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WASHINGTON — On night missions in the 1980s, when the beam from the E-2 Hawkeye's radar swept over the cockpit, pilots could generate electrical arcs by holding the metal base of their flashlights close to the metal paneling around them.
The arcs "would kind of light up the cockpit at night every time the radar went by," said retired Hawkeye pilot Navy Capt. Ralph Ricardo.
The Hawkeye is an early warning aircraft that is highly recognizable by the large dome-shaped radar on top of the plane. It is used to protect aircraft carriers, detect enemy aircraft or missiles, and act as an airborne command station for the Navy's fighter jets.
In flight, the Hawkeye's dome would complete a full rotation and the beam would sweep above the cockpit about every 10 seconds.
Some pilots at that time wondered what the radar was doing to them when swept past, if it could create such electrical arcs.
"Then, about halfway through my tour, all the sudden they decided to put the gold coating on all of the windows and the escape hatches," Ricardo said. After that, the pilots couldn't create the same electrical arcs, he said.
"It was obviously to keep the radar out of the cockpit," Ricardo said. "I thought … I've been flying for years without it, what's been happening to me in the meantime?"
Before electromagnetic catapults and "goddamned steam," the Navy launched a fixed-wing aircraft off of a warship with nothing but a dose of luck and a giant pair of balls.
Those balls belonged to Eugene Burton Ely, who on Nov. 14, 1910, successfully launched his Curtiss Pusher biplane from the deck of a U.S. Navy warship, the first such flight for a fixed-wing aircraft.
Boeing was forced to ground its 767-based KC-46 tankers for the past week after the Air Force expressed concern about loose tools and bits of debris found in various locations inside the completed airplanes, according to internal company memos.
"We have USAF pilots here for flight training and they will not fly due to the FOD (foreign object debris) issues and the current confidence they have in our product that has been discovered throughout the aircraft," factory management wrote in a Feb. 21 memo to employees on the 767 assembly line.
"This is a big deal," the memo emphasized.
A C-5M Super Galaxy strategic transport aircraft landed with its nose landing gear up at Travis Air Force Base ini California on Thursday evening, an Air Force spokesman told Task & Purpose.
CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. Army pilot Shaun Perez spent ten hours flying an Apache helicopter over Afghanistan, providing gun cover for Special Forces soldiers on the ground as they hunted for high-value targets, guns and weapons.
Returning to his base at dawn, he donned a fresh uniform before shutting himself into a small room to secure the next stage of his career — as a commercial airline pilot.
He would win the job in a video interview that day in August 2017, joining hundreds of other U.S. military helicopter pilots who have taken attractive offers from domestic airlines trying ease a global pilot shortage.
The Russian defense ministry is reportedly seeking the approval of new rules that would give the military permission to shoot down passenger planes deemed dangerous in emergency situations.