Topic: Military history/Military aviation
The 1961 Goldsboro B-52 crash was an accident that occurred near Goldsboro, North Carolina, on 23 January 1961. A Boeing B-52 Stratofortress carrying two 3–4-megaton Mark 39 nuclear bombs broke up in mid-air, dropping its nuclear payload in the process. The pilot in command, Walter Scott Tulloch, ordered the crew to eject at 9,000 feet (2,700 m). Five crewmen successfully ejected or bailed out of the aircraft and landed safely, another ejected, but did not survive the landing, and two died in the crash. Information declassified in 2013 showed that one of the bombs came very close to detonating.
- "1961 Goldsboro B-52 crash" | 2016-12-16 | 10 Upvotes 3 Comments
The Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion (ANP) program and the preceding Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft (NEPA) project worked to develop a nuclear propulsion system for aircraft. The United States Army Air Forces initiated Project NEPA on May 28, 1946. NEPA operated until May 1951, when the project was transferred to the joint Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)/USAF ANP. The USAF pursued two different systems for nuclear-powered jet engines, the Direct Air Cycle concept, which was developed by General Electric, and Indirect Air Cycle, which was assigned to Pratt & Whitney. The program was intended to develop and test the Convair X-6, but was cancelled in 1961 before that aircraft was built. The total cost of the program from 1946 to 1961 was about $1 billion.
- "Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion" | 2013-05-25 | 44 Upvotes 24 Comments
Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin formed the American crew that landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969, at 20:17 UTC. Armstrong became the first person to step onto the lunar surface six hours and 39 minutes later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC; Aldrin joined him 19 minutes later. They spent about two and a quarter hours together outside the spacecraft, and they collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material to bring back to Earth. Command module pilot Michael Collins flew the Command Module Columbia alone in lunar orbit while they were on the Moon's surface. Armstrong and Aldrin spent 21 hours, 36 minutes on the lunar surface at a site they named Tranquility Base before lifting off to rejoin Columbia in lunar orbit.
Apollo 11 was launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, on July 16 at 13:32 UTC, and it was the fifth crewed mission of NASA's Apollo program. The Apollo spacecraft had three parts: a command module (CM) with a cabin for the three astronauts, the only part that returned to Earth; a service module (SM), which supported the command module with propulsion, electrical power, oxygen, and water; and a lunar module (LM) that had two stages—a descent stage for landing on the Moon and an ascent stage to place the astronauts back into lunar orbit.
After being sent to the Moon by the Saturn V's third stage, the astronauts separated the spacecraft from it and traveled for three days until they entered lunar orbit. Armstrong and Aldrin then moved into Eagle and landed in the Sea of Tranquility on July 20. The astronauts used Eagle's ascent stage to lift off from the lunar surface and rejoin Collins in the command module. They jettisoned Eagle before they performed the maneuvers that propelled Columbia out of the last of its 30 lunar orbits onto a trajectory back to Earth. They returned to Earth and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24 after more than eight days in space.
Armstrong's first step onto the lunar surface was broadcast on live TV to a worldwide audience. He described the event as "one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." Apollo 11 effectively ended the Space Race and fulfilled a national goal proposed in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy: "before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."
- "Apollo 11 50th Anniversary" | 2019-07-16 | 135 Upvotes 42 Comments
The Battle of Palmdale was the attempted shoot-down of a runaway drone by United States Air Force interceptors in the skies over Southern California in mid-August 1956. The drone was launched from Point Mugu Naval Air Station and soon went out of control. Interceptor aircraft took off from Oxnard Air Force Base and caught up with the drone, but were ultimately unable to bring it down, in spite of expending all of their rockets. After it ran out of fuel, the unmanned aircraft crashed in a sparsely populated tract of desert.
During the incident over 1000 acres were scorched and a substantial amount of property was damaged or destroyed.
- "The Battle of Palmdale" | 2016-07-17 | 60 Upvotes 13 Comments
The Battle of the Beams was a period early in the Second World War when bombers of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) used a number of increasingly accurate systems of radio navigation for night bombing in the United Kingdom. British scientific intelligence at the Air Ministry fought back with a variety of their own increasingly effective means, involving jamming and distortion of the radio waves. The period ended when the Wehrmacht moved their forces to the East in May 1941, in preparation for the attack on the Soviet Union.
- ""Some German bombers landed at UK bases, believing they were back in Germany."" | 2010-08-16 | 99 Upvotes 17 Comments
The Boeing MQ-25 Stingray is an aerial refueling drone that resulted from the Carrier-Based Aerial-Refueling System (CBARS) program, which grew out of the earlier Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program. The MQ-25 first flew on 19 September 2019.
- "Boeing MQ-25 Stingray" | 2019-11-01 | 41 Upvotes 65 Comments
A bouncing bomb is a bomb designed to bounce to a target across water in a calculated manner to avoid obstacles such as torpedo nets, and to allow both the bomb's speed on arrival at the target and the timing of its detonation to be pre-determined, in a similar fashion to a regular naval depth charge. The inventor of the first such bomb was the British engineer Barnes Wallis, whose "Upkeep" bouncing bomb was used in the RAF's Operation Chastise of May 1943 to bounce into German dams and explode underwater, with effect similar to the underground detonation of the Grand Slam and Tallboy earthquake bombs, both of which he also invented.
- "Bouncing bomb" | 2016-11-15 | 91 Upvotes 67 Comments
The Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler incident occurred on 20 December 1943, when, after a successful bomb run on Bremen, 2nd Lt Charles "Charlie" Brown's B-17 Flying Fortress (named "Ye Olde Pub") was severely damaged by German fighters. Luftwaffe pilot Franz Stigler had the opportunity to shoot down the crippled bomber but did not do so. After an extensive search by Brown, the two pilots met each other 50 years later and developed a friendship that lasted until Stigler's death in March 2008.
The Colditz Cock was a glider built by British prisoners of war for an escape attempt from Oflag IV-C (Colditz Castle) in Germany.
- "The Colditz Glider" | 2017-07-23 | 47 Upvotes 7 Comments
Finnair Flight 915 (AY915) was a scheduled flight by Finnair from Tokyo, Japan, over the North Pole to Helsinki, Finland, on 23 December 1987. In 2014, Finnish media reported a claim by two of the flight’s pilots that the Soviet Union had fired a missile at the aircraft, which exploded less than 30 seconds before impact. The allegations came out only in September 2014, when Helsingin Sanomat, the leading Finnish daily newspaper, published an extensive article on the matter. The Finnish Broadcasting Corporation YLE reported on the article on the internet the same day.
When the matter came out, it caused outrage in Finland among those politicians and civil servants, to whom it should have been reported at the time, and it was widely publicised and commented upon in the Finnish media, amidst allegations of Finlandization.
The alleged incident has been compared to other similar incidents involving the Soviet Union, such as the Aero Kaleva in 1940, Aeroflot Flight 902 in 1962, Korean Air Lines Flight 902 in 1978, Korean Air Lines Flight 007 in 1983. Co-captain Kaukiainen said that the Finnair pilots decided to speak out on the matter after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 had been shot down in Ukraine on 17 July 2014.
- "Finnair Flight 915" | 2019-08-06 | 152 Upvotes 41 Comments