The US Air Force has long had a problem. They develop these super rad planes and then try to keep them a secret. The problem is, airplanes are visible to the naked eye up to pretty high altitudes. If one of these super secret planes is seen by the public, and those members [...]
This AT-9 is part of the National Air Force Museum collection. (U.S. Air Force photo)
As our nation watched World War II escalate in Europe, America’s armed forces felt more urgency to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. would be drawn into the conflict. The Army Air Forces were procuring an expanding arsenal of larger, more powerful and harder to handle bombers. This meant that training requirements for pilots increased, too.
Cessna responded to this need with the AT-17/AT-8 Bobcat, a fairly conventional advanced trainer (“AT”) based on their new civillian T-50 twin. Curtiss-Wright, however, developed the AT-9, a purpose-built, all-metal, twin-engined advanced military trainer that went into service just months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was notable for being notoriously hard to fly and land, and deliberately so. It was also, in my opinion, one of the absolute coolest-looking planes to come out of the WWII era.
Continue reading AT-9 Jeep: Deliberately Being Difficult
Last Saturday an Atlas V lifted off from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral. Inside its fairing was a Boeing X-37B. The mini-space shuttle is surrounded in mystery, so this launch, and the previous launch, have sent conspiracy theorists all a-twitter. Continue reading The X-37B: America’s Secret Spaceplane