Monthly Archives: May 2012

Watch this: mini-drone spots looter inside church damaged by powerful earthquake in northern Italy

On May 20 a powerful earthquake followed by a second major tremor on May 29, hit northern Italy (especially Emilia Romagna region).  The death toll of the quakes is 17 and 350 are the injured ones.

Furthermore, more than 15,000 people were made temporarily homeless as several buildings collapsed or were severely damaged in what is the deadliest quake in Italy since L’Aquila in 2009.

Among the other assets involved in the rescue operations, providing in-flight surveys and collect imagery of the damaged buildings, there is also a quadrotor mini-drone, produced by the Italdron, a small Italian company founded by three friends.

Equipped with small high-definition camera, the tiny ‘bot is controlled with a sort of big remote control (see some images here).

It provides low-quality live video feeds even if it records HD footage as the ones you can see below.

The first video shows what was later identified as a looter (highlighted, min 01:00) moving inside a collapsed church at San Felice sul Panaro, near Modena.

Here’s another video recorded by a Italdron, showing the damage caused by the devastating quakes on May 20 and May 29.

Jet-porn: U.S. Air Force B-1 bomber flying low and fast in some of the best "Bone" photos ever taken.

The following pictures were taken by Larry Titchenal, on Friday Apr. 27, 2012 during the practice day of the Fort Lauderdale Airshow, in Florida.

Two four-engine variable-sweep wing strategic bombers belonging to the 28th Bomb Wing, based at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, made passes around 30 seconds apart.

The first made a high-speed pass whereas the second made a slow pass.

Due to the high speed, the fast pass generated some condensation clouds around the Lancer’s surfaces, engines, and Sniper Advanced Targeting pod. Such clouds are not visual effects of the so called “sonic boom”: when an aircraft flies at transonic speeds (around Mach 1.0), any of its convex parts (canopy, intakes, pod etc.) causes a rapid decrease of temperature and pressure with subsequent creation of the cloud.

The variation in temperature caused by the perturbation of the airflows is called Prandtl-Glauert Singularity.

On Mar. 27, 2011, two B-1Bs of the 28th BW took off from Ellsworth AFB on a Global Strike mission to strike Libyan military sites and air defense systems. That mission marked the first time the B-1 fleet has launched combat sorties from the continental United States to strike targets overseas.

More recently, the 28th BW’s “Bones” (from B-One) have been involved in long-range exercise “Chimichanga” alongside F-22 Raptors.

Image credit: Larry Titchenal

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Video: DIY anti-aircraft pick up used by Free Syria Army to shoot down Assad's helicopters

The following video, uploaded on Youtube on May 29, shows members of the Free Syria Army, using a gun mounted on a pick-up to target an overlying regime’s Mil Mi-8 helicopter, at Alatareb, northern Syria.

DIY pick-ups equipped with rocket launchers, that reminded some Mad Max vehicles, were extensively used during last year’s Libyan uprising.

Something much weird of the anti-aircraft pick up was recently spotted in Homs, Syria. It’s a sort-of improvised Suzuki pickup converted into armored vehicle capable to open its way through barriers and sand bags, equipped with a Doshka machine gun.

Dubbed T-HOMS75 by the Zaman Al Wasl reporter that took the first pictures of it, the vehicle is operated by a crew three people (driver, gunner and assistant): the gunner stands behind the drivers cabine with the gun placed on top of it.

It is capable of a maximum speed of 80 km/h (due to the added weight) and gives protection against light and medium machine guns, allowing to move in places guarded by snipers.

Image credit: Zaman Al Wasl

Mass mobility exercise with nearly 70 cargo planes at Nellis Air Force Base

On May 23, the U.S. Air Force Weapons School conducted its Mobility Forces Exercise, or MAFEX, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

Nearly 70 aircraft, primarily consisting of C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 Hercules aircraft, operated in the Nevada Test and Training Range simulating a “forced entry” operation. In the scenario, U.S. forces had to pentrate a defended enemy country to put troops on the ground through combined airdrops of 100 paratroops and supporting equipment and landings on unprepared landing strip.

Part of the six-month Weapons Instructor Course, the exercise included units from multiple services from bases around the world, syncronized to arrive on the Nevada range in an orchestrated, combined force, as the following image shows.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Lawrence Crespo

Can you spot the guerrilla warfare specialists hiding in this image? Too late, you are dead.

I’ve already explained why camouflage color schemes are important in military aviation by publishing an image of two Israeli F-16s barely visible on a desert background.

Obviously, not only planes rely on camouflage for survival in combat.

Look at the following image published by the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) on Flickr and try to spot the guerrilla warfare specialists from the elite Egoz reconnaissance unit blended with the landscape of northern Israel.

You would not notice them if I didn’t tell you that someone was depicted in the photo. But, above all, they would have killed you well before you had spotted them.

Hint: there are two soldiers in the photo.

Image credit: IDF on Flickr

H/T to Guido Olimpio for the heads-up