The U.S. Air Force is quietly assembling the world’s most powerful air-to-air fighting team at bases near Iran. Stealthy F-22 Raptors on their first front-line deployment have joined a potent mix of active-duty and Air National Guard F-15 Eagles, including some fitted with the latest advanced radars. The Raptor-Eagle team has been honing special tactics for clearing the air of Iranian fighters in the event of war.
The highly-experienced Massachusetts Guardsmen, who typically have several years more experience than their active-duty counterparts, would be ready “should Iran test the 104th,” said wing commander Col. Robert Brooks.
…it’s the methods above that the U.S. dogfighting armada would likely use to wipe out the antiquated but determined Iranian air force if the unthinkable occurred and fighting broke out. The warplanes are in place. The pilots are ready. Hopefully they won’t be needed.
As the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration prepares to let civilian unmanned aircraft operate in domestic airspace, universities including Embry-Riddle have created majors in flying and building drones. Enrollment is accelerating as students look for new opportunities in an aviation job market pummeled by airline bankruptcies.
The drone industry, estimated worldwide at $5.9 billion annually, will expand to $11.3 billion by 2021.
During the past 10 years, drones have become a vital military tool in Iraq and Afghanistan, creating a platform to attack terrorists without risking pilots’ lives and giving ground troops a chance to see their opponents from the air.
Congress passed bills in December and February that ordered the FAA to create six test sites for flying unmanned aircraft alongside regular planes. The agency must also complete a plan for integrating unmanned flights into the aviation system by Sept. 30, 2015.
Unmanned aircraft could be used for photography, police surveillance and monitoring pipelines and power lines. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has special permission to use drones.
NASA’s space shuttle Discovery is set to land in Washington, D.C. this April, where the now retired fleet leader — the world’s most flown spacecraft — will be welcomed by the Smithsonian Institution during a four-day public festival, museum officials said on Tuesday (Feb. 28).
Flying from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida atop a modified Boeing 747 jetliner, Discovery is scheduled to touch down at Washington Dulles International Airport on April 17, weather permitting. It will then be offloaded by crane and towed to the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, two days later.