In an awesome show of strength, the Seymour Johnson AFB's 4th Fighter Wing launched 70 F-I5E Strike Eagles on April 16. The aircraft took part in a training mission to destroy more than 1,000 targets on bombing ranges across North Carolina. The exercise marked the 67th anniversary of the unit's predecessor gaining the milestone of a thousand 'kills' during World War Two. "This F-I5E Strike package honoured the excellence and sacrifices of our Wing's past while 'flexing' 4th FW airpower today," said Col Patrick Doherty, 4th FW commander. "In 1945 the greatest challenge in Europe was destroying a Luftwaffe that refused to take to the air. One of the 4th FG's most notorious missions was also its last. The group's Airmen were tasked to take out the Luftwaffe and in two airfield attacks on April 15, 1945, the group's aviators destroyed 105 enemy aircraft. The same day other 8th Air Force fighter groups attacked Luftwaffe airfields all over Germany, claiming a total of 752 aircraft destroyed. The Luftwaffe never recovered from this terrible and devastating blow."
In a blog on the Soviet Air Force 'Russian Knights' website, team members have announced that it is to take part in this years Farnborough International Airshow on July 9-15. Although not yet confirmed by the show this appearance, if reports prove to be correct, will be by a pair of the team's Sukhoi Su-27 Flankers; not the entire team. It is believed that one aircraft could fly at the show with another remaining on static display. Confirmed attendees for the show include a Boeing F/AI8 Super Hornet, US Marine Corps V-22 Osprey, Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, Saab Gripen and a debut appearance by the Yak 130. During the weekend, classic aircraft such as the Avro Vulcan XH558 will also be flying. Display teams include the Breitling Jet Team, The Blades, RedHawks, Breitling Wingwalkers and of course the RAF Red Arrows. The solo displays will also be enhanced by the first appearance of the South Korean Air Force T-50 jet trainer in the colours of the Black Eagles display team.
When Model Airplane News was first published in 1929, it was the Golden Age of aviation, with record-setting flights and breakthroughs in aircraft design. Our magazine cost 15 cents back then, but the inspiration it provided to generations of modelers is priceless. Issues from those early days are filled with free-flight airplanes built from pieces of balsa and tissue paper and, when radio control arrived in 1938, we were the first to tell builders how to equip their aircraft with the new technology. Fast forward to today, and we regularly cover radio-controlled turbine-powered jets, multi-rotor machines, and sport aircraft that are ready to fly out of the box. Like the model aircraft hobby, our magazine has evolved and, after 85 years of continuous publication, we continue to thrive. We've expanded into multimedia with a website, videos, e-mail newsletters, social media, and a paid Premium Site, along with a library full of books and DVDs. We are proud of our iconic place in U.S. journalism history, and we will continue to build on that legacy to inspire and educate aircraft modelers as they reach for the skies. On this historic anniversary, we salute you, our readers, and thank you for your loyalty and enthusiastic support.
The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was the fastest manned service aircraft in history. Its role was strategic reconnaissance (hence the "SR" designation). Technically, it was a conventional aircraft, taking off and landing and having air-breathing engines with conventional controls. There are machines faster than the Blackbird (a nickname also used as the callsign), but they were either "dash" types like the mid-air launched X-15, or spacecraft like the Space Shuttle Orbiter (see Aircrew May and September 2013). The SR-71 was able not only to travel faster than a speeding bullet, as the cliché has it, but was able to fly at Mach 3+ for significant times, transiting huge swathes of the Earth's surface, either to get to a photographic target or to pass over a large target and (not least) to egress from danger zones, usually simply outrunning any missile attacks. The official top speed was Mach 3.2, but Blackbirds could be flown to Mach 3.3 as long as the engine compressor inlet temperature did not exceed 801°F (427°C). SR-71s hold the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft, a record previously held by the YF-12, the type's predecessor.