Military Surplus, Military-Grade Awesome

Top Gun – The movie makers Mig of choice

Can you name all the movies that F-5's have pretended to be Migs? I can't.

Formation of three aggressor F-5E aircraft of the 527th TFTS, RAF Alconbury, U.K., on Jan. 15, 1983. (U.S. Air Force photo)

No aircraft signifies fake MiG’s more than the Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter in Hollywood.  During the late seventies and up until early nineties it would be featured in countless movies as the enemy. Naturally the truth is stranger than fiction on several levels.

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Atomic Hangovers, Military Surplus, Military-Grade Awesome

Top Gun is thirty


Top Gun 1 Gizmodo


It’s been thirty years since Top Gun first premiered. Now that you feel nice and old then lets go back to remembering those fun years when nuclear devastation hung over our head.
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Military Surplus

Bang! Bang! Bang!…

engineered™®n=√-1 is off shirking today in some ritzy hotel with a wet bar and lady bartender, so no post from him today. I was just going to let his space languish because the bastard never brings back any souvenirs, but I found the above picture in my archives and decided to use it […]

Astronomical Engines, Big Complicated Machines, Military Surplus

The NRO Takes Pity on NASA, Gives Them Spare “Hardware”


A KH-9 spy satellite, which has nothing to do with the article.

Last year, or possibly the year before, some of the bean-counting type of spooks that work for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) were evidently sorting through the excess hardware at one of their storage facilities when they found that they had a couple of telescopes that they didn’t need anymore. They were brand new and it seemed a shame to just chuck them out, so they considered who might want to take them off of their hands. NASA and its continually shrinking budget came to mind, so they gave NASA a call.

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Military Surplus

Watch Out for the Undertow

Last week I came across these photos of a Cold War relic, rusting away off the coast of Norway. It is the Murmansk, the last of the Russian all gun cruisers, built in 1955, and upon decommissioning she was sold for scrap. During the tow to India for dismantling she was lost, and the 211 meters long cruiser ended its days in Sørøya in the rocks outside Sørvær on the coast of Finnmark in December 1994. There she sat, as seen in these photos, until in 2008 when the Norwegian Coastal Administration contracted a company to remove the wreck.

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Military Surplus

The Lost Spitfires

The Supermarine Spitfire. A pants-tightening relic from the golden age of piston aircraft. A formidable foe to the Axis. The elliptical wings provided both a beautiful and elegant solution to reducing drag while increasing lift. The 2,050 hp Griffon engine in a Mk XIV could pull the plane almost 450 miles per hour. Though, sitting in crates underground it will go exactly 0 mph.
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Military Surplus

Operation Aphrodite


B-17 drone

Take one war weary B-17, stuff in one pilot and 20,000 pounds of explosives. Then have the pilot bail out and hand the controls over, remotely, to another bomber flying nearby. This was Operation Aphrodite


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Airborne Awesomosity, Military Surplus

What If The B-29 Had Failed, What Were The Backups?


Consolidated B-32 Dominator


The B-29 Superfortress was the most complex aircraft built during the 40’s; because of this the US Air Force wanted some other aircraft as insurance against its failure.

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Military Surplus

Renault R35, The Most Common French Tank of WW2

Are you in there Mr French man?

[image credit –]

With 35mm of frontal armor and a low velocity 37mm cannon the R35 wasn’t destined to be remembered for long.


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Military Surplus

What’s Mine is Mine

Land mines are horrific devices. The term comes from tunnels (“mines”) dug under an opposing army into which sappers would lay charges. The tunnel would collapse, trapping the enemy soldiers in a big hole, then hot oil or other devious solutions of death would be poured in. The Chinese created triggered black powder land mines as early as the 13th century AD, and they found widespread use in Europe and Asia from the Middle Ages all the way up to today. In modern military tactics, land mines are used to either deny tactically advantageous land to an opposing force, or as a means of channeling an invading army into an area that gives the invadees an adavantage.

The problem is, not all the mines are exploded. In some places, such as Afghanistan or Cambodia, governments and revolutionaries would lay mines almost indiscriminately. The mines are indiscriminate, too, in who they kill, and they last much longer than the conflict in which they were laid. Today, land mines are to blame for around 20,000 deaths a year, according to the UN.

Hit the jump for a video of a man named Aki Ra, who is clearing mines in his home country of Cambodia with nothing more than a few tools and balls of tungsten carbide.
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