Housing the largest aircraft and missile facility around the globe, the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson is a trove of aviation history. The Arizona boneyard is responsible for nearly 4,000 vehicles that are maintained, recycled for parts, and stored across miles of the dry, desert landscape. Photographer Bernhard Lang (previously) visited the site recently to document the aircraft, which are organized in neat rows and grouped by model. Containing both rusted and disassembled machines and those in pristine condition, the boneyard is designed for preservation “in order to make (the planes) airworthy again if necessary, a current topic in times of the Ukraine war and the global discussion about deliveries of arms,” Lang says.
Is it possible that an evil race of Aliens allied with the Nazis during World War II? That would have been a formidable alliance to deal with. Especially if the Aliens provided the Nazis with UFO technology. I can’t see a P-51 Mustang defeating a souped up UFO. But then again, maybe the Americans and Russians had their own Alien benefactors.
In science fiction, conspiracy theory, and underground comic books, there are a number of stories or claims regarding Nazi UFOs (in German: Rundflugzeug, Feuerball, Diskus, Haunebu, Hauneburg-Geräte, VRIL, Kugelblitz, Andromeda-Geräte, Flugkreisel, Kugelwaffen, Reichsflugscheiben). They relate supposedly successful attempts to develop advanced aircraft or spacecraft in Nazi Germany prior to and during World War II, and further claim the post-war survival of these craft in secret underground bases in Antarctica, South America or the United States, along with their Nazi creators.
Nazi UFO tales and myths very often conform largely to documented history on the following points:
- Nazi Germany claimed the territory of New Swabia in Antarctica, sent an expedition there in 1938, and planned others.
- Nazi Germany conducted research into advanced propulsion technology, including rocketry, Viktor Schauberger’s engine research, flying wing craft and the Arthur Sack A.S.6 experimental circular winged aircraft.
- Some UFO sightings during World War II, particularly those known as foo fighters, were thought by the allies to be prototype enemy aircraft designed to harass Allied aircraft through electromagnetic disruption; a technology similar to today’s electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons.
One-man flying space hopper could become the ‘air car’ of the future
- 80kg machine can take off vertically like a
- Powered by Lithium Ion batteries
- Inventor claims the 16-rotor machine will make helicopters ‘obsolete
- Could be used for ‘air sports’ – or even as a
It might look like as space hopper surrounded by model helicopters, but the 16-rotor E-Volo is an entirely new kind of
helicopter – which can hover motionless in the air without input from the pilot.
Its bold engineer, Thomas Senkel, took the machine on its first manned flight this week – lasting 1 minute 30 seconds.
It’s not the first electric helicopter flight – but this is a new kind of machine, steered simply by joystick, with the pilot
sitting above the rotors. Senkel says it could revolutionise transport.
The three inventors claim their flying machine could be used for inspecting pipelines, as an air ambulance or for taking aerial photographs – as well as just for fun.
Once they have solved the problem of how to keep it in the air for longer – and support more people – Senkel hopes it might replace helicopters for good.
It’s far easier to fly than ordinary helicopters – it’s steered by rotor speed, which is computer-controlled, so the pilot just needs to use a joystick as if playing a videogame, rather than controlling multiple complex controls at once.
Senkel describes the easy-to-use machine as ‘good-natured’ and potentially capable of replacing the helicopter in many
A one-hour flight would cost around six euros in electricity. The machine has few parts, which could wear out, meaning the
aircraft needs little maintenance.
E-volo say their aircraft is special because of the ‘simplicity of its engineered construction without complicated mechanics,
and redundant engines.’
In an emergency, it can land even if four of its 16 rotors fail. And since the propellers sit below the pilot, a safety parachute can also be deployed.
The controls could be integrated with GPS software, the three friends claim, and the machine could even automatically avoid obstacles and direct itself to predetermined locations. E-Volo have already completed several successful ‘drone’ flights with the vehicle, controlled remotely from the ground.
Technology moves faster every day. But commercial air travel hasn’t changed as quickly as some industries in recent years. Experts project big changes in the next few decades, though, especially as aviation companies deploy significant innovations in design, material sciences and alternative energy sources. Here we take a look at some of changes on the horizon for commercial, cargo and experimental aircraft.
The N3-X concept aircraft, from Boeing and NASA, is based on a blended wing body (BWB) design intended to improve aerodynamics, fuel efficiency and noise emissions. The ultra-wide fuselage would greatly expand carrying capacity for commercial flights.
Developed by a research team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the D8 “Double Bubble” aircraft would be used for domestic flights and is designed to fly at Mach 0.74 carrying 180 passengers in a coach cabin roomier than that of a Boeing 737-800. The D8 could enter service as soon as 2030, NASA says.
From Lockheed Martin, this concept design for a future supersonic aircraft is focused on reducing emissions and creating a quieter boom. A quieter craft would allow supersonic flights over land, where they are currently prohibited.
Meanwhile, over on the cargo plane tarmac, the GIGAbay concept envisions a ginormous aircraft powered by four hybrid fuel/electric engines, with supplemental energy provided by hydrogen fuel cells, wind generators and solar panels. The cargo area of the GIGAbay design is so large it could carry other jumbo aircraft, or even mobile field hospitals.
Powered by two superconducting electric motors, the concept plane known as the VoltAir (get it?) is a proposed all-electric airliner out of Europe. The engines would draw from next-generation lithium ion batteries — really big ones — that would be simply swapped out between flights.
Some cutting-edge technologies on the horizon are actually modifications of existing designs that have been around for more than a century. To wit, the illustration above imagines the closed-wing “PrandtlPlane” design applied to commercial passenger aircraft. Closed-wing planes have smaller wingspans than traditional aircraft, relative to fuselage size, allowing larger planes to operate out of smaller airports.
Another sort of hybrid, the E-Thrust design — from Rolls-Royce and several European partners — uses a combination of gas-turbine engines and battery-powered fans. The jet engines would only kick in when needed, similar to gas/electric hybrid cars. The fans would also be used, on descent, as built-in windmills to recharge the onboard batteries.
Finally, from the designer who brought us the GIGAbay cargo plane, the mighty Sky Whale also subscribes to the concept that bigger equals better — and greener. The Sky Whale is a largely theoretical vision for a passenger plane that could seat 755 passengers on three floors, using a combination of alternative power sources. The upshot? More passengers per flight means fewer flights, and fewer emissions.
The CF-18 Hornets Demonstration Team of the Royal Canadian Air Force use different striking liveries year to year as they make stops at various airshows across North America. The paint schemes celebrate different anniversaries and milestones such as the 75th anniversary of the RCAF and the Battle of Britain. The paint jobs are extremely eye-catching.
Here the CF-18 is shadowed by a NATO AWACS and CT-133 Silver Star.
Replica camouflage used by Spitfires during the Battle of Britain
The Antonov An-225 Mriya (Ukrainian: Антонов Ан-225 Мрія, lit. ”dream’ or ‘inspiration”; NATO reporting name: Cossack) was a strategic airlift cargo aircraft that was designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the Ukrainian SSR within the Soviet Union during the 1980s. Originally, this unique aircraft was developed as an enlargement of the Antonov An-124 to transport Buran-class orbiters. After successfully fulfilling its Soviet military missions, it was mothballed for eight years. It was then refurbished and reintroduced into commercial operation with Antonov Airlines, carrying oversized payloads. While a second airframe with a slightly different configuration was partially built, construction was halted more than once due to a lack of funding and interest. This second aircraft was last brought up to 60–70% completion in 2009.
As an oversized aircraft, the Antonov An-225 Mriya held multiple records which included; heaviest aircraft ever built, and largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service. Other records held by the An-225 were cargo related in terms of weight and length as the Antonov An-225 has the capability to carry up to 640 tonnes (705 short tons). The An-225 attracted a high degree of public interest, so much that it managed to attain a global following due to its size and its uniqueness. People frequently visited airports to see its scheduled arrivals and departures.
The An-225 was at Hostomel Airport when Russian forces launched an attack on the airport on 24 February 2022, as part of the invasion of Ukraine. The aircraft was destroyed in the fighting.
The airlifter holds the absolute world record for an airlifted single-item payload of 189,980 kg (418,830 lb), and an airlifted total payload of 253,820 kg (559,580 lb). It also transported a payload of 247,000 kg (545,000 lb) on a commercial flight.
On 11 September 2001, carrying four main battle tanks at a record load of 253.82 tonnes (279.79 short tons) of cargo, the An-225 flew at an altitude of up to 10,750 m (35,270 ft) over a closed circuit of 1,000 km (620 mi) at a speed of 763.2 km/h (474.2 mph). The hire cost can be US$30,000 (GB£23,220) per hour.
On 11 August 2009, the heaviest single cargo item ever sent by air freight was loaded onto the An-225. At 16.23 m (53 ft 3 in) long and 4.27 m (14 ft 0 in) wide, its consignment, a generator for a gas power plant in Armenia along with its loading frame, weighed in at a record 189 tonnes (417,000 lb).
Capacity: 253,820 kilograms (559,580 lb)
Length: 84 m (275 ft 7 in)
Wingspan: 88.4 m (290 ft 0 in)
Height: 18.1 m (59 ft 5 in)
Wing area: 905 m2 (9,740 sq ft)
Aspect ratio: 8.6
Empty weight: 285,000 kg (628,317 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 640,000 kg (1,410,958 lb)
Fuel capacity: more than 300,000 kg (661,000 lb)
Cargo hold: volume 1,300 m3 (46,000 cu ft), 43.35 m (142.2 ft) long × 6.4 m (21 ft) wide × 4.4 m (14 ft) tall
Powerplant: 6 × Progress D-18T turbofans, 229.5 kN (51,600 lbf) thrust each
Maximum speed: 850 km/h (530 mph, 460 kn)
Cruise speed: 800 km/h (500 mph, 430 kn)
Range: 15,400 km (9,600 mi, 8,300 nmi) with maximum fuel; range with 200 tonnes payload: 4,000 km (2,500 mi)
Service ceiling: 11,000 m (36,000 ft)
Wing loading: 662.9 kg/m2 (135.8 lb/sq ft)
The Sukhoi Su-33 is an all-weather carrier-based highly maneuverable air defence fighter based on the Su-27 “Flanker” and initially known as Su-27K. It has larger (folding) wings, upgraded engines, twin nose wheel, strengthened undercarriage for blue waters ops.
The following video show a Russian Navy Su-33 at some airbase in Russia, performing a couple of really low passes buzzing the cameraman. Cool footage, probably not too safe.
The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a large military transport aircraft originally designed and built by Lockheed, and now maintained and upgraded by its successor, Lockheed Martin. It provides the United States Air Force (USAF) with a heavy intercontinental-range strategic airlift capability, one that can carry outsize and oversize loads, including all air-certifiable cargo. The Galaxy has many similarities to its smaller Lockheed C-141 Starlifter predecessor, and the later Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. The C-5 is among the largest military aircraft in the world.
Crew: 7 typical (aircraft commander, pilot, two flight engineers, three loadmasters)
4 minimum (pilot, copilot, two flight engineers)
Payload: 270,000 lb (122,470 kg)
Length: 247 ft 1 in (75.31 m)
Wingspan: 222 ft 9 in (67.89 m)
Height: 65 ft 1 in (19.84 m)
Wing area: 6,200 ft2 (576 m2)
Empty weight: 380,000 lb (172,371 kg)
Useful load: 389,000 lb (176,450 kg)
Loaded weight: 769,000 lb (348,800 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 840,000 lb (381,000 kg) ; [N 2]
Powerplant: 4 × General Electric TF39-GE-1C high-bypass turbofan, 43,000 lbf (190 kN) each
There are currently 52 C-5’s in US air force service
Galaxy getting refueled by a KC-10 tanker, a very large aircraft itself
The workhorse of the air force these days is the C-17 Globemaster III, there are 279 in service today
Side by side comparison of the two
It is a big beautiful bird
The spacious seating configurations in the 1970’s.
The relaxing lounge area.
Todays sardine configuration.