles and precision bombs.
WASHINGTON – The political savvy dafense secretary scored big legislative wins when the Senate voted convincingly to end production of the high-priced F-22 jet fighter and killed an aircraft engine project that he says isn’t needed.
House lawmakers want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars for equipment Gates doesn’t want, including more than $400 million for the VH-71 presidential helicopter that the Pentagon wants canceled for being behind schedule and vastly over budget.
Lockheed Martin, the large and influential defense contractor that makes the F-22, didn’t lobby to keep the production line open. That’s perhaps because the company also builds the F-35, an aircraft built for ground attack missions that Gates says is better suited for the uncertainties of unconventional warfare.
The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps plan to buy more than 2,400 F-35s.
The new unmanned vertical-takeoff aircraft could wing its way to the battlefield and land with the precision of a helicopter. Aurora Excalibur VTOL AUV has a maximum speed of 460 mph, or but also have the ability to loiter overhead at just 115 mph. The unmanned aerial system (UAS) could pack a 400-pound payload of four Hellfire missiles, and also deliver weapons or other supplies to warfighters deep in rough territory.
The 13ft-long UAV is powered by a tilting jet engine and three battery-powered lift fans. The aircraft made its first hover flight on June 24, lasting just under 2min, at Aberdeen Proving Gorund, Maryland. Excalibur is a proof-of-principle testbed for a 400kt VTOL unmanned combat aircraft.
“It was a flawless first flight with a crisp takeoff and perfect landing,” reported John Langford, president of Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation. “In flight, the hover stability and heading control performance were excellent.”
***Want to have a custom made Exculibur model aircraft? Visit Warplanes.com for more details***
The Senate voted Tuesday to terminate further production of USAF‘s topline F-22 fighter jets, giving President Barack Obama a major spending victory and siding with the Pentagon’s desire for smaller jets better suited to 21st-century wars.
F-22 supporters complained the action would be a blow to long-term national defense and cost thousands of jobs in the middle of the recession.
Gates and other Pentagon officials want to put more emphasis on the next-generation F-35 Lightning that would be used primarily to attack targets in the ground and would replace the F-16 and USAF‘s aging fleet of A-10‘s. The Air Force plans to buy more than 1,700 F-35‘s, which are being produced in small numbers for testing purposes.
One of China’s fighter bombers crashed during the China-Russia Peace Mission 2009 joint military exercise on the morning of July 19. The latest information shows that the two pilots of the “Flying Leopard” fighter bomber have died.
Developed by Xi’an Aircraft Industry Company, the “Flying Leopard,” also known as the FBC-1, is a medium-sized fighter bomber. China started to independently design and produce them in the 1980s.
The fighter bombers also participated in the China-Russia Peace Mission 2007 anti-terrorism joint military exercise in Russia.
Defense Sec. Robert Gates announced that the size of the Army is being increased temporarily by 22,000 soldiers to help meet the needs of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other missions around the world.
This is the second time since 2007 that the military has determined it doesn’t have a large enough force. Gates had already increased the size of the Army and Marine Corps shortly after taking the Pentagon job.
The Army currently has a total troop strength of 547,000.
Gates said he would not seek additional money for the extra troops in the 2009 and 2010 fiscal year budgets.
It’s been 4 decades since Niel Armstrong made his “giant leap for mankind.” After that successful moment, astronauts in the US space program have gone no farther.
On July 20, 1969, the first footsteps on the moon — made by Armstrong , the mission known as Apollo 11— came 3½ years before the last ones. Since then, astronauts have been stuck close to the Earth, mostly circling a few hundred miles overhead in a spacecraft that’s little more than a glorified cargo truck.
So now what?
That question preoccupies NASA and worries the Obama administration. The president said in March that NASA is beset by “a sense of drift.” Even some of the men who once walked on the moon are divided on how to proceed. Options could include going back to the moon, landing on an asteroid, shooting for Mars or even ending human exploration of space altogether.
That sounds neat however, the next big question is “Will there be a budget for such mission?”
A Russian-owned civillian helicopter crashed and burst into flames shortly after takeoff at southern Afghanistans’ largest NATO base on Sunday, killing 16 civillians in a string of deadly aircraft crashes in the country.
There were no indications that the crash of the Mi-8 helicopter at southern Kandahar Air Field was caused by hostile fire. Sixteen people died in the crash and five were wounded.
The Mi-8 was owned by the Russian air company Vertikal-T. It cited Russian charge d’affaires Andrei Vadob as saying there were no Russians among the 16 killed.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA unveiled the restored video of the first landing on the moon. It became clear that the original tapes of the July 20, 1969 Moonwalk has been erased and reused.
NASA admitted in 2006 that no one could find the original video recordings of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s landing. Since then, Richard Nafzger, an engineer at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, found where the footage went: It was in a batch of 200,000 tapes that were degaussed — magnetically erased — and reused to save money.
So NASA took television video copies of what Apollo 11 beamed to Earth 40 years ago to a Hollywood film-restoration company, which made the pictures look sharper.
NASA emphasized that the video isn’t “new” — just better-quality.