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  • Deborah Lee James
    Senate Armed Services
  • Gen. Mark A. Welsh III
    Senate Armed Services
  • Gen. Larry O. Spencer
    Vice Chief of Staff
    House Armed Services, Readiness
Defense Writers Group
  • Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.
    Commandant, Coast Guard
  • Eric Fanning
    Undersecretary of the Air Force
  • Senator James Inhofe, Congressman Buck McKeon
    Ranking Member, SASC, Chairman, HASC
Data Points
Airpower Classics
From the AIR FORCE Archive

10 Years Ago




Editorial: The Dragon and the Snakes
The Cold War was long and expensive. The Global War on Terror will be no different.



The War Before the War
Long before the actual land invasion, Iraqi forces were taking a ferocious beating from the air.



A Plague of Accidents
Top leaders warn that USAF “cannot tolerate nor sustain” the recent level of loss.



A Line in the Ice
It has been a half-century since the “DEW Line” first started rising in the Arctic waste.



Trenchard at the Creation
The father of the RAF was one of the first to grasp that aviation would radically change warfare.





25 Years Ago





Editorial: The Doctrine of Tranquility



On Stealthy Wings
The B-2 is built for penetration. It will be a while before a Soviet long-range radar is good enough to detect it.



The Electronic Wind Tunnel
New regimes of flight become possible as supercomputers unlock the doors to their simulation and development.


Valor en Masse





50 Years Ago




The Myth of Overkill
An examination of the theories and proposals of Prof. Seymour Melman of Columbia University.



Greased Lightning
Last fall a B-58 and a SAC combat crew demonstrated the capabilities of a remarkable airplane and the versatility of our nuclear striking command by making the longest supersonic flight in aviation history.





Daily Report

Friday April 18, 2014
  • Industry representatives interested in building or equipping the Air Force's next generation JSTARS gathered at Hanscom AFB, Mass., with their factory-fresh business jets for an industry day earlier this month. "The purpose of the event was to open a dialogue with industry representatives and engage in discussion about the results of the latest JSTARS request for information," said Maj. Kate Stowe, JSTARS recapitalization airframe and avionics team leader. The Air Force is seeking an aerial refueling capable business-sized jet, capable of carrying a 10-to-13 man crew, according to the release. Aircraft builders Bombardier and Gulfstream exhibited potential JSTARS platforms, and more than 35 companies participated in the event, which took place April 7-10, states the release. "We received some great technical information to help us move forward and identify the solutions for the program," said Stowe. The Air Force is still in the market research stage of recapitalizing the legacy E-8C with a 16-strong bizjet fleet by 2022.
  • Flight testing of the B-1B Lancer's modernized cockpit software kicked off at Edwards AFB, Calif., at the beginning of this month. The Sustainment Block 16A software package fully enables the Lancer's recently added glass cockpit and Link 16 data sharing capacity, according to an April 15 Edwards' release. "Major software enhancements include improved integration between the B-1 offensive avionics system, various onboard sensors, and the data link, which results in improved battle space awareness for both the B-1 aircrew and fellow strike package assets," said 419th Flight Test Squadron Pilot Capt. Carlos Pinedo. The software test effort "builds on and merges" testing of the B-1's Intergrated Battle Station, glass cockpit, new inertial navigation, and improved radar, he added. Testers at Edwards plan to incrementally test four sequential software packages, wrapping up integration trials by the end of February 2015, states the release.
  • The F-35 strike fighter will make its international debut in Britain this summer at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in July, according to the Royal Air Force. "It is entirely fitting that the F-35’s first stop outside the United States will be in the UK," said British Defense Minister Phillip Hammond in an April 17 RAF release. "The US and the UK have worked closely together on the F-35. ... We are the only country that is a first tier partner in the project." Britain currently has three F-35s supporting RAF and Royal Navy pilot training at the multinational schoolhouse at Eglin AFB, Fla. The RAF plans to activate the fabled "Dambusters" of World War II as its first F-35B unit at RAF Marham, England, in 2018. The Lightning II also will make an appearance at the Farnborough International Air Show later the same month, states the release.

  • Air Frame: Capt. Michael Kerschbaum (left), a KC-135 Stratotanker pilot with the 154th Operations Group, and 1st Lt. Renn Nishimoto, a pilot with the 203rd Air Refueling Squadron, prepare to land a KC-135 at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, on April 2, 2014. Two B-52s from Barksdale AFB, La., and two B-2s from White AFB, Mo., flew round trip, non-stop from their respective home stations to training ranges in Hawaii.  (Air Force photo by SSgt. Nathan Allen) (Click on image above to reach wallpaper version.)
  • Textron AirLand’s Scorpion light attack, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance aircraft has completed 50 flight hours since flight testing began in December 2013, states a release from the firm. Recent tests garnered a raft of data on the airframe’s performance at various speeds, altitudes, and climb rates, as well as the responsiveness of the jet’s avionics and flight controls. The jet topped out at .72 Mach, and pilots report the aircraft is agile and features plenty of power and good low speed characteristics. “The aircraft systems have performed well within the expected parameters, with very few issues,” said Scorpion’s chief engineer Dale Tutt. “This is a significant benefit of using mature, non-developmental systems.” The flight control systems are powered by dual hydraulic systems based on the Citation X business jet, and also have performed well to-date, states the release. The Scorpion testing program is on track to complete 300-400 test hours this year, or about 150 flights. The program also is expected to include international test flights, pending approvals. (See also Scorpion’s Maiden Flight.)

  • F-22 Raptors and F-15 Eagles based at Kadena AB, Japan, trained on defense counter-air and multi-lateral integration operations with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force earlier this month. It was the first time such training was conducted since the F-22s arrived from Langley AFB, Va., in January. “Nothing but goodness can come out of [joint training], because if we do end up going to war, that’s the way we are going to fight,” said Lt. Col. Darren Gray, 94th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron F-22 instructor pilot, in an April 16 release. Although the training was a success, communication between US and Japanese force is sometimes challenging. "Because communication is so important in air-to-air combat, where everything is so dynamic, if you say the wrong thing at the wrong time, it could have catastrophic results and can lead to mission failure,” said Gray. He added, “If I tried to fly while speaking Japanese, we’d have no chance at success ... They executed the contracts and did everything we expected them to do, and they are professional aviators.”
  • The aerospace firm ATK announced a $178 million deal on Wednesday for composite components of Atlas V and Delta IV rockets utilized by the Air Force for launch activities. The initial contract includes deliveries of composite structures beginning this fiscal year and continuing to early 2018, with an option period to include deliveries in Fiscal 2017 through Fiscal 2019, according to an April 16 company statement. The order also includes various composite structures for both launch vehicles, including fairings, payload adapters and diaphragms, interstages, nose cones, and structures that provide main engine thermal and aerodynamic protection. All components will be fabricated in ATK’s Large Structures Center of Excellence in Iuka, Miss. “ATK’s continued involvement in the Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles is a strong demonstration of our workforce’s engineering and manufacturing abilities,” said Joy de Lisser, vice president and general manager of ATK’s aerospace structures division.
  • Researchers at the 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, are developing sensors to analyze a person’s “physical and cognitive performance” by measuring electrolytes from the person’s sweat, announced Air Force officials. The Band-Aid-like sensors will be used as “fuel gauges” to determine stress, dehydration, and other health-related issues, according to an April 15 release. “Our vision is that every airman at the beginning of their week, will be able to put on an electronic Band-Aid that will quantify everything about them,” said Dr. Josh Hagen, lead researcher. Joined with researchers at the University of Cincinnati, the team “would track [patients’] hydration levels by measuring electrolytes coming out of their sweat, and would alert them if they were trending in a direction of dehydration or heat stress,” states the release.
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In More Depth
  • Fifteen years ago, the space launch business needed to overcome costly failures and setbacks. What followed was an unprecedented string of successes.
  • Lt. Gen. Bruce Litchfield, commander of the Air Force Sustainment Center, is trying to “develop a cost-conscious culture” through an initiative dubbed the “Road to a Billion and Beyond.”
  • In his book, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates describes the Air Force as “one of my biggest headaches”—a perception USAF leaders were never able to turn around during his tenure.
  • On the Record material is under copyright by the Air Force Association. All rights reserved.

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