One of the most overlooked Special Operations branches in the United States Armed Forces is the Spec Ops Community within the Air Force. And that’s a shame too because there are some awesome warriors in their ranks. This promotional video showing the Air Force’s Combat Controllers at work is amazing to watch.

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Panavia Tornado

June 15, 2008

Multi-role aircraft developed and built in cooperation with Germany and Italy. It is a compact twin-engined variable-geometry aircraft. The Tornado was also the first production military aircraft with flight-by-wire controls. There are strike-attack (IDS), air defence (ADV) and electronic warfare (ECR) versions. The ADV has an elongated nose. The original contractors bought 933 aircraft, but production is still underway for Saudi-Arabia. The IDS version is considered a very effective attack aircraft, but the ADV has been critized because it is a long-range interceptor with little capacity for dogfights. British IDS Tornadoes will be upgraded to GR.4 configuration. The loss of six Tornadoes during the 1992 Gulf War resulted in a storm of criticisim, most of it unjustified.

Type: Tornado F Mk.3
Function: fighter
Year: 1986
Crew: 2
Engines: 2 * 8530kg Turbo-union RB199-34R Mk.104
Wing Span: 13.91m /8.60m
Length: 18.08 m
Height: 5.95 m
Wing Area: 30.00 m2/
Empty Weight: 14501 kg
Max.Weight: 27987 kg
Speed: 2333 km/h
Ceiling: 21335 m
Range: 3600 km
Armament: 1*g27 mm msl

Type: Tornado GR.1
Function: attack
Year: 1982
Crew: 2
Engines: 2 * 71.4 kN Turbo-union RB199-34R Mk.101
Wing Span: 13.90m / 8.60m
Length: 16.70 m
Height: 5.70 m
Wing Area: 30 m2
Empty Weight:
Max.Weight: 27210 kg
Speed: 1480 km/h
Ceiling: 15240 m
Range: 3890 km
Armament: 2 * g27mm 8980kg

History of Development.

The Tornado IDS is the baseline model that resulted from a 1968 feasibility study undertaken by the Belgian, British, Canadian, Dutch, Italian and West German governments for an advanced warplane to be designed, developed and built as collaborative venture with the object of providing the air forces of the partner nations with a STOL warplane able to undertake the close air support, battlefield interdiction, long-range interdiction, counter-air attack, air-superiority, interception and air defence, reconnaissance and naval strike roles.

Belgium and Canada withdrew at an early date, being followed by the Netherlands at a later date, and this left Italy, the UK and West Germany to persevere with project definition from May 1969 and development from July 1970. The resulting MRCA- 75 (Multi-Role Combat Aircraft for 1975) was designed as a high-performance type with a fly-by-wire control system and advanced avionics for extremely accurate navigation and safe flight at supersonic speeds and very low levels in all weathers, this being deemed the only way to ensure pinpoint day/night first-pass attacks with a heavy (and highly diverse) warload against a variety of well defended targets. Design and development of the MRCA-75 was entrusted to Panavia, which was created in 1969 as a joint venture by Aeritalia (now Alenia), BAC (now BAe) and MBB (now DASA), while the parallel engine consortium was created as Turbo-Union by Fiat, MTU and Rolls-Royce. The two main subcontractors were IWKA-Mauser for the cannon and Elliott for the electronics, and government control was provided by the NAMMA organization established in 1970 to supervise each country’s contribution, which was fixed at 42.5% each by the UK and West Germany, and 15% by Italy.

With the new warplane’s roles finalized, the task of the design team was to create an airframe/powerplant/electronic combination able to fulfill the resulting requirement. This demanded five core capabilities: the ability to take-off and land in very short distances for continued operational capability even if the main runways were damaged, the ability to fly at high speed at very low level over long ranges without significant degradation of crew performance, the ability to undertake low-level penetrations of hostile air space by day and/or night under all weather conditions, the ability to hit any target with complete accuracy in a first-pass attack, and the ability to attain high supersonic speed at all altitudes. The aerodynamic core of the airframe demanded by these capabilities was a variable-geometry wing: in its minimum-sweep configuration of 25 degrees this would generate high lift at takeoff and landing (thereby reducing lift-off and touch-down speeds and consequently reducing runway requirements), and in its maximum-sweep configuration of 68 degrees it would produce low wave drag for high supersonic speed as well as low gust response for a smooth low-level ride. The wing was also planned with extensive high-lift devices for further enhancement of its take-off and landing performance: these devices included double-slotted flaperons across virtually the full span of the variable-sweep trailing edges, automatically controlled slats across virtually the full span of the variable-sweep leading edges, and Krueger flaps under the leading edges of the fixed inboard wing sections. The primary flight-control surfaces were all powered, and the primary surfaces were the rudder and all-flying tailerons. The latter operated collectively for longitudinal control and differentially for lateral control, being augmented in the latter task by spoilers on the wing upper surfaces: these were designed to become operational only at sweep angles of 45 degrees and less, and to operate collectively as lift dumpers after touch-down.

Flight control was exercised via a fly-by-wire system operating in conjunction with a command stability augmentation system. The airframe was, of course, schemed in association with the powerplant and electronics. The powerplant was to comprise a pair of reheated turbofans of very low specific fuel consumption for long range and high afterburning thrust for maximum acceleration at take-off, and fitted with thrust-reversers for maximum reduction of the landing run. The avionics were based on an extremely advanced nav/attack system with fully automatic terrain-following capability to ensure all-weather penetration capability. Structural design was completed in August 1972, and the first of nine prototypes flew in April 1974, the type being named Tornado later in the same year. The Tornado IDS baseline warplane was ordered into production during July 1976, the first pre-production Tornado IDS flew in February 1977 and the type entered service in July 1980.

Eurofighter Typhoon

June 15, 2008

The four nation Eurofighter Typhoon is a foreplane delta wing beyond-visual-range and close air fighter aircraft with surface attack capability. Eurofighter has high agility at supresonic speed and ‘supercruise’ capability, that is it can fly at sustained speeds of over Mach 1 without the use of afterburner.
The company carrying out the development of the aircraft is Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH based in Munich and wholly owned by Alenia of Italy, British Aerospace of the UK, CASA of Spain and DASA of Germany. The company responsible for the development of the EJ200 engine is Eurojet GmbH, in Munich which is owned by Rolls Royce, Motoren und Turbinen Union, Fiat Aviazione and ITP.
An overall production contract for 620 aircraft was signed in January 1998 with 232 for UK, 180 for Germany, 121 for Italy and 87 for Spain. Initial orders have been placed for 148 aircraft – Germany (44), Italy (29), Spain (20) and UK (55). Production is underway on the first of these aircraft which are planned to enter service with the four participating nations in 2002.
Greece has also chosen to join the Eurofighter programme and is to procure 60 to 90 aircraft, with deliveries beginning in 2005.
WEAPONS
As well as an internally mounted 27 mm Mauser gun, the EurofighterTyphoon has thirteen hard points for weapon carriage, four under each wing and five under the fuselage.
For air-to-air combat the standard weapon configuration is four BVRAAM (Beyond Visual Range) Air to Air Missiles, which are mounted in semi-recessed fuselage stations, and two Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles, ASRAAMs, on the outer pylons. A mix of up to ten medium range and short range missiles can be carried. The UK RAF are to choose between Matra BAe Dynamics Meteor and Raytheon ERAAM (an improved version of AMRAAM) for the BVRAAM requirement.
Eurofighter has the capability to carry a range of air-to-surface weapons,including the Brimstone and DWS 37 anti-armour weapons, three under each wing and one under the centre fuselage and laser-guided bombs. Avionics pods can be mounted under each wing, for example a laser designator pod.
An Armament Control System (ACS) manages weapons selection and firing and monitors weapon status.
ELECTRONIC WARFARE
The aircraft’s electronic warfare suite, the Defensive Aids Sub-System or DASS, is accommodated within the aircraft structure and integrated with aircraft’s avionics system. The avionics system is based on a NATO standard databus with fibre optic highways. The DASS includes an electronic countermeasures/electronic support measures system, front and rear threat warnings, decoy systems and chaff and flare dispensers.
The aircraft is equipped with a Forward Looking Infra-red, FLIR and an Infra-red Search and Track system, IRSTwhich provides passive target detection and tracking. The IRST sensor operates in both 3 – 5 and 8 – 11 micron spectral bands.


RADAR
The aircraft is equipped with an ECR 90 multi-mode X-band pulse Doppler radar being developed by the Euroradar industrial consortium. The multi-mode radar has three processing channels. The third channel is used for jammer classification, interference blanking and sidelobe nulling. Euroradar is led by the UK company Marconi Electronic Systems with ENOSA of Spain, FIAR of Italy and DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (DASA) of Germany.
COCKPIT
The pilot’s control system is a VTAS Voice-Throttle-and-Stick system. Two dozen finger tip controls are housed on the stick and throttle tops for sensor and weapon control, defence aids management and in-flight handling. The Direct Voice Input allows the pilot to carry out mode selection and data entry procedures using voice command as an alternative to manual systems for tasks such as HUD/MHUDD moding (head up display and multi-function head down display), selection of radio and navigation aids and target selection.
The Helmet Mounted Symbology System (HMS) and the Head Up Display show the flight reference data, weapon aiming and cueing, and the Forward Looking Infra-red imagery. The helmet is being developed by Marconi Electronic Systems and includes a night vision capability and flash and electro-optical threat protection.
The cockpit has three multi-function colour head down displays, MHDDs, which show data relating to the tactical situation, aircraft systems status and map displays. Any of the required data can be shown on the head down displays using the soft-key selection around each display.
PILOT EQUIPMENT
The pilot’s equipment specific to Eurofighter includes the helmet, a liquid conditioning suit, a pressure breathing anti-g-force vest, a full body nuclear, biological and chemical warfare protection suit and outer garments for various environmental conditions.
FLIGHT CONTROL
The aircraft design is aerodynamically unstable to provide a high level of agility, low drag and enhanced lift. The pilot controls the aircraft through a computerised digital fly-by-wire system which provides artificial stabilisation and gust elevation to give good control characteristics throughout the flight envelope.
The all-moving foreplanes and the inboard and outboard full span flaperons provide the pitch and role control. The yaw control is achieved with the rudder. The automatic leading edge slats on the wing provide the optimum wing camber for all angles of attack.
Secondary flight control systems include the airbrake, intake cowls, and the nosewheel steering.

General characteristics


Powerplant: Two Eurojet EJ200 engine
Total combat thrust: 40,000 lb 18,144 kg
Wingspan: 36 ft 10.95 m
Length: 52.36 ft 15.96 m
Height: 17.3 ft 5.28 m
Wingarea: 538 sq ft 50.0 sq m
Weight empty: 22.045 lb 10,000 kg
max. 46,320 lb 21,009 kg
Max. level speed: 1,483 mph (Mach 2.0) 2,387 km/h
‘g’ limits: +9’g’ / -3’g’
Runway length: 2,300 ft 700 m
Armament: BVRAAM, ASRAAM (4 points for weapon carriage under each wing and 5 under the fuselage), 27mm Mauser cannon
Crew: One (2 for training)

SU 35

June 10, 2008

This film came about because Eurofighter decided it needed to create an impression at air shows. The eight minute film provides an adrenaline rush, rather than the usual corporate stream of facts and figures, however the narrative is designed to support the central message that Eurofighter is a multi-role aircraft capable of dealing with different tasks in the same mission such as air-to-air combat, defence, air support and air-ground combat.

the newest and most advanced stealth fighter from lockheed martin. designed to replace most fighters, including the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Falcon, this aircraft is pure precision and beauty.

Helo Thunder

June 9, 2008

Awesome video of helicopters in action!