Archive for the 'Aircraft' Category

Aug 6

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Monday, August 6, 2018 2:50 PM

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Mushroom Cloud after Atomic Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima, Japan of August 6, 1945

On this day 73 years ago, the world changed. Never before had a country used nuclear weapons. The decision was not an easy, but it ultimately would save American lives. In a post from 2010, a silent film was uploaded to the USNI YouTube channel about the atomic bombs. Part 1 of the film includes the loading of “Little Boy” onto the B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay and the early morning activities on Tinian prior to takeoff. Part 2 contains footage of the Enola Gay landing after completing its mission over Hiroshima. It then shows the pilot, Colonel Paul Tibbets, receiving the Distinguished… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 5

9 Fascinating Navy Aircraft You Didn’t Know Existed

Thursday, July 5, 2018 12:01 AM

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In 2018, over a century after the United States utilized military aircraft in combat for the first time, Naval Aviation constitutes an invaluable instrument of expeditious fire and fury during times of war. Advanced fighter and reconnaissance aircraft allow the U.S. Navy to see farther, shoot faster, and fight fiercer than its adversaries over both sea and land. However, the U.S. Navy did not arrive at its current state of aeronautical eminence without a great deal of trial and error. Along the way, the United States developed a number of aircraft that appear bizarre, improbable, or downright impractical. The most fascinating of… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 2

Women in Aviation: an Uplifting Tradition

Monday, July 2, 2018 3:22 PM

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(Photo: National Archives Catalog)

On the anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance, we remember the women who made female aviation possible. Eighty-one years ago today, Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe. In a society where women’s capacities to physically and mentally cope with the rigors of aviation faced heavy scrutiny, Earhart overcame barriers and established new standards to pave the way for women in the field. After first flying in an airplane in 1920, she worked odd jobs to purchase her own aircraft and received an international pilot’s license in 1923. Earhart set about breaking altitude and… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 28

Here’s How the French Created Military Aviation

Thursday, June 28, 2018 8:28 AM

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On June 26, 1794, the French army launched their military balloon, L’Entreprenant, for reconnaissance during the Battle of Fleurus — the first use of an aircraft for military purposes. The Committee of Public Safety approved the creation of the French Company of Aeronauts in 1794 and sponsored the development of the hydrogen that would be used to raise the craft. After much testing and experimentation with gases and structures, L’Entreprenant was born [1].   Following a brief debut during a bombardment on June 2, L’Entreprenant was used to report enemy movements during a conflict with Austrian forces [2]. At Fleurus, the balloon… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 22

The Diligence of the Blue Angels

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 12:01 AM

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Blue Angel F11F-1 Tiger aircraft fly past the Golden Gate Bridge in formation.

It’s that time of year once again, dear reader: Graduation Week. Lots of speeches, potlucks with family, and celebrations are held around the country to commemorate the completion of years of hard work for students young and old. And with everyone wanting to make these celebrations special, it’s no surprise that the Naval Academy goes all out for this event. Which brings me to my topic for this blog post: The Blue Angels. Tomorrow the windows of my building will rattle as the Blue Angels zip by on practice runs for their Wednesday performance. If I go out to the… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 1

Blue Angels Skipper, Captain Arthur R. Hawkins, USN (Ret.)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 12:01 AM

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Future Captain Arthur R. Hawkins, USN (Ret.)

In this U.S. Naval Institute oral history excerpt, Captain Hawkins speaks about his becoming the first man to perform a through-the-canopy ejection from a jet aircraft on 4 August 1953, when his aircraft, an F9F-6 Cougar of the Blue Angels, encountered trouble at 42,000 feet. After enlisting in the Naval Reserve in April 1942, Hawkins went through cadet training in Texas prior to being designated a naval aviator and commissioned in January 1943. During World War II, as a fighter pilot in VF-31, he flew in combat from the light carriers USS Cabot (CVL-28) and Belleau Wood (CVL-24). In all, he shot down 14 Japanese aircraft. He… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Apr 27

Sea Dogs

Friday, April 27, 2018 12:59 AM

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USNI dog 10

Dogs have long been popular mascots in the United States sea services for their ability to build morale. In the early days, dogs often served a more practical function by leading patrols onto foreign shores to search for food and warn of any dangers lurking out of eyesight. But mostly, dogs provided welcome relief from the monotony of being at sea for months on end.                                                                    

 
Apr 10

Seaplanes: The End (of the beginning)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 12:01 AM

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P6M Seamaster takeoff

By the end of the war, the Navy had a number of advanced seaplane designs in the works – the JRM Mars and H-4 Hercules, the Spruce Goose, in particular. These were developed as large (or, in the Hercules case, extremely large) transport seaplanes. The H-4 had a similar mission to some of the earliest Navy seaplanes: crossing the Atlantic, although it would do it with a 150,000 pound payload. With the end of the war, however, development largely stopped to make way for new operational challenges and design paradigms. Captured German hydrodynamics and aerodynamics research complemented contemporary American knowledge… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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