The Buzz

No Plane Has Made More History Than the U-2 (And It Never Fired a Shot)

With the conclusion of the Cold War, U-2Rs and TR-1s were converted to a new model designated the U-2S, thirty-one of which remain in service today. The U-2S has a more powerful F118 engine boosting speed to over five hundred miles per hour, as well as improved sensors and a GPS system. In 2012 the aircraft were further modified under the CARE program to have lower cabin pressure and and cleaner urine collection to make flying them more tolerable for the pilots.

This Is the World's Fastest Plane (And Its Rotting in A Museum)

The SR-71’s JP-7 fuel—which also had to be carried onboard specialized KC-135Q tankers to refuel the Blackbird—was designed to be a safe, high-flashpoint fuel that would not vaporize or blow up under extreme heat and pressure. It had such low volatility that one could supposedly extinguish a match in a puddle of JP-7. But that also meant that the fuel was difficult to ignite using the convention systems, which meant Lockheed had to develop a triethylborane-based chemical ignition system for the SR-71’s engines—adding to the jet’s complexity and maintenance costs.

The Navy's Ultimate Dream Weapon: Merging an Aircraft Carrier and a Battleship

Today all four Iowa-class battleships are scattered across the United States serving as floating museum ships. New technologies such as lasers and railguns will almost certainly spark a new wave of calls for reintroducing the ships with 21st Century technologies. While unlikely in the current fiscal environment, such a possibility shouldn’t be completely ruled out. The Iowa class keeps coming back, and still may yet again.

South Korea to Deploy 10,000 Police to Protect Olympic Games

South Korean police had better not plan on getting much rest during the upcoming Winter Olympics: The country will deploy 10,000 police officers, backed up with the highest technology, to protect the Games, the Korean National Police (KNP) announced on Tuesday.

Special measures are being emplaced to prevent all forms of terrorism, to handle traffic and to manage the highly anticipated visit of a large North Korean delegation, the senior police official overseeing the Winter Olympics, which take place from February 9-25, explained in a briefing to foreign reporters in Seoul.

The Navy Is Getting Ready for Amphibious War

The Navy is seeking to accelerate delivery of a new, multi-mission amphibious assault ship designed to function in a modern threat environment, conduct a wider range of missions than the ship it is replacing, and help the service increase the lagging number of amphibs in the force, senior service officials said at the 30th Surface Navy Association’s National Symposium in Virginia.

Here's Who Would Win Between Nazi Germany's Battleship Bismarck and Japan's Monster Yamato

Before long, the Japanese begin to reply with their 18.1” guns. Both the Germans and the Japanese have excellent fire control, but the contest is unequal. The fifteen-inch guns of Bismarck and Tirpitz fire at a greater rate than the Japanese guns, but even when they hit, they do relatively little damage to the vitals of the Japanese ships (although they extensively scar the upper works). By contrast, the 18.1” hits begin to do serious damage immediately, plunging into the German ships at great range. Large and with effective subdivisions, neither German ship suffers lethal damage.

The 5 Most Shocking Battleship Battles of All Time

When the German battleship Bismarck entered service in 1941, she became the largest warship in the world, displacing the Royal Navy battlecruiser HMS Hood.  In May 1941, the Bismarck sortied from Norway in the company of the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen.  The Germans planned to use the pair as commerce raiders, with Bismarck drawing off or destroying the capital ship escorts of any convoys, while Prinz Eugen concentrated on the merchant ships themselves. The first task force to intercept Bismarck included HMS Hood, HMS Prince of Wales, and four destroyers.

Stealth and Speed: America's SR-71 Blackbird Might Be Old (But Still the World's Fastest Plane)

The Blackbird’s design reflected the fact that it was pushing the limits. The crew wore pressure suits like those used on space missions to withstand the high altitudes they were flying at, and were treated to a medical exam and a high-protein steak and egg meals before each mission. The SR-71’s J58 engines could only start through use of two vehicle-mounted V8 starter engines, and the triethylborane used in the fuel would belch green flames during ignition.

Here's Who Would Win Between Nazi Germany's Bismarck and the Navy's Last Battleship

The larger context of the battle—the U.S. Navy being forced to take on the German Navy—would have had serious repercussions for the Pacific theater. Germany was, after all, considered the primary threat, with Japan second and Italy third. A more powerful German Navy (or weaker Royal Navy) would have had second order consequences for the Pacific, delaying the Solomons campaign, including the invasion of Guadalcanal, the Battle of the Coral Sea, and even the Battle of Midway.

Is This the Real 'F-52' Fighter?

President Donald Trump recently told reporters that the United States had delivered the F-52 to Norway. The statement was obviously a mistake; there is no such thing as an F-52 yet. The aircraft only exists in the context of a video game called “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare”—however, there was once a real world concept that looks similar to the fiction jet.

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