Tag Archives: U.S. Air Force

Video shows A-10 Thunderbolts and C-17 Globemasters in action over Nevada Test & Training Range

A-10s and C-17s during Joint Forcible Entry Exercise over Keno Airfield.

The footage in this post shows A-10 Thunderbolt and C-17 Globemaster aircraft in action over Keno Airfield on the Nevada Test & Traning Range during JFE (Joint Forcible Entry Exercise) 14B on Dec. 6, 2014.

Featuring some 100 aircraft, JFE is a US Air Force Weapons School large-scale air mobility exercise with the aim to test the ability of the participants in the weapons school courses to plan and execute complex air operations, including infiltration and exfiltration of combat forces via airdrops and tactical landings on unimproved landing strips, in a simulated contested battlefield.

C-17s release flare over Keno

 

[Video] De-icing a U.S. Air Force B-52 strategic bomber at Minot Air Force Base

B-52 Stratofortress de-iced at Minot Air Force Base

With wind chill temperatures into the negative 60s F (-51° Celsius), Minot Air Force Base, in North Dakota, faces serious icing conditions in late fall and mid-winter seasons.

Therefore, 5 Bomb Wing B-52 Stratorofortress strategic bombers based there need to be de-iced before they can be launched; an operation that can be conducted by shooting hot air on the fuselage along with a mixture of hot air and glycol shot by de-icer trucks.

Interestingly, the forward section of the aircraft can’t be hit with a de-icing truck and it is de-iced thanks to an electric heating system made of resistive elements embedded in the cockpit (as well as in other parts of the airframe).

 

How many C-130 Hercules can you count in this stunning Elephant Walk photo?

You don’t see so many C-130H and J models take part in a massive Elephant Walk very often.

On Dec. 6, a flight of 24 C-130 H and J models from the 317th AG and multiple Air National Guard Bases from across the United States took off from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, as part of a U.S. Air Force Weapons School large-scale mobility exercise dubbed Joint Forcible Entry Exercise 14B.

The Exercise, which featured 100 aircraft in total, has the aim to test the ability of the participants in the weapons school courses to plan and execute synchronized aircraft movement from geographically-dispersed bases, large formations in a simulated contested battlefield.

The scenario includes missions to infiltrate and exfiltrate combat forces via airdrops and combat landings on degraded landing strips through heavily defended airspace.

The photo in this post shows the 24 C-130s taxiing in close formation right before a minimum interval takeoff, in what is referred to as an “Elephant Walk.” You can click on the image below to open a hi-rez version of the shot, and count the planes that are depicted in it.

Elephant walks are periodically performed at airbases all around the world to prepare squadrons for war-time operations and test crews ability to quickly and safely prepare aircraft for a mass launch; depending on the purpose of the training event Elephant Walk may terminate with the aircraft taking off in sequence, or taxi back to the apron.

In April 2012, nearly 70 F-15E Strike Eagles took part to one of the largest Elephant Walk to date at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.

C-130 Elephant Walk

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

Fuel Trucks for the F-35 Painted White to keep the Jet Fuel Cool (and prevent engine shutdowns)

Air Force fuel trucks repainted to keep temperature within the F-35’s threshold.

According to an Air Force press release, the F-35 jets may face another issue.

The problem is not related to the jet itself, but to the fuel trucks thermal management: the Lightning II has a fuel temperature threshold and may not function properly if the fuel is delivered to the aircraft at high temperature. Should the temperature of the  fuel get too high, the F-35 could face engine shutdowns.

Therefore trucks at Luke Air Force Base, in Arizona, where temperature can reach beyond 110° F (43° C) in summer months, were given a new look, by applying a two layer coating, dubbed “solar polyurethane enamel”, that will help prevent fuel stored in the tanks from over-heating.

However, the professionals providing the new coating of the trucks, said that the layer does not necessarily need to be white, since only the “reflective” coating is of white color. Additional green paint may be applied in order to add camouflage. Some of the Luke AFB specialists stated that this is still to be tested.

Nevertheless, the ground crew hope that the green color can be used again, keeping the temperatures down, since the white refueling trucks are visible at long distances.

fuel truck

White color is a definitely an intermediary-short term fix, mainly due to the tactical deficiencies it brings along. Long-term solutions?

The Air Force may change the composition of the fuel used by the Lightnings.

Another option is to refine the software used by the engine. Cost-wise, both these options are more expensive than re-painting the fuel trucks, which, as the Air Force claims, costs $3,900 per truck.

In the light of the more significant problems faced by the F-35 program, the fuel issue might just simply have been overlooked.

Nonetheless, as some analysts pointed out, it may add an overhead in terms of cost, management, procedures etc. meaning that the development of the F-35 would become a bit more expensive (and this would not be a good news).

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

Video of A-10 attacking ISIS targets in Iraq emerges

The A-10 is back in Iraq doing what it does better than many other assets: attacking hostile targets that threaten friendly forces or assets on the ground.

During the week of Nov. 17-21, the U.S. Air Force moved a squadron-sized element of A-10C Thunderbolt aircraft from Bagram, Afghanistan, to Ahmed al Jaber airbase, in Kuwait, to join the fight against ISIS.

The aircraft belong to the 163rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron “Blacksnakes”, part of the 122nd Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard, based at Fort Wayne, Indiana.

US A-10 Ahmed al Jaber Air Base

Little was known about their activities in support of Operation Inherent Resolve until a video showing a “Warthog” (as the A-10 is nicknamed among the fighter pilots community) attacking ground targets in Al Anbar region, in western Iraq, using its GAU-8 Avenger a 30 mm hydraulically driven seven-barrel Gatling-type cannon

The Air Force planned to get rid of the A-10 but the Congress blocked the retirement in 2015 keeping part of the Warthog fleet (100 aircraft) intact.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force