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.
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.
Every four years each B-52 goes through a massive maintenance routine which takes 40,000 hours of labor and replaces about 3,000 parts. This extensive maintenance along with major upgrades means the B-52 fleet is likely to stay in use until the year 2050.
March Field Air Museum has three, count ’em, three of the magnificent F-4 Phantom fighter jets on static display. Two of the three have gorgeous paint jobs, while one is looking a bit more ragged. All three a delight.
For your visual enjoyment, join me on a walk-around of the aircraft.
For years I’ve been looking for a table that illustrates the horrid effects of nuclear weapons. Have not seen anything that matched what I had in mind.
My poking around for information on this current series of nukes has led me to many places on the good ol’ net. After looking at several articles, I thought to check on Wikipedia. Guess what? Found a reasonable approximation of what I have been wanting.
The lesson from this data for those on active duty is that nuclear safety is imperative.
The lesson for the rest of us is that we and our leaders must strive to make sure nuclear weapons are never used.