Weather Satellite Reboot

Congress terminated the Defense Weather Satellite System in the newly enacted 2012 defense appropriations legislation, leaving the Air Force to go back and devise a new strategy for future space-based weather monitoring. DWSS, borne out of the cancelled tri-agency NPOESS...

X-37B Mission Remains Secret

Air Force officials declined to comment on speculation that the US military is using the X-37B spaceplane currently on orbit to keep tabs on Chinese activities in space, as a recent press report indicated. USAF spokeswoman Maj. Tracy Bunko told...

Engine Failure Doomed Moody A-10

Dual engine failure during a functional check flight caused the crash of an A-10C aircraft assigned to Moody AFB, Ga., on Sept. 26, 2011, announced Air Combat Command officials Wednesday. ACC's accident investigators determined that the aircraft experienced a stall at 34,000 feet that quickly resulted in both engines flaming out. The pilot tried unsuccessfully to recover the aircraft. He then located a controlled bailout area and safely ejected, sustaining no serious injuries. However, the A-10 was lost. Valued at approximately $14.7 million, it went down on private property about 20 miles northwest of Moody. The costs of the environmental clean-up are estimated at $150,000. According to the investigators, the A-10's stall warning system had malfunctioned at 15,000 feet. Without evidence of additional malfunctions, the pilot elected to continue the flight. An FCF is flown to ensure airworthiness after major scheduled aircraft maintenance. (Accident investigation board report; caution, large-sized file.)

North Supports Sticking with Okinawa Plan

Pacific Air Forces boss Gen. Gary North reiterated USAF’s desire to keep Kadena Air Base on Okinawa separate from the Marine Corps air station due for relocation from Futenma, south of the base. “I’m very comfortable with the lay down...

F-35 Schoolhouse Gets its First STOVL Airplanes

The Marine Corps on Wednesday took delivery of its first two F-35B strike fighter production aircraft, announced prime contractor Lockheed Martin. BF-6 and BF-8 arrived at Eglin AFB, Fla., after separate ferry flights from Lockheed’s F-35 assembly plant in Fort...

Year in Review: August 2011

Air Frame: Year in Review, August 2011: Three air commandos and 27 additional US service members were killed in a Chinook helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011. On Aug. 24, the Air Force completed the KC-46A tanker's integrated baseline review, outlining the way ahead for the program. Two days later, USAF officially unveiled the F-35A strike fighter at Eglin AFB, Fla., home of the initial F-35 joint schoolhouse. That same day, several F-35s flew from Lockheed Martin's production facility in Fort Worth, Tex., to Eglin, shown here. Also in August, the Air Force temporarily lifted an F-22 grounding order so Raptors based at JB Langley-Eustis, Va., could escape Hurricane Irene. The Air National Guard's C-27J transports began operating in Afghanistan for the first time. And, President Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 into law. Air Force photo

Lawmakers Push “Fairchild First” Campaign

Washington State officials are pressing to host the Air Force’s first operational KC-46A tanker unit at Fairchild Air Force Base, near Spokane, following Boeing’s newly announced shift of KC-46A work to its facility in Everett, north of Seattle. “The first...

Tarmac Ticker Tape

Taxiing under an archway of water, an AC-130U Spooky gunship of the 4th Special Operations Squadron returned to the United States, landing to a water-cannon salute and honor cordon at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. “It is indescribable the feelings our...

Lockheed Gets Contract for GPS III Checkout

The Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $21.5 million contract to supply the capability to command and control future Global Positioning System Block III satellites from launch through their early on-orbit testing, announced the company Wednesday. The Launch and Checkout...

Airlift Wing Celebrates 70 Years

Tracing its heritage to World War II, the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein AB, Germany, is celebrating 70 years of operations, the bulk of which has been spent in Germany. “The 86th Airlift Wing has a rich history,” said wing...