The U.S. Air Force is working to develop drone fighters. Most recent test flight had the drone launch another drone.
All the original manufacturers for every component of the Minuteman ICBM system are either gone or the assembly lines have long since been shut down. That means USAF is using its own production facility to create the myriad of necessary spare parts.
4/6/21 – New Atlas – Valkyrie combat drone launches another drone during test flight– Imagine a drone fighter that accompanies a cutting-edge manned fighter such as an F-35. The escorting drone could carry a heavy load of bombs to multiply the strike power of a fighter. It could carry an assortment of air-to-air missiles to defend against other planes or air-to-ground missiles to strike radar or other defense assets.
Launch by SpaceX put another 60 satellites into orbit, bringing the constellation of Starlink communication satellites to over 1,300. Launch by OneWeb put another 36 of their satellites in orbit for total of 146.
SpaceX and OneWeb are both making progress on developing a constellation of satellites which will provide Internet connectivity across the planet. Discussion of OneWeb’s progress follows description of SpaceX’s launch.
Oh, by the way, after reading this post I am confident you will agree that the future is so bright we ought to wear sunglasses all the time.
In a significant policy shift, England is planning to expand its nuclear weapon stockpile. The current guess from outsiders is they have 190 nuclear weapons. The previously announced goal was to draw down the inventory to 180 or less by the mid-2020s.
Instead they will build up to a stockpile of not more than 260.
Jumbo jet that opened up international travel to the masses reaching end of production run
Background on why B-52 has been around for 50 years and will still be in service after other heavy bombers have long since retired
New F-35C deploying to the fleet
9/8/20 – Wall Street Journal – The Jumbo Jet Was the Pinnacle of Air Luxury – Now It’s Days Are Numbered – Boeing will shut its 747 production line in 2022 when the last of the already ordered freighters is completed. Airbus will close its A380 super jumbo line in 2021 when the last dozen planes are finished. The double-decker A380 was designed as the peer-to-peer competitor to the 747.
Article has lots of fun stats on both planes. I will provide some of the fun detail:
The 747 was the revolutionary jumbo jet. It opened up international travel to the masses. It was a major part of the rapid expansion in air travel.
The 747 debuted in 1969. The A380 in 2000 with first commercial flight in 2007.
Over 50 years there have been 1,556 747s produced. Forecast for the A380 had been 1,200 planes but only 242 have been delivered.
Missed the live broadcast so watched the archived copy. SpaceX put another 60 Starlink sats into their constellation which will provide worldwide internet access. Link to video of the launch is at the end of this post.
Previous missions lifted 362 satellites, so adding these 60 makes 422 by my count.
This is the fourth flight for the booster and the second flight for one of the fairings.
SpaceX boosted another 60 satellites into orbit this morning. These will be part of its Starlink system providing high speed internet access to any point on the planet.
Video link to replay of launch is at end of this post.
This is the fourth launch for the Starlink project and increases the sat count to 182. The first launch was a test with only 2 satellites. The other three launches, including the one today, each carried 60.
SpaceX is one of the companies working to get a constellation of sattelites in low-earth orbit which can provide high speed internet access across the planet. Tonight they launched 60 more sats into orbit, bringing their total to about 180.
The video on the launch was incredible. Amazing view from the ground, all the way to main engine cutoff at 50 kilometers altitude.