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A 360° View of The F-35

This is a pretty good video that goes over some of the advanced features of the new fifth-generation fighter, the F-35:

It’s a nice video, the beginning of it doesn’t really merit a 360° video, but it’s still cool.  There’s alot of 35,000 foot type view information given of the different systems and how they work together on this $400 million aircraft.  The meat and potatoes comes towards the end when they simulate the view pilots have while they’re wearing the next-generation helmet which gives them all sorts of advantages in battle.  I think you should watch the full video, it’s pretty enlightening and proves how the USAF is at the forefront of design and development military might.

{Business Insider}


To the Edge of Space

Complete in full 360° glory!  Some crazy Russians (might not actually be Russians, but rather great Capitalists!) have attached a Samsung Gear 360 camera to the tail of a MiG as it flew into the stratosphere at speeds approaching Mach 2.  I will say, traveling at supersonic speeds is one of my all time dreams, and even though the clouds of this flight were boring, the knowledge that this type of trip is offered is enough to make me super excited for getting my own $20,000 together to try myself!.

{360 Rumors|The Aviationist}

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Alaska by Air

This isn’t quite the tour I’ll be taking of the great state to the north, but it’s still a pretty great video showing the beauty of Alaska, albit from a few hundred/dozen feet above the ground.  I’m pretty sure I haven’t posted this before, but I can’t remember, and my search of the blog archives isn’t helping, so if I posted it before, oops.  If I didn’t, enjoy:


awesome photo video

Blue Angels 360° Video

I’m pretty sure I haven’t posted this before, but forgive me if I have, it’s just too good not to share a 2nd time.

This video was taken at the Great Georgia Airshow this past October for USA Today.  They set up a special 360° video rig in the cockpit of the jet in the slot position of the diamond formation.  The video is 8 minutes long, not bad really.  It works on a computer, but it’s way cooler if you watch it from a smartphone and move the phone around as you watch it for a truly immersive experience.

awesome DIY LEGO


Experimental aircraft are cool.  They usually fall into one of two categories, useful prototypes of future airplanes and technology, or crazy strange aircraft that have no business defying gravity.  The Grumman X-29 is one of the latter.  It’s famous for having strange forward-swept wings.  Something that looks like it’s flying backwards.  It’s design meant it relied 100% on a computer, six of them to be exact, they all worked in parallel to back each other up and vote on what the outcome would be.  It’s instability was supposed to be countered by extreme maneuverability, but unfortunately, real world testing didn’t confirm any of the predictions.


Anyway, Nathan has made a LEGO version of that famous plane.  It took him a long weekend to build, and used exactly 1,000 pieces.  I love the detail on the landing gear, which seems minor, but is really well done.

x-29 landing gear


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US Air Force

US AF Seal

Today, September 18, marks the 68th anniversary of the United States Air Force, (USAF).  I know what some of you are thinking.  Only 68 years, that’s around the end of World War II.  Well, you’re right, it’s 1947 to be exact.  During World War II, it was a part of the US Army Air Forces, before it was spun off into it’s own entity.   Over the course of it’s 68 year existence, the USAF has grown to be the largest, most powerful Air Force the world has ever seen.  Over the decades, the USAF has led the way in leaps and bounds in terms of technological achievements, flying the most advanced fighter and reconnaissance air craft the world has seen.

The Air Force isn’t limited to just air craft.  The USAF is also in control of the nations 450 ICBMs, as well as a a couple dozen satellites of military nature.  Of course, they still have over 5,000 aircraft of various different roles.  From the lowly transports and tankers, to the state of the art Fighters, and, some of the coolest planes human kind has yet to produce.




Aerial Aerobatics

I meant to post this in conjunction with this morning’s post about the air show, but I forgot.  Here are 8 different aerial combat maneuvers as carried out by a typical fighter jet.

Kulbit and Bell

The Kulbit looks like a loop, and Kvochur’s Bell looks like a stall.

Unfortunately, due to the pictograph, I would have to guess that the jet shown, it’s a MiG, but not to worry, any of the equivalent American Fighters, F-15, F-18, F-22, could perform these, and more.
Cobra and Ranversman

Cobra looks similar to a stall, Ranversman looks like The Hammer in the next picture, just slanted alittle.

Hammer and Immelman

Hammer looks like above, Immelman looks pretty standard.

Barrel Roll and Flat Spin

The Barrel Roll is pretty standard, and the flat spin is harder to complete I believe since you have to be going rather slow.  I think, if I’m remembering correctly.  I guess I could look it up, but if I say for certain something wrong, someone will correct me for sure.



awesome photo the greatest

F-22 Demo Air Show

I went to an Air Show this weekend, this is the awesome demo of the USAF F-22 Raptor.  It’s really something to see the abilities of the F-22.  It just sits there in the sky, being all awesome like.  It’s easy to see how it’s the most advanced fighter jet in service right now.  Forget about all the stealth capabilities, look at it stop, flip over, and slowly fall to the ground, with the pilot in complete control.  That’s impressive.

Here are some other photos of the day.


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Actual History Tuesday – The Red Baron

Building on the post from this morning, we’re going to zoom 3 years into the future of the past.  Today marks the Manfred von Richthofen, better known as The Red Baron.

Red Baron photo

In case you need a refresher on World War I air history, here it is:

The First World War was naturally, the first time aircraft were used in combat.  The planes were originally modified general purpose planes, not specifically built for fighters, that quickly changed and all sorts of purpose built machines were constructed.  The men who piloted these planes were generally of the upper class.  Wealthy, knowledgeable people.  The most interesting thing however is the respect they had for each other.  When a plane was shot down, all effort was made to make sure the pilot was safe, and if they happened to die, they were treated with dignity, and respect.  Because of the fragile nature of the planes, (and the fact they were using bullets, not missiles), most planes that were shot down were merely disabled, or unable to fly.  Unless the pilot was shot, he usually survived with minimal injuries.  Partly due to the skills needed to fly, and the lack of qualified people, the pilots who were shot down were treated well, and very soon became not friends, but respected equals in each others minds.

Now, back to Manfred.

The Red Baron is the most well known aerial ace in history.  Officially, he is credited with 80 confirmed enemy kills (a kill in this sense is to the aircraft, not the pilot).  Unofficial numbers have him in the low 100s.  No other pilot in the first world war has more kills them him.  His most famous plane was the Fokker Dr. I, a tri-plane that he had painted bright red.  But only a quarter of his kills came from that plane.

On April 21, 1918, The Red Baron was in a dogfight and his plane was hit.  It wasn’t down yet, he was trying to land it safely for he still had some control.  While looking for his landing, he flew over some allied AA guns.  Those AA guns opened fire, one bullet hit him causing fatal injuries to him.  He crashed into the countryside, and his body was recovered.

The final shot that killed Manfred is unknown, the most popular theory is that it was an Australian AA gunner, while a British Air-man is credited with downing the plane.  He he was given a full military funeral with a honor guard and a salute.  Members of other air-squads sent memorial wreaths to his grave.  After the war, his body was eventually transferred to Germany, and over the years of the Nazis, and the Soviets, his body now lies next to his brother, and his sister in Wiesbaden.

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Alternate History Thursday – Spys

SR-71 photo

In our current reality, air supremacy is the most important part of warfare.  And while the SR-71 might not play much of a role in the supremacy part of the air-force, it does play an important part in the knowledge part.


Here you can have a virtual tour inside the cockpit of that iconic plane.


And now for something, completely different:

In an alternate version of our alternate history, the SR-71 was never constructed, because it was never needed.  Air supremacy was something that was only used in the closing days of World War II.  Soon after the war ended, space became the next frontier, just like in real reality.  However, in AV-AH, space was conquered.  The Communist State of the American Continents (C-SAC) was first to launch rockets into low earth orbit, (just like in RR, those damn commies beat the democracy & freedom loving people to space).  However, their solo reign didn’t last too long.  Soon, the United Countries of Europe (UCE), manager to launch their own unmanned probes into low earth orbit.  Within years humans from both sides were circling the globe, waving at each other as they passed in private, but shooting at each other in public.

By the early 1970s semi permanent bases had been established in low earth orbit by both global forces.  No one had yet landed on The Moon, but that would soon happen.  Experts, and pundits across the globe were calling for The Moon to become the Switzerland of Space.  The one common neutral ground that didn’t belong to anyone.  The Commies wouldn’t have it, and neither would the UCE (which, unsurprisingly, Switzerland was not a member of).

UCE ships landed on The Moon first, establishing a permanent base in one of the craters.  C-SAC had a dilemma now though, land their own ships somewhere else and claim ownership of that part of The Moon, take the Swiss up on their offer of neutrality for the Heavenly body, or start a war?  Can you guess what C-SAC did?

Tune in next time to find out.