Military Surplus

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

At a weapon workshop in Misrata, a Libyan volunteer fixes a UB-32 rocket launcher pod, attached to the back of a pickup truck on May 28, 2011. The UB-32, a launcher designed to fire Russian S-5 rockets, is normally mounted on an aircraft. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)

In 1985, Doc Brown needed to travel […]

Military Surplus, Spaceheads

Return of the Starfighters

The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was an interceptor aircraft built starting in the 1950s. It had a relatively short life in the US arsenal, being retired in 1975, but remained in use by foreign militaries until 2004. NASA flew their F-104s as chase planes and for research until the 1990s. Most F-104s in the US have been long relegated to sitting on sticks in front of Air Force bases or on static display in museums.

Until now.
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AT Hall of Fame, Military Surplus

The Soplata Airplane Sanctuary

Among a stand of trees near Newbury, OH sits a little collection of junked aircraft. Walter Soplata, the son of Czech immigrants, began buying surplus aircraft in 1947 while working at a company in Cleveland that scraps such aircraft. He is a true Toasterhead because he couldn’t bear the thought of these magnficent machines being dismantled and reprocessed into pop cans and carabiners. So, he started buying the rarest ones and transporting them to his back yard.

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Military Surplus, Technostalgia

Before GPS There Was LORAN

LORAN Transmitter Bank

Near the beginning of WW2, the British developed a method of navigation using radio waves they called the GEE System. The GEE system transmitted radio “blips” from a master and two slave stations. The timing of the “blips” was fixed and maps were developed with hyperbolic lines showing the fixed […]

Military Surplus, Stealth Week

Sweden’s Hidden Naval Bunkers

Engineerd’s earlier Stealth Week post on Hidden Swiss Defenses reminded me of a couple of pictures I’d seen several years ago of hidden naval tunnels in Sweden. I finally got the chance this morning to track them down on, a personal watercraft forum I’ve been known to frequent. The pics are as cool as I remembered them.
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