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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11
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
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0answers
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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 ...
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44 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?
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2answers
551 views

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 ...
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2answers
314 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-...
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2answers
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What is this old US Air Force plane?

What model of plane is visible in this image?
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1answer
185 views

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 ...
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1answer
148 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 ...
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1answer
305 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.
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2answers
449 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 ...
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436 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
298 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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Would USAF ATC experience help in getting a civilian ATC job?

Can I join the US air force as an air traffic controller, and then use my ATC skills from my service to become a civilian ATCO?
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2answers
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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 ...
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Does the US military use metric?

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 ...
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1answer
151 views

Is 'make small one turn' a standard phrase?

I've heard it somehow that some of USAF controllers say this. is the phrase used in real ATC? if it is, is there any other similar phrases?
13
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
34
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1answer
4k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
620 views

What causes this surface texture, and how does it affect flight characteristics?

The picture on this answer to "What is this plane seen in Mobile, Alabama?" shows a B-52D Stratofortress with a very irregular surface texture. (Source) Were they like this when they were new, or is ...
10
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1answer
946 views

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 ...
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4answers
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Could the V-22 Osprey be used as a close air support platform?

I saw the US was looking for a new close air support plane. Why do they not use the V-22 Osprey? It is able to travel slowly and could carry more weapons than an A-10, for example.
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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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1answer
274 views

Are all US fighter/combat aircraft constantly armed, even just in training?

I remember hearing once upon a time that all US fighter/combat aircraft constantly armed, even just in training. If I recall correctly, it's because the pilots need to be ready at a moment's notice. ...
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2answers
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Where does Air Force One refuel?

Obama came to Greece and then to Germany. That's a long trip, even for the majestic Jumbo. There was a lot of discussion about where the aircraft was refuelled during that trip. Do we know, in general,...
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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 ...
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1answer
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Does a pilot of Air Force One receive any special privileges?

I know that flying Air Force One is a position of high responsibility. I am curious to know what extra privileges, if any, come along with being the pilot of Air Force One. What extra he can do which ...
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4answers
900 views

Has the United States Air Force used Contra-rotating Propeller Aircraft?

I recently saw a picture of a Russian Bear(TU-95) intercepting one of our(US) military aircraft over the Pacific Ocean. Many years ago, when I flew in reconnaissance aircraft, we were frequently ...
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1answer
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Why does the U.S. keep thousands of retired aircraft in storage? [duplicate]

A view of Davis-Monthan AFB shows thousands of retired aircraft sitting in the desert. They go through great lengths to preserve them, even sealing them with an opaque white, hi-tech vinyl plastic ...
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2answers
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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" ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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Is the Boeing AC-25A Banshee a real concept or a gimmick? [closed]

Could this be a feasible concept aircraft to replace the AC-130?
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1answer
461 views

Is there any current knowledge of a 747 being used as a drone for military applications? [closed]

ex. direct action, reconnaissance Current military drones usually carry 4 hellfire missiles. If the military used a 747 drone the payload capacity could increase by a factor of 10.
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1answer
261 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 ...
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1answer
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Is it possible to “take a bullet [missile]” for another plane as shown in the movie Air Force One?

In Air Force One a fighter jet maneuvers between a missile and the president's plane, as shown in this clip. Is such a maneuver possible? If not, what could be done in that situation?
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1answer
197 views

Have the results of the USAF's $AVE program research been implemented?

According to this Aviation Week article from October 2012, the US Air Force Research Laboratory ran a program called Surfing Aircraft Vortices for Energy ($AVE) to test/prove that autopilot settings ...
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3answers
819 views

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 ...
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4answers
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What is the “optimal” age of a fighter pilot?

Fighter pilots are always portrayed as young, fit men (and woman), in their 20s and 30s - and most of the F16 pilots I know are that age. However, today someone, who is over 50 years old, mentioned ...
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3answers
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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. ...
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9answers
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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 ...
3
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1answer
2k views

What does an Air Battle Manager do?

I heard someone talking about a position in the U.S. Air Force called an Air Battle Manager or ABM. What does a person in this position do?