The US Air Force will reportedly ship perfectly good F-16s to the desert — and potentially slow down the F-35 program — if it is forced to keep the A-10 beyond the date it wants it retired:
The House Armed Services Committee inserted $683 million into the 2016 defense bill to stop the Air Force from retiring the A-10 Warthog.
However, Air Force leaders said the service will have to mothball F-16s and delay the deployment of the F-35 in response to the move by the committee.
The HASC logic basically says the Air Force needs the A-10 right now, as Read more
A US Air Force B-1B Lancer (or “Bone”) crashed in Montana yesterday. The four-man crew ejected.
A crew of two pilots and two weapon systems officers were on board. All four members of the aircrew safely ejected with some injuries…
“Right now all of our thoughts and prayers are with the crews and their families,” [Col Kevin Kennedy, the 28th Bomb Wing commander] said.
The B-1 is sometimes described as the “fighter” of the bomber world. It is powered by four of the same engines used in the F-15/F-16, is supersonic, is controlled by a stick rather than a yoke, and is (thankfully) equipped with four ejection seats. It flies essentially like other bombers, though.
As usual, the Air Force will investigate and publish its findings at a later date.
Despite ongoing budget issues, the US Air Force intends to develop and field a new bomber colloiqually known as the Long Range Strike Aircraft.
The Air Force has already set aside $292 million in research dollars for the bomber in their fiscal 2013 budget request. The service plans to spend $6.3 billion into the effort over the next five years. Once developed, the new bomber will replace B-1Bs and B-2s. The new plane will be designed to evade advanced aerial defense systems, employ stealth Read more
According to an Air Force Times article, the Air Force is directing its pilots to plan and conduct their missions more efficiently to save fuel.
Interestingly, while the article focuses on fighter pilots, fighter pilots are the ones least able to contribute to the fuel-saving effort. LtGen William Rew noted that the restrictions on fuel consumption did not apply to the “combat phase of a training sortie.” For a fighter, that would mean that the fuel-savings mentality would be valid for only a few minutes on each flight.
In addition, the “efficient” flying suggestions won’t necessarily change fuel consumption. For example, the article notes that pilots are told to return home at 300 knots rather than 350 — but that assumes pilots were flying at the faster airspeed to begin with. It also assumes the relative fuel burn between those two speeds is large enough to be Read more