Airborne Awesomosity, Military-Grade Awesome

Flying Boats – How The Mighty Have Fallen


Something Looks a Bit Off But You Can’t Quite Figure It Out

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So the end of the line was rapidly approaching for the flying boat but it wasn’t going to go out quietly. The sounds of jets on the water could be heard for miles.


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Military-Grade Awesome

Soviet-Indian Nuclear Proliferation


The K-43 was a Soviet Charlie-class nuclear missile sub launched in 1966. It served the Soviet navy well, but would soon go on a journey of national intrigue.

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Military-Grade Awesome

M3A1 Scout Car

M3A1 Scout Car

One of my IT guys recently told me that one of the things that makes me more likable than most engineers is I’m willing to admit when I don’t know something. Let’s face it, us engineers tend to be the classical “know it all”. Well, when I came across this beast at the Motor Muster (read about it on our sister site Hooniverse) I had to admit I didn’t know much. I knew that’s a 50-cal BMG up top and two 30-cal BMGs on either side, but that was the extent of it.

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Military-Grade Awesome

Sub-Sonic: Britain’s Hedgehog


Yesterday we looked at a less than successful weapon developed by the awesomely named Directorate of Miscellaneous Weapons Development. Today, we look at one that was much more successful. Not to be confused with the Soviet Fire Hedgehog, the British Hedgehog was an anti-submarine weapon that actually proved more deadly than depth charges.

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Military-Grade Awesome



This happens to be a holiday weekend in the US, because on Monday we will remember those that have lost their lives in defense of this country and her freedoms.  Knowing that we have a bit of a diverse and multicultural crowd here at Atomic Toasters, I am going to try to balance the patriotic-type tribute that will run later today with a look at some military strategy of another group of rebels fighting the tyranny and oppression of a sweeping empire. I think you know the Rebel Alliance and Empire in question, and the battle we will be looking at starts out the film The Empire Strikes Back, the Battle of Hoth.  This careful analysis comes by way of Spencer Ackerman at’s Danger Room and can be found in its entirety there.  Hit the jump to get a taste of what you will find there!

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Military-Grade Awesome

German V-2 Tests im Video!

Peenemünde, Start einer V2

As a weapon system, the V-2 was fairly ineffective. It’s real purpose was to terrorize and punish Germany’s enemies, hence it’s use on England and Antwerp. More people died producing the V-2 than were killed by it in military use. At the time the V-2 program went into high gear, Germany had bomber systems capable of delivering bombs and rockets to London with higher accuracy and at less cost to Germany in terms of both Reichsmarks and diversion of resources. Despite all this, Germany pressed on with the V-2 program. The Fuhrer wanted to terrorize London, and he wanted a propaganda win for his loyal subjects. It’s an absolutely horrible weapon system, and it’s failure as a weapon system should have relegated it to a historical footnote. It did inflict significant damage on its targets, though, and it laid the groundwork for all modern rocket systems. For that reason, it is quite important.

Hit the jump for some video of test failures of the V-2 rocket.

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Military-Grade Awesome

Solothurn S-18/1000: Swiss-Built German Design Considered By USA


After the first World War, Germany was banned from producing weapons of war. However, they were not the type to just sit back and let the world tell them what they can and can’t do. No sirree, Ralf. Instead, they bought or started companies in countries not affected by these rules. Such is the case of the Solothurn firearms company. Technically a Swiss company, it was wholly owned by Rheinmetall, a Germany company. With this arrangement, Rheinmetall could design firearms and Solothurn could manufacture them.

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Airborne Awesomosity, Military-Grade Awesome

Point Defense – When All Else Fails Be Really Different

Focke Wulf Triebfluegel


Desperation can lead to creativity. When you have nothing else to lose you will look into every option possible. This led to one of the more interesting designs in the wars waning days with that in mind we look at our next point defense aircraft.


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Military-Grade Awesome

In Soviet Russia, Hedgehog Shoots You!

In glorious Mother Russia, we do not need to build another plane for close ground support. We install 88 PPSh-41 submachine guns in a bomber and we kill the Nazi scum! We call it Fire Hedgehog!

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Airborne Awesomosity, Military-Grade Awesome

The Last Gasp For Large Piston Engines

Pratt and Whitney R-4360 VDT

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Starting in the mid nineteen forties there was a move to this newfangled jet turbine technology. Still it was mostly untested and the good old internal combustion engine was better known.  Into this small fragment of time was an interesting innovation of Pratt & Whitney’s.

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