Posted in Images Military History

20 lesser-known U.S. aircraft of the Vietnam War

While you surely know about iconic Vietnam-era planes like the F-4 Phantom II or the UH-1 Huey helicopter, you probably haven’t heard much about aircraft like the Black Spot, Skyknight, or the Dragonfly. Although they aren’t as well-known, these fascinating warplanes played crucial roles during operations in Southeast Asia.

Hiller OH-23 Raven

The OH-23 was used as a scout helicopter during a time when the U.S. military was still figuring out how to best utilize helicopters on the battlefield. Ravens would scout ahead of friendly units, but were underpowered for Vietnam’s terrain and their skid guns (when they worked) weren’t adequate either. Nearly 100 of these lightweight helicopters were lost before the Army replaced them with the vastly improved OH-6 Cayuse in 1966.

Posted in Images Military History

Is that a lifting body under your wing, or are you just happy to see me?

It’s hard to believe that the B-52B in this photo from 1969…

… is the same plane (NASA Tail Number 008) in this picture from 2001:

Continue reading “Is that a lifting body under your wing, or are you just happy to see me?”

Posted in Images Military

Fire drill

Aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) Marines assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron conduct fire containment drills at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Oct. 12, 2018. The training was conducted in order to maintain proficiency extinguishing aircraft fires in support of the air station’s mission of launching and recovering aircraft. ARFF is a special category of firefighting that involves the response, hazard mitigation, evacuation and possible rescue of passengers and crew of an aircraft involved in a ground emergency. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Akeel Austin)

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Posted in Images Military History

20 radical military aircraft that didn’t make the cut

When it comes to aerial combat, a new and improved warplane can make everything your opponent has in the air completely obsolete overnight. Japan’s “Zero” ruled the skies over the Pacific at the outset of World War II and the MiG-15 was dominant in the beginning of the Korean War, but United States defense contractors turned out faster, more agile, and deadlier planes like the F6F Hellcat or the F-86 Sabre and gave us air supremacy on such a level that it is as if owning the skies is an American birthright. These 20 aircraft didn’t make it to the production line, but without them we wouldn’t have pushed the design envelope and gained the technology that produced Super Hornets, Strike Eagles, stealth bombers, and even a Space Shuttle.

Grumman XF5F

If Pablo Picasso became an aircraft designer instead of an artist, Grumman’s X5F5 Skyrocket would have been his best work. Although it looked like a caricature of today’s A-10 Warthog – on drugs – it handled like a dream. In fact, it almost beat out a number of other prototypes and proven fighters during a 1941 competition for the Navy.

Posted in Images Military History

Look ma! No wings!

Martin Marietta’s X-24A lifting body (a fuselage without wings) was one of several prototypes that NASA and the U.S. Air Force tested when they were developing the concept that would become the Space Shuttle. (NASA photo)
Posted in Images Military History

John Glenn and Project BULLET

Major John H. Glenn, Jr., United States Marine Corps, with his Chance Vought F8U-1P Crusader after finishing the first supersonic transcontinental flight on July 16, 1957. Glenn flew 2,360 miles from Naval Air Station Los Alamitos in Southern California to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, N.Y. in just 3 hours and 23 minutes. (U. S. Navy)
Posted in Images Military

What’s at the end of the rainbow?

A U.S. Reconnaissance Marine jumps out of a CH-47 Chinook during helo-casting training operations, part of the Reconnaissance Team Leader Course held at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, April 24, 2017. The purpose of the Reconnaissance Team Leader Course is to provide the students with the required knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of a Reconnaissance Team Leader. This course emphasizes planning, briefing and leading teams in patrolling, ground reconnaissance, and amphibious operations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt Ezekiel R. Kitandwe)
Posted in Images Military History

Image of the day: ‘Tally-ho’

Aircraft from USS Ranger (CV-4) attack  enemy shipping at Bodo Harbor, Norway on this date in 1943. The ship bracketed by waterspouts is the German submarine tender Saar. (Naval History and Heritage Command image)