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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Flaris Personal Jets Take Off

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Flaris Personal Jets Take Off
Mary Grady
JULY 29, 2013

Flaris, a new aviation company based in Poland, made an unexpected appearance at the Paris Air Show in June with its prototype of a single-engine personal jet, the LAR01. The all-composite design allows for sweeping lines, with a sharp nose, a cabin that seats four, and long, narrow wings for aerodynamic efficiency. The small jet is the first aviation project from Metal-Master, a family-owned company that produces assembly-line equipment for European auto manufacturers. The company teamed with several local technology institutes as well as the designer Andrzej Frydrychewicz—who created the classic Wilga, Kruk, and Orlik airplanes—to bring the jet to completion.

The compact aircraft will take off from grass strips as short as 820 feet, the company says, and it will fly for up to 1,500 miles at speeds of up to 435 mph. The design also includes a ballistic parachute packed in the nose as an emergency-recovery option. The jet engine is produced by Pratt & Whitney Canada, and the cockpit is equipped with an avionics suite by Garmin. First flight for the aircraft is expected late this year, with deliveries to start in 2015. Sales will start next year at a price of about $1.5 million. (www.flaris.pl)
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Friday, December 27, 2013

A hand-launched observation drone that weighs less than 0.6 ounces

Popular Science
A hand-launched observation drone that weighs less than 0.6 ounces

Prox Dynamics PD-100 Black Hornet | Best of What's New 2013 | Popular Science
In a world of delicate, experimental nano-drones, the Black Hornet is the first operational system deployed.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Unmasked: Area 51's Biggest, Stealthiest Spy Drone Yet

Unmasked: Area 51's Biggest, Stealthiest Spy Drone Yet
Posted By Zach Rosenberg  Friday, December 6, 2013 - 9:53 AM   Share

The drone that spied on bin Laden and on Iran's nukes was just the start. Meet its bigger, higher-flying, stealthier cousin, the Northrop Grumman RQ-180. It's probably been flying for a few years now, but you weren't supposed to know that; the existence of this secret project, based out of Area 51, was revealed Friday by Aviation Week.

The existence of the RQ-180 has been long rumored. Cryptic public statements by U.S. Air Force officials indicated a secret high-altitude reconnaissance drone, and Northrop officials frequently reference the broad strokes of the program. For that matter, it is likely not the only classified unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV. Other companies, including Lockheed and Boeing, also have a stable of smaller secretaircraft.

The RQ-180 is likely flying from the secret Air Force test facility at Groom Lake, Nevada, widely known as Area 51. Its exact specifications, including such crucial details as the number of engines, is unknown, but Aviation Week suggests a wingspan of over 130 feet, based on hangar construction at Northrop's Palmdale, California facility. The number of aircraft built is also unknown; however, a flight test program, relatively quick entry into service and open budget documents suggest a small fleet are flying routinely.

One such aircraft is Lockheed's RQ-170, first shown to the world in grainy pictures from Kandahar air base, Afghanistan, but only officially acknowledged after one crashed almost-intact in Iran. The RQ-170 was (and maybe still is) tasked by the CIA to spy on Iran's contentious nuclear program. The drone was reportedly used to spy on Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan before and during the raid that killed him. RQ-170 has also been reported in South Korea, possibly to look at North Korea's nuclear program. RQ-170 was impressive, but limited: it showed only some stealth characteristics, and was widely believed to be slightly outdated by the time it was discovered. The larger and stealthier RQ-180 would be able to fly higher, longer, allowing the CIA to watch the same targets for days at a time, and -- just maybe -- spy on more sophisticated countries.

The RQ-180 is based off the X-47B, a much smaller experimental aircraft that became the first drone to takeoff and land from an aircraft carrier. Where the smaller X-47B lacks range and stealth, RQ-180 evidently delivers. Though RQ-180 is far too large for an aircraft carrier, it may have the same air-to-air refueling capabilities as the X-47B, allowing it to stay in the air virtually indefinitely. It may also have attack capabilities: X-47B has bomb bays, which have thus far gone unused, and indeed Aviation Week suggests it is used for electronic attack and carries sophisticated sensors.

The aircraft's performance is said to be similar to Northrop's white-world entry, the RQ-4 Global Hawk, which can fly for days and cover thousands of miles. Hopefully the RQ-180 performs better; Global Hawk has received mixed marks on its evaluations, and the aircraft it was meant to replace, the venerable Lockheed U-2, will continue to fly for decades to come.

White-world reconnaissance capabilities, such as the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper and a plethora of modified Beechcraft King Airs, are incapable of stealth and can easily be tracked on radar. Though few doubt stealthier capabilities, the Air Force has been closemouthed on its stealthy intelligence aircraft.

The Nevada desert has a long history of supporting whole squadrons of classified aircraft, including the famed Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the F-117 stealth fighter and the RQ-170. Often upon becoming public the aircraft are transferred to other facilities, usually the slightly-less-classified Tonopah Test Range airport. The wheels of declassification turn slowly, so as with RQ-170, details of the RQ-180 will likely remain opaque for years to come.

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

ANALYSIS: How the Gulf carriers are reshaping airliner design

ANALYSIS: How the Gulf carriers are reshaping airliner design

11:00 25 Nov 2013

It should be no surprise that the Gulf’s mega-carriers – and ­Emirates in particular – played such a huge role in the launch of ­Boeing’s 777X family at November’s Dubai air show.

The region’s carriers have of course been at the forefront of the launches of the last couple of large all-new widebodies. Emirates was the launch customer for the A380 and Qatar Airways for the A350 and, lo, they’re all there at the birth of Boeing’s new big twin.

Lufthansa was the first to announce a commitment for the 777X back in September, but the reality is that it is Emirates – ably assisted by Qatar ­Airways and Etihad – in the driving seat on the 777X.

The clout that the Gulf carriers now yield in “spec-ing” their new toys must frustrate the hell out of some of the legacy players. Their exacting requirements for all-year round very long-range performance from their Arabian hubs creates an aircraft with more capability than most European and US airlines require. Capability, in terms of additional weight and engine power, that these other airlines then find themselves burdened with.

And to rub salt into the wound, the design influence the Gulf carriers now have ensures that these airliners come with the performance that allows them to serve almost anywhere from the Gulf, thereby providing the ultimate competitive advantage over their old-school rivals.

But recent history shows the Gulf carriers don’t always have it their own way. Take Airbus’s 2011 redesign of the A350-1000 – which all three Gulf carriers have ordered. The revamp, which centred around more thrust and weight, went down like a lead balloon in Dubai and Doha. Emirates Airline president Tim Clark was frustrated by the fact that Airbus had implemented the revisions without dialogue. Qatar ­Airways boss Akbar Al Baker was even more candid, threatening to ­cancel his launch order and saying “Airbus is not listening to us”.

Airbus tactfully avoided any public row with its customers, but quietly explained that the changes would ensure the -1000 appealed to the world market. Its decision seems to have been vindicated, given the ­subsequent sales success that the revamped variant has enjoyed.

Perhaps that reticence to “listen” to its Gulf customers on the -1000 can be explained by unhappy memories of the A340-600. Egged on by Clark, ­Airbus developed a high gross weight version of the big quad-jet, only to have Emirates later cancel its order in favour of the 777-300ER instead.

There’s no doubting that Boeing has been fully engaged with all its ­clients on the 777X. Clark has made no secret of his involvement with the 777X’s development – he first ­mentioned an improved 777 variant to Flightglobal at the 2007 Dubai show, when Emirates unveiled a huge order for A350s. “It does not address the retirement of our 777-300ERs post-2016 and we continue to press Boeing for a replacement for those aircraft, despite the A350 order,” he said.

Clark is like a modern day Juan Trippe, the Pan Am founder who steered the development of the original Jumbo Jet with the famous line that if Boeing built it, Pan Am would buy it. The intriguing dynamic in Dubai was the revelation that Clark was acting not just for Emirates, but also on behalf of Gulf rival Qatar Airways.

The Doha-based airline allowed Emirates to represent its interests in 777X technical talks, and their orders were announced at a joint press conference where the usuually outspoken chief Akbar Al Baker shared the stage with Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

“[Al Baker] was satisfied that, if it was good for us, it would be good for him,” says Clark.

The ­relationship between manufacturer and customer that created the 747 ­arguably produced greater ­benefits for other carriers than it ever achieved for Pan Am.

Half a century on, that will not be repeated with the 777X.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

United States Sends B-52s Over China Air Defense Zone

Posted in: Asia Posted: November 26, 2013
United States Sends B-52s Over China Air Defense Zone

The United States sent two B-52 bombers over China’s Air Defense Zone, without notifying Beijing.

United States officials said on Tuesday, the two bombers went into a disputed area over the East China Sea challenging the country’s wish to expand its air zone.

Both countries have been at odds over China’s intentions and today’s actions are a clear indicator Washington will show Beijing that it will push back at Chinese attempts to claim the area.

The move by the United States also emphasizes the country’s strong relationship with Japan.

Americans are participating in military exercises this week and together with Japan they will challenge China to the vast portion of Ocean.

The United States and Japan have a long standing relationship dating back to after World War II and are giving China’s attempts at claiming that part of the sea a direct challenge.

On Tuesday, the United States flew the two Air Force bombers in direct defiance of Beijing’s express wishes that they be informed about such occurrence.

A United States defense official, who spoke to USA Today on condition of anonymity, says the B-52s took off from the island of Guam as part of a planned exercise.

China has claimed almost 1 million square miles off the East China Sea and says those waters belong the them, even though they reach as far as Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.

The Chinese government says all the natural resources including energy and sea life are their property. The United States disputes the claim.

China said it had designated much of the sea as an air defense zone under its control, arguing it would help “guard against potential air threats.”

“Last night we conducted a training exercise that was long-planned. It involved two aircraft flying from Guam and returning to Guam,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven Warren told reporters on Tuesday.

The two aircraft spent “less than an hour” in China’s unilaterally-declared Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) and did not encounter Chinese planes, he said.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the B-52s incursion into the unilaterally claimed Chinese zone.

The United States State Department said on Tuesday the step appeared to be an attempt to “unilaterally change the status quo in the East China Sea.”

Pentagon officials said the United States views the area as international air space and American military aircraft would operate in the zone as it used to, without submitting flight plans to China in advance.

Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1044079/united-states-sends-b-52s-over-china-air-defense-zone/#1V6iB0A2jPmxkPZ8.99

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tour the Boeing 737 Flight Simulator Built in a Garage

Watch The Maiden Flight Of An 18-Propeller Copter

Watch The Maiden Flight Of An 18-Propeller Copter

Francie Diep Posted 11.25.2013 at 3:10 pm

This helicopter-with-antlers is a test vehicle, made by the German company e-volo. It's battery-powered and emissions-free, according to the company. This is the first time it has flown.

The e-volo folks call the craft a volocopter. It works on the same principles as the quadcopter drones we've seen, except it's much, much larger. That cockpit there has seats for two people.

In an indoor test November 17, the company says it flew the volocopter—by remote control, without any passengers—nine times for a total airtime of 20 minutes.

The company plans eventually to produce and sell volocopters. Engineers are aiming for a craft that has a cruising speed of at least 54 knots, is able to fly up to 6,500 feet, can carry up to 992 pounds (450 kilograms), and flies for at least an hour. Those in Germany with a private pilot license should be able to fly it.

Copyright © 2013 Popular Science. A Bonnier Corporation Company. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Catapult-launched, tactical bat drone wages electronic war

Wired.co.ukMain navigationFOLLOWSite searchSubscribe

Catapult-launched, tactical bat drone wages electronic war

Northrop Grumman

Small, tactical drones may have a new role in military strikes after Northrop Grumman's catapult-launched Bat demonstrated an electronic attack capability for the first time in new tests.

With its 12-foot wingspan, the low-flying Bat, which maxes out at 70 miles per hour, was able to jam radar during tests. That means the Pentagon will soon have the option of deploying a flexible, largely undetectable drone with radar-jamming capability to protect manned aircraft against radar and surface-to-air missile guidance systems.

Bat continues to demonstrate capabilities that can normally only be achieved by larger, more expensive unmanned aircraft," said George Vardoulakis, Northrop Grumman's vice president of Medium Range Tactical Systems, in a statement. "Our customers now have a more mobile and affordable option for electronic warfare missions."

The tests, involving other unmanned and fixed-wing aircraft, took place last month at the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One Weapons and Tactics Instructor event at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, according to Northrop Grumman.

While the Bat has been in operation for some time, it has remained a surveillance vehicle until now. Northrop integrated its Pandora electronic attack payload -- a lightweight, low-cost derivative of the company's family of APR-39 systems -- on the Bat in less than two months.

According to Northrop, the Bat was a good candidate because of its price point, larger payload volume given its size and its ability to accept different-size fuel tanks and sensor payloads.

Bat is a runway-independent and fully autonomous vehicle that launches from a hydraulic rail launcher at sea or land and recovers into a portable net system, as seen in this video of earlier tests:
Bat Unmanned Aircraft System (BAT UAS) 12 First FlightNorthrop Grumman

This story first appeared on Wired.com.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

China Developing Super Electromagnet Pulse Bomb To Use In War Against U.S. (Photos)

China Developing Super Electromagnet Pulse Bomb To Use In War Against U.S. (Photos)

View 8 photos
Declassified Intellegence Report Details China's Plans For War Against U.S (US government)

Alexander HigginsJersey City Civil Rights Examiner

Related Video:

Once only a futuristic envision, China is developing a Super EMP bomb like the one in this Future Weapons Series report. (Future Weapons)
Related Photo:
David Icke
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Military Weapons
Iran Nuclear Capability

July 24, 2011

China is gearing up for war against the United States and their top weapon is a super electromagnetic pulse bomb that can blanket the U.S. and send America back to the dark ages in less than one second.

Past reports from Chinese military websites and Asian newspapers have outlined a several attacks that China could launch to win a war against the more technologically and militarily advanced United States.

These strategical attacks, as a MITRE research report reveals, are part of an arsenal known as shashoujian or the assassin's mace.

Demystifying Shashoujian: China's 'Assassin's Mace' Concept

Interestingly, very few modern definitions of shashoujian can be documented. The most comprehensive Chinese military statement about shashoujian―that resembles a formal definition―comes from a PLA Air Force (PLAAF) officer, Senior Colonel Yang Zhibo, who, in 2002, served as a deputy researcher at the PLAAF Command College in the Office for Planning and Management Research. According to Yang, shashoujian can be “weapon systems and equipment” and/or a certain type of “combat method.” In a Kongjun Bao article, he wrote:

Basically, it is whatever the PLA needs to win future local wars under modern high-tech conditions. It includes two aspects: (1) weapon systems and equipment (e.g., hardware); and (2) every type of combat method (e.g., software). Weapons and equipment are the systems needed to deal with the enemy’s electronic warfare and information warfare, and to counter every type of weapon and equipment the enemy can use for firepower attack. [Shashoujian] [c]ombat methods include attacking different types of weapons, such as early warning aircraft, stealth aircraft, and cruise missiles, as well as the combat principles to deal with different situations.

To build a shashoujian, China must first complete a development program. It is a difficult, systematic process and not just one or two advanced weapons. It is something that all the services will use. It is an all-army, all-location, composite land, sea, and air system. It must also be a Chinese program that can use advanced foreign technology, but should not be purchased as a full system from abroad. One reason for not purchasing it from abroad is that these types of technology and tactics are common knowledge to everyone else, including the enemy. Second, other countries may not want to give China those types of technology and tactics, which are secret. Third, during wartime, political and foreign affairs (diplomacy) could possibly cut the flow of technology off from China In developing new combat methods research, combat methods constitute the full development of weapons and equipment technical and tactical capabilities, and the effective methods of raising combat effectiveness. The development of weapons, equipment, combat methods, and training must go hand-in-hand for them to be effective.

Source: MITRE

Military strategists have long predicted that the top attack in China's assassin's mace arsenal would be an Electromagnetic pulse bomb.

Watch: Future Weapons Series Report On The Threat Of Aa EMP

Now declassified defense intelligence reports reveals is already building the EMP super bomb according to a two page Washington Times report.

Report: China building electromagnetic pulse weapons for use against U.S. carriers

China's military is developing electromagnetic pulse weapons that Beijing plans to use against U.S. aircraft carriers in any future conflict over Taiwan, according to an intelligence report made public on Thursday.

Portions of a National Ground Intelligence Center study on the lethal effects of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and high-powered microwave (HPM) weapons revealed that the arms are part of China’s so-called “assassin’s mace” arsenal - weapons that allow a technologically inferior China to defeat U.S. military forces.

EMP weapons mimic the gamma-ray pulse caused by a nuclear blast that knocks out all electronics, including computers and automobiles, over wide areas. The phenomenon was discovered in 1962 after an above ground nuclear test in the Pacific disabled electronics in Hawaii.

The declassified intelligence report, obtained by the private National Security Archive, provides details on China’s EMP weapons and plans for their use. Annual Pentagon reports on China's military in the past made only passing references to the arms.

“For use against Taiwan, China could detonate at a much lower altitude (30 to 40 kilometers) … to confine the EMP effects to Taiwan and its immediate vicinity and minimize damage to electronics on the mainland,” the report said.

The report, produced in 2005 and once labeled “secret,” stated that Chinese military writings have discussed building low-yield EMP warheads, but “it is not known whether [the Chinese] have actually done so.”

The report said that in addition to EMP weapons, “any low-yield strategic nuclear warhead (or tactical nuclear warheads) could be used with similar effects.”

“The DF-21 medium-range ballistic missile has been mentioned as a platform for the EMP attack against Taiwan,” the report said.

According to the report, China’s electronic weapons are part of what are called “trump card” or “assassin’s mace” weapons that “are based on new technology that has been developed in high secrecy.”

“Trump card would be applicable if the Chinese have developed new low-yield, possibly enhanced, EMP warheads, while assassin’s mace would apply if older warheads are employed,” the report said.

According to the report, China conducted EMP tests on mice, rats, rabbits, dogs and monkeys that produced eye, brain, bone marrow and other organ injuries. It stated that “it is clear the real purpose of the Chinese medical experiments is to learn the potential human effects of exposure to powerful EMP and [high-powered microwave] radiation.


Source: The Washington Times

As the Asia the Asia Times reports, an EMP strike launched from outer space would cripple the United States and "send it back into the dark ages" in a single strike.

WATCH: Video produced by the Center for Security Policy warning about the dangers of an EMP attack

AMERICA'S ACUPUNCTURE POINTSPART 1: Striking the US where it hurts

A noted Chinese theorist on modern warfare, Chang Mengxiong, compared China's form of fighting to "a Chinese boxer with a keen knowledge of vital body points who can bring an opponent to his knees with a minimum of movements". It is like key acupuncture points in ancient Chinese medicine. Puncture one vital point and the whole anatomy is affected. If America ever goes to war with China, say, over Taiwan, then America should be prepared for the following "acupuncture points" in its anatomy to be "punctured". Each of the vital points can bring America to its knees with a minimum of effort.

I) Electro-magnetic Pulse (EMP) attack

China and Russia are two potential US adversaries that have the capability for this kind of attack. An EMP attack can either come from an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), a long-range cruise missile, or an orbiting satellite armed with a nuclear or non-nuclear EMP warhead. A nuclear burst of one (or more) megaton some 400 kilometers over central United States (Omaha, Nebraska) can blanket the whole continental US with electro-magnetic pulse in less than one second.

An EMP attack will damage all electrical grids on the US mainland. It will disable computers and other similar electronic devices with microchips. Most businesses and industries will shut down. The entire US economy will practically grind to a halt. Satellites within line of sight of the EMP burst will also be damaged, adversely affecting military command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR). Land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles will be rendered unserviceable in their silos. Anti-ballistic missile defenses will suffer the same fate. In short – total blackout. And American society as we know it will be thrown back to the Dark Ages.

Of course, the US may decide to strike first, but China and Russia now have the means of striking back with submarine-launched ballistic missiles with the same or even more devastating results. But knowing China's strategy of "active defense", when war with the US becomes imminent, China will surely not allow itself to be targeted first. It will seize the initiative as mandated by its doctrine by striking first.

China has repeatedly announced that it will not be the first to use nuclear weapons. But as an old Chinese saying goes: "There can never be too much deception in war." If it means the survival of the whole Chinese nation that is at stake, China will surely not allow a public statement to tie its hands and prevent it from seizing the initiative. As another saying goes: "All is fair in love and war."

Source: Asian Times

The Asia Times article goes onto list cyber attack , interrupting the US foreign oil supply, an attack on the US dollar, and diplomatic isolation as other means of crushing the Untied States and goes into a detail on each of the methods of attacks.

But the most powerful attack, termed the Trump card, is development of a super EMP.

Here of some more of the attacks China may use in a war against the U.S.


If America ever goes to war with China, Chinese military doctrine suggests the US should expect attacks on a number of key points where it is particularly vulnerable - where a single jab would paralyze the entire nation. China would aim at targets such as the US electricity grid, its computer networks, its oil supply routes, and the dollar. Other vital "acupuncture" points are outlined below.
1) A powerful triumvirate - [The Alliance of Russia, China, And Iran]

No one ever imagined before 1991 that China and Russia would come together to form a close-knit alliance politically, diplomatically and, most important of all, militarily. For more than three decades before the break-up of the Soviet Union, China and the USSR had been bitter rivals, even going into a shooting war with each other along their common border.


Add to that the announcement of President George W Bush that the US would come to the aid of Taiwan in the event that China uses force against it; the sending of two aircraft carrier battle groups to waters near Taiwan in 1995-1996; and the naval show of strength of seven aircraft carrier battle groups converging off the China coast in August 2004. All these aggressive moves by superpower America pushed China to embrace its former bitter rival, Russia.


If we add Iran to the equation, we have a triumvirate that can pose a formidable challenge to the lone superpower. Iran is the most industrialized and the most populous nation in the Middle East. It is second only to Russia in terms of gas resources and also one of the largest oil producers in the world.

[...] Modern bottom-rising, rocket propelled sea mines and supersonic cruise missiles deployed along the long mountainous coastline of Iran, manned by "invisible" guerrillas, could indefinitely stop the flow of oil from the Gulf, from which the US gets 23% of its imported oil.

Japan also derives 90% of its oil from the Persian Gulf area, and Europe about 60%. In a major conflict, Iran can effectively deprive the US war machine and those of its key allies of much needed energy supplies.

Imagine the war machine of the superpower running out of gas. Imagine also a US economy minus 23% of its imported oil. This 23% can rise considerably once Chinese and Russian submarines start sinking US-bound oil tankers. The triumvirate of China, Russia, and Iran could bring the US to its knees with a minimum of movement.

2) The US's geopolitical disadvantage

Another "acupuncture point" in America’s anatomy [...] the US will be crossing thousands of miles of sea lanes of communication (SLOC) that can easily become a gauntlet of deadly Chinese and Russian submarines lying in ambush with bottom-rising sea mines, supercavitating rocket torpedoes, and supersonic cruise missiles that even aircraft carrier battle groups have no known defense against. Logistic and transport ships and oil tankers are particularly vulnerable.

The air corridors above these sea lanes will also be put at great risk by advanced air defense systems aboard Sovremenny destroyers or similar types of warships in Chinese and Russian inventories. [...]
Of course, the US has "forces in being" and "logistics in place" in numerous military bases scattered around the world, especially those strategically encircling China, Russia, and Iran. But when the shooting war starts, these bases will be the first to be hit by barrages of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles and long-range land-attack cruise missiles armed with electro-magnetic pulse, anti-radar, thermobaric, and conventional warheads.

Following the missile barrages, the remnants of such weakened US military bases will easily be overwhelmed by blitzkrieg assaults from Russian and Chinese armored divisions in the Eurasian mainland. China, for instance, has four large armored units constantly on standby, poised to cross the Yili Corridor in Xinjiang province at a moment’s notice. The US base in Kyrgyzstan near the Chinese border would not stand a chance.


3) Asymmetric attack

Superpower America is particularly vulnerable to asymmetric attack. A classic example of asymmetric attack is the September 11, 2001, attack on America. Nineteen determined attackers, armed with nothing but box cutters, succeeded in toppling the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and causing the death of some 3,000 Americans. Notice the asymmetry of casualty ratio as well - the most lopsided casualty ratio ever recorded in history.

China, Russia, and Iran also possess asymmetric weapons that are designed to neutralize and defeat a superpower like America in a conventional conflict. Supersonic cruise missiles now in their inventories can defeat and sink US aircraft carriers. The same is true for medium- and short-range ballistic missiles with independently targetable warheads, extra-large bottom-rising, rocket-propelled sea mines (EM52s), and supercavitating rocket torpedoes (SHKVAL or "Squall"). The US Navy has no known defense against these weapons.

Iraqi insurgents are conducting a form of asymmetric warfare. They use improvised explosive devices, car bombs, booby traps and landmines against the most modern army the world has ever seen. The US's huge advantage in weaponry is negated by the fact that its soldiers cannot see their adversary. They are fighting against a "phantom" enemy - an invisible army.


Connected to asymmetric warfare is asynchronous warfare, where the weaker side bides its time to strike back. And it strikes at a time and place where the adversary is totally unprepared.

For example, if the US were to strike Iran’s underground nuclear facilities with bunker-busting tactical nuclear warheads, Iran could bide its time until it develops its own nuclear weapons. It could then use its Kilo class submarines, equipped with supersonic "moskit" cruise missiles armed with Iran’s own nuclear warheads, to hit New York, or Washington, DC as a payback to the US for using nuclear weapons against Iran. Or the Iranians could infiltrate nuclear scientists into the US, where they would fabricate a "dirty" bomb to be detonated near the US Congress, in full session while the president is making his annual state of the nation address.

The possibilities for asymmetric and asynchronous warfare are limitless. Various weapons are available to the asymmetric or asynchronous attacker. If a simple box cutter produced such devastating results on September 11, 2001, imagine what chemical or biological weapons dropped from a private aircraft could do to a crowded city; or trained hackers attacking the US banking system and other key infrastructure and basic services; or man-portable surface-to-air missiles attacking US airlines taking off or landing in various airports around the globe; or non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapons hitting New York City or the US Capitol. No amount of even the best intelligence in the world can totally guard against and stop a determined asymmetric attacker.


4) Attack on US's command and control


China now has the capability to identify and track satellites. And for more than two decades they have been busy developing anti-satellite weapons. China has been developing maneuverable nano-satellites that can neutralize other satellites. They do their work by maneuvering near a target satellite and neutralizing the target by electronic jamming, electro-magnetic pulse generation, clinging to the target and physically destroying it, bumping the target out of orbit, or simply exploding to bring the target satellite down with it. Such nano satellites can be launched in batches on demand by road-mobile DF21 or DF31 booster rockets.

Another anti-satellite weapon in the works is a land-based laser that blinds the sensitive sensors of satellites or even destroys them completely. Of course, if worse comes to worst, China can always use its weapon of last resort, destroying adversary satellites with a high-altitude nuclear burst. But this will only be used if China has not yet fully developed the other options when major hostilities start. With the neutralization of its C4ISR, America would be like "a blind man trying to catch fish with his bare hands", to quote Mao Zedong. In short, America would be brought to its knees.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Archangel: CIA's Super Spy Plane

Can This Scorpion Fly?

Can This Scorpion Fly?
Posted by Bill Sweetman 3:02 PM on Sep 18, 2013

Somewhere in the deeper recesses of the US Air Force museum is one of two surviving Piper PA-48 Enforcer close air support aircraft. It looks a lot like a P-51D Mustang, from which it was derived, but was almost entirely new in detail. Its origins lay in the Cavalier Aircraft company, which had spent the 1960s remanufacturing P-51s for enthusiasts and smaller air forces and had gradually evolved a turbine-powered aircraft, which was eventually adopted by Piper.


The USAF's interest in the Enforcer could not be measured by the most sensitive instruments known to science, but friendly Congressmen managed to stuff the concept down the service's throat, at least as far as an evaluation program. That was farther than any of the many subsequent attempts to design a light combat aircraft got. (These included the Scaled Composites Ares and the Fairchild Republic AT-46, the latter being based on what was probably one of the lamest aircraft ever to make it to Edwards.)

The Textron Scorpion is not, conceptually, very different from these. The basic idea is to sacrifice fighter-type air-to-air performance, and a heavy weapon load, in order to reduce acquisition and operating cost. However, "mudfighter" concepts have also appealed to military commentators and thinkers who suspect that the USAF and other air services don't pay enough attention to close air support: in their view, the fact that a low-performance aircraft can't be used for air combat or deep strike is an advantage in itself.

So far, those arguments have resulted in exactly two successful programs in the past 70 years (the A-10 and the Su-25). The Scorpion does not introduce any radical new technologies, so the question is whether the environment has changed enough give the new aircraft a chance of success.

The biggest environmental change has been the number of air combat operations flown in permissive airspace, where the threat is limited to small arms and manportable air defense systems. Scorpion should be effective in that environment - particularly with the help of modern sensors and communications systems, and small precision weapons, which allow an effective overwatch mission to stay out of the range of the "golden BB". The jet is also big enough to mount a directed infrared countermeasures system for MANPADS defense, as laser DIRCM systems themselves are getting smaller.

With a design optimized for endurance, and with the availability of lightweight, high-performance radars, processors and displays, Scorpion is being pushed for maritime and border surveillance -- the kind of mission where modified light commercial aircraft are widely used today -- and even for low-speed air interdiction, a mission that Textron Cessna's Citation 550s already perform for US Customs & Border Protection.

The question is whether Scorpion's backers can persuade customers to carve out a mission space large enough to justify adding a new type to their fleets. The aircraft does not have any direct competitors -- but its missions overlap in some areas with other aircraft. A King Air or the new Piaggio-ADASI multi-role ISR aircraft can perform maritime or border missions, carrying a crew of sensor operators and mission managers. With a loaded weight of 21,250 pounds, the Scorpion is not tiny -- it's the size of an A-1 Skyraider or A-4 Skyhawk -- and while today's least costly fighter, the JAS 39 Gripen, is about 50 percent bigger, it has far greater performance, except in endurance. On the lower end, Textron has to convince people looking at light combat aircraft that they need something around twice the size of a Super Tucano or AT-6.

Regardless of the design's merits, Textron had better be prepared to commit some serious time and money to this project if it is to find an economically realistic market.

Relationship Therapy Making Headway on F-35 Program
Spaceplane -- DARPA's Reusable Idea
How To Win The Bomber Contest
VIDEO: Aurora's Orion 120hr UAV Flies

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Can This Scorpion Fly?

Relationship Therapy Making Headway on F-35 Program

Spaceplane -- DARPA's Reusable Idea

Copyright © 2013, Penton

Wondering what happened to all fuel tanks jettisoned by U.S. fighter jets over Southeast Asia during Vietnam War?

Wondering what happened to all fuel tanks jettisoned by U.S. fighter jets over Southeast Asia during Vietnam War?
Sep 18 2013 - 10 Comments

External tanks are extremely important for military aircraft as they provide fuel to integrate internal tanks and extend fighters and bombers endurance.

Indeed, even if they can be refueled by aerial tankers, tactical jet planes heavily rely on the JP-8 fuel loaded on the external fuel tanks. However, the auxiliary fuel tanks represent an additional weight, additional drag, and they will reduce the aircraft maneuverability.

In real combat, external fuel tanks are jettisoned when empty or as soon as the aircraft needs to get rid of them to accelerate and maneuver against an enemy fighter plane or to evade a surface to air missile.

Several thousand drop tanks were jettisoned over Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.

And here you can see what happened to some of those that were recovered.

Images via Des Barker
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