Posts Tagged ‘National Museum of the USAF

27
Aug
08

American Fighters: F-15 Strike Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon

F-15 Eagle

The F-15 Strike Eagle first entered service in January 1976 and is the primary United States Air Force (USAF) air-superiority fighter.  The F-15 mission is “an all-weather, extremely maneuverable, tactical fighter designed to permit the Air Force to gain and maintain air supremacy over the battlefield.”  The USAF has 522 of these fighters in it’s arsenal at a cost of 29.9 million each.  Aerodynamically sound the air craft has flown with one wing completely blown off, delivering pilot and plane safely back to base. http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=101

 

This is why “Heavy Metal” on The History Channel is one of my favorite shows.

F-16 Thunderbird

The F-16 Fighting Falcon pictured here painted with Thunderbird colors “is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft. It is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. It provides a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the United States and allied nations.”  Entering service in January 1979 the USAF maintains 1280 F-16s in its arsenal.http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=103

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28
Jul
08

World War I Aircraft: Fokker Dr I and the Sopwith Camel

Fokker Dr.I

Fokker Dr.I

With the advent of manned powered flight the phrase one if by land, two if by sea of the Old North Church days needed the addition of three if by air.  Initially during World War I airplanes were used for spying over the enemies trenches, until someone got the idea that they could take a gun with them and shoot at the guys spying from the other side.  Eventually someone mounted a machine gun on an airplane and attempted to shoot at his foes.  The best place to mount a machine gun on early aircraft was directly in front of the pilot like in the picture of the Fokker Dr.I above.  Of course that led to the problem of destroying your own propeller with your own bullets while trying to destroy your enemy.  Anthony Fokker solved the problem by introducing an interrupter gear that interrupted the machine gun when the propeller was directly in front of the gun.

Fokker Dr Ib

Anthony Fokker also created the legendary Fokker Dr.I dreidecker.  The three winged configuration was made most famous when Manfred von Richthoven painted his Dr.I crimson red and became known as the Red Baron.  With eighty kills to his credit — the last nineteen he got in Dr.Is, the Red Baron had more kills than any other pilot of World War I.  For more information on this warplane follow this link: http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=278

 

Sopwith Camel

Sopwith Camel

The British proved worthy adversaries for control of the skies over the Western Front during World War I.  The British mass produced the legendary Sopwith Camel, creating an impressive 5,490 of these aircraft.  The Sopwith Camel was nimble, fast and climbed well, but was tricky to handle and more men died learning to fly it than were shot down by enemy aircraft.  In the hands of a veteran pilot this plane was a formidable weapon and could dogfight with the Dr.I.  For more information on this airplane follow this link: http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=276

To learn more about these planes and other planes like them follow this link: http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/




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