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Questions tagged [us-air-force]

The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on 18 September 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947.

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Why does the USAF still use the C-17 Globemaster III?

The C-17 had to overcome flight-control problems, wings that were unable to carry their designed maximum load, automation growing pains, and a crew size reduced to just two pilots and a loadmaster so ...
1 vote
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Use of Type V platform for regular Air Cargo Transportation with MB-1 chain set

As background, military air transportation is regulated by Technical Orders, Field Manuals, etc. In this case, TO 13C7-1-5 is the one that regulates Platform Delivery System, used for cargo airdrop. ...
6 votes
1 answer
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Need help with a military aircraft ID

I found this photo going through some of my mom's pictures. I would like to know what type of aircraft this is. I believe they flew from he UK, possibly to Scott AFB or perhaps Griffis AFB. Time ...
5 votes
1 answer
448 views

Did SR-71s have a switch for seat height adjustment for the pilot or were there strict height requirements in order to fly it?

I've realized that nowadays there are switches present on most modern aircraft which electrically adjust the height of the seating position, and I was wondering if that mechanism was present on the SR-...
2 votes
1 answer
793 views

Do F-22 Raptors have different chemical colored coatings on the canopy?

Today I saw an image of a couple of Raptors parked at Spangdahelm AFB and I noticed that one of the Raptors in the image had Golden-tinted canopy glass while the other one had orange-tinted Canopy ...
4 votes
3 answers
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Aside from simulated dogfights, do F-22 Raptors actively participate in live fire/target practice using live munitions?

I am aware that the F-22 was developed specifically for the air-to-air superiority role, although it has previously proven its worth for multi-role missions (in performing ground strike missions ...
8 votes
3 answers
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Has this USAF flight violated russian airspace?

Just encountered this interesting flight on FlightRadar24: From the path, it looks like it may have "violated", or let's say, been to, russian airspace. Even if not, one has to wonder what ...
2 votes
1 answer
510 views

Will the new USAF trainer Boeing–Saab T-7 Red Hawk have weapons?

Will the new USAF jet trainer, the Boeing–Saab T-7 Red Hawk, have weapons? I see the mention of the possibility of hardpoints e.g. here: https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/42760/air-force-wants-...
12 votes
5 answers
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Why would the USAF have no support for autolanding?

One thing I noticed when reading through the KC-10 flight manual (see page 184 for the specific reference) is that the KC-10 lacks support for Category III operations, unlike its civil DC-10 brethren. ...
248 votes
4 answers
153k views

What is the dark spot visible below the cockpit on A-10s?

On most A-10s I have seen, the area under the cockpit is darker than the rest of the plane. Is there a reason for this?
17 votes
4 answers
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Can you identify this airplane?

Im thinking the window sequence and the shadow (possible a prop?) Might be your best help. My dad bought this photo and him nor I can figure it out. I work at a dang airport, too! TIA.
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1 answer
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What are the white tubes underneath the Canopy of the F-22 Raptor?

I was looking at the Raptor and noticed the white looking tubes underneath the canopy. Do the tubes have a purpose? If so what is the purpose/function of the tubes? Are there any other aircraft with ...
39 votes
5 answers
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On the F15-E, can the WSO take over if the pilot is incapacitated?

The F15-E Strike Eagle features a two-man cockpit. The pilot in the front seat and the WSO (Weapons System Officer) in the back seat. If the jet is cruising straight and level is mechanically sound ...
67 votes
9 answers
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Why does the US President fly in an obsolete 747-200?

The Boeing VC-25A ("Air Force One") is a heavily modified 747-200. The two current airframes (SAM 28000 and 29000) were put into duty in 1990 and are slated to be replaced in 2017, although I suspect ...
15 votes
1 answer
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What does the term "white-scarf Air Force" mean?

Ron Gordon's answer to question about A-10 cannon mentions "white-scarf Air Force". As civilian, subtlety was lost on me. What does it mean? From the context, looks like fighter pilots? Are the ...
6 votes
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Why was the F-14 retired 15 years ago while the contemporary F-15 is still operational?

The F-14 and the F-15 were designed in almost the same years and each one was at the top of its own "compartment" (respectively, US Navy and US Air Force). However, almost 15 years ago, the ...
26 votes
4 answers
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Why do Air Force planes regularly fly in circles?

During the ongoing War in Ukraine, one can regularly spot planes from Royal and US Air Force flying over the Eastern parts of Poland, see screenshot. They often fly in circles and return after several ...
7 votes
2 answers
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How do fighter jets pre-flight so quickly?

Military fighter jets can get in the air and to their target in minutes and faster than almost all other aircraft. How do they achieve this considering that a normal pre-flight alone takes ~10-15 ...
34 votes
2 answers
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What is this on top of the Air Force One?

Clarification: It wasn't Air Force One that visited Switzerland, it was the 747-200 E4 carrying Ashton Carter. Source What is this thing on top of the plane (In red circle): On other "Air Force One" ...
4 votes
1 answer
417 views

What are the heating tubes used during SR-71 airframe manufacturing?

I was watching a YouTube video "Titanium - The Metal That Made The SR-71 Possible" when I stumbled upon this frame (at 12:26). I could see these heating tubes sort of things under the ...
0 votes
1 answer
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What are these components in a DHS/CBP Predator drone?

In the following diagram showing the "DHS/CBP UAS Platform Configuration", what are these components and what are they used for? PPDM SPMA RCM RVT encoder
-4 votes
2 answers
263 views

how missiles or rockets change direction if gyroscopes prevent any direction change? they would bring back the rocket to same path? [closed]

Gyroscopes are instrument which prevent any wobbling or direction change but then how rockets and missiles change their directions. To change direction we have to give signals to gyro or to the servo(...
6 votes
1 answer
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How often is the name painted on fighters?

This question is restricted to US Air Force fighters, as I don't know if other air forces paint the pilot's name on the fighter. This question pops into my mind because of 2 reasons: this comment ...
1 vote
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Did C-124 loadmasters receive parachute and water survival training?

When the position of "loadmaster" was created for the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II, did prospective USAF loadmasters attend the parachute training and water survival school at the 3904th ...
9 votes
1 answer
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In USAF are people WSO by choice or is it because they didn’t make the cut to be a pilot?

Generally, is a US Air Force Weapon Systems Officer (WSO) someone who wanted to be an WSO or is specifically assigned and trained to be an WSO from the start, or someone who failed flight training ...
19 votes
4 answers
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Does the Air Force (United States) help design their own planes?

I know that companies such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing design and build planes for the US Air Force. However, when I was thinking about this, I realized the Air force has no part in designing the ...
5 votes
1 answer
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What happened with the balloons of project Excelsior?

After the flight to the ISS yesterday I am reading more stuff about mankind in the universe. Reading about the Excelsior project makes me wonder what happened with the helium balloon after Joseph ...
-1 votes
1 answer
138 views

How to join Air Force Reserve with minor injuries that would interfere with Basic Training? [closed]

Is it possible to get waivers on fitness part of the Basic Training for joining to Air Force Reserve? If not, is there a way to join Air Force Reserves without Basic Training? Are there alternative ...
2 votes
2 answers
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Airplanes in static display at Whiteman AFB

After reading the post about B-2 sizing, I spend a couple of minutes on Google Maps looking at airplanes on the Whiteman AFB. On runways, I think there are one B-2 Spirit, 3 T-38 Talon, and one AH-64 ...
6 votes
2 answers
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Does the US military use metric system?

Does the US military use the metric system for aviation? For example, does it use: feet or meters for altitude? nautical miles or kilometers for distance? knots or km/h for speed? inHg or hPa for ...
3 votes
0 answers
138 views

What are the differences between foward air controllers in US military?

US Military has forward air controllers that join the forces on the front line and help them communicate with aircraft on the battelfield. I found several Wikipedia articles describing such position, ...
9 votes
3 answers
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What is the maximum height of USAF fighter pilot?

In response to this comment: Three days later I happened to meet a commercial pilot at school who has flown F4s during Vietnam. He gave me the worst news of my life. My 6'3" ass was too tall to ...
12 votes
1 answer
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Why was the F-117 retired so quickly?

Why was the F-117 retired after so few years in service (Approximately 25 years) while other military aircraft are in service for many decades? Many of the 60 built should still be air-worthy. For ...
11 votes
2 answers
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Why is a Lockheed MC-130J Commando II creating such a loud droning sound?

Today I heard a loud droning sound which is really unusual in the area of west London I live in; so I went on ADS-B exchange and it showed a USAF Lockheed MC-130J Commando II flying literally right ...
4 votes
1 answer
466 views

Identify an USAF transport aircraft in Greenland around 1960

Could anybody help me identify this aircraft? It was photographed in Greenland around 1960. Thanks in advance.
7 votes
2 answers
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Do USAF fighter jets go supersonic over land?

Does the US Air Force operate supersonic fighter jets over land? I heard that the FAA banned supersonic flight over America due to the shockwaves creating loud booms and breaking windows on the ...
3 votes
0 answers
136 views

How many executive jets does the US military have access to (as opposed to owning outright)?

Last night around 8pm at least 12-15 executive jets flew into PSM over my house one after the other. Apparently the Air Force brass were having some kind of powow, which isn't surprising given that ...
1 vote
0 answers
150 views

define the difference between a USAF Leg vs a USAF Sortie

What is the definition of a Sortie versus a Leg according to the US Air Force?
3 votes
1 answer
311 views

How can I progress from tactical aircraft mechanic in the air force to an airline?

I am currently 17 years old and next year I will be graduating from high school. My plan is to go to the Air force and become a Tactical Aircraft Mechanic. Obviously I am going to go through BMT and ...
2 votes
2 answers
717 views

Why doesn't the air force order more F-22's?

I've come across several articles touting the F-22 as the most formidable air-to-air killing machine to date, such as this one: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/f-22-nearly-unstoppable-air-...
20 votes
2 answers
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What is this old US Air Force plane?

What model of plane is visible in this image?
0 votes
1 answer
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Does the US export the Mark 77 aerial bomb? [closed]

The Mark 77 bomb used by US fighter aircraft detonates with an impressive array of inferno when dropped in a cluster which is often done at airshows. Questions Is the Mark 77 bomb solely used by ...
1 vote
1 answer
236 views

I want to be an airline pilot. Would becoming a NON-COMBAT Air Force pilot be a good way to become one? [duplicate]

I know that becoming a fighter pilot is highly competitive, making it a difficult route, but would becoming a pilot for an Air Force cargo aircraft or something of the like be a good way to reach my ...
4 votes
3 answers
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Could the US Air Force ever replace the Thunderbird pilots with drones? [closed]

Would it be possible or practical for the US Air Force to replace the Thunderbird pilots with drones? The drones could perform more difficult maneuvers and do them more precisely. The University of ...
6 votes
2 answers
509 views

How did this air force plane likely get into the eye of Hurricane Florence? [duplicate]

The annotation for this CNN video says Air Force plane flies into Hurricane Florence Watch as a US Air Force plane flies into the eye of Hurricane Florence to collect weather data for the National ...
6 votes
0 answers
864 views

Why didn't NWA 85 request/receive fighter jet help with their mysterious rudder failure? [closed]

I recently watched a documentary about the Northwest Airlines Flight 85. The flight experienced a grave rudder malfunction when it was over the Bering Sea and had to turn back for an emergency landing ...
34 votes
1 answer
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Who has final authority over Air Force One?

U.S. FAA FAR 91.3 ("Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command") says that: The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the ...
12 votes
2 answers
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What is this USAF transport aircraft from possibly the 50-60s?

I came across the following image (scan of a photograph) in an archive of photographs related to the 1962 Sino-Indian War. Which particular aircraft could this be? Update: This answer identifies it ...
5 votes
1 answer
512 views

How was the 'steer' bearing given? [duplicate]

From the USAF c. 1955 training film No Sweat, there is a technique called 'steer'. By pressing the PTT button for a few seconds, the tower controller is able to determine the pilot's bearing. What ...
10 votes
1 answer
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What is Flexible Gunnery in the US Air Force?

I read many times in English Wikipedia that some servicemen were trained in Flexible Gunnery schools, but I don't get what that exactly means. Example: In January 1942, the 2d Air Force was ...