reconnaissance aircraft

The Me 163 that intercepted a Spitfire PR XI but failed to engage because the rocket powered fighter ran out of fuel just as its pilot was about to commence his attack

The Me 163 that intercepted a Spitfire PR XI but failed to engage because the rocket powered fighter ran out of fuel just as its pilot was about to commence his attack

Although the Me 163 rocket powered fighter had a frighteningly high-top speed and rate of climb, its endurance was very… Read More

3 months ago

Did you know the solid quartz glass of the canopy of the SR-71 Blackbird cockpit was 1.25 inches thick and was hot to the touch from the inside?

SR-71 Blackbird Pilots and RSOs, even with gloves on, couldn’t keep their hands by the glass for more than a… Read More

7 months ago

Video shows Chinese Navy J-11 fighter jet flying within 20 feet of USAF RC-135 reconnaissance plane

The Chinese Navy J-11 pilot flew an unsafe maneuver by flying in front of and within 20 feet of the… Read More

9 months ago

Russian Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker fighter jet fires missile near RAF RC-135W Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft

On Sep. 29 a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 (NATO reporting name: Flanker) fighter jet “released a missile” near a British RC-135… Read More

12 months ago

U-2 pilot describes how Carmine Vito, the only U-2 pilot to fly over Moscow, almost bit his poison cyanide pill in half while flying over Soviet Union

‘He started to suck on it. Luckily, he realized his mistake in a split second and spit it out in… Read More

1 year ago

“We could have gone faster.” SR-71 Blackbird crew members recall the Inlet Unstart that prevented them to go Faster than Mach 3.2 during the Absolute Speed Record run

‘Al and I had the ACTUAL speed record. 2200 indicated in our equipment aboard 958! Theirs.... 2193....NAH!,’ Lt. Col. George… Read More

1 year ago

How the iconic U-2 got its name: Test Pilot Tony LeVier gave Kelly Johnson the finger, Johnson returned giving LeVier the finger and yelled, “U-2”!

During the first flight at the Ranch, Kelly Johnson was on the radio telling Tony LeVier how to land the… Read More

1 year ago

U-2 flies last Optical Bar Camera mission, but Dragon Lady pilots will retain the knowledge and skills to employ the sensor

The Optical Bar Camera mission, which captures daylight acquisition of high-altitude photographs, will transition to forward operating locations supported by… Read More

1 year ago

RB-36 Crew Member recalls when his Peacemaker Pilot did a Chandelle Maneuver on Takeoff during an Airshow and, on a separate occasion, did an Emergency Landing with a Loose Flap

‘During my three years at Ellsworth Air Force Ease I had two events that I call outstanding,’ A/1C Ralph Whitaker… Read More

2 years ago

SR-71 Pilot tells the story of when his Blackbird flew So Fast that He and his RSO Landed at Beale AFB almost a Day Before They Took Off from Kadena AB

‘I am really tired of hearing the “LA speed story” so I thought I would relay a mission that gives… Read More

2 years ago

Did you know the navigator’s station in Canberra PR.9 was one of the most uncomfortable crew stations ever designed?

The Canberra PR.9 incorporated a hinged nose for access to the navigator’s station which included an ejection seat. The English… Read More

2 years ago

In 1985 an SH 37 Viggen in reconnaissance mission performed aerobatic manoeuvres at low altitude to shake off two Soviet Su-15s. One of the Flagons crashed.

Royal Swedish Air Force commander Lt.-Gen. Sven-Olof Olson officially expressed his regret about the incident. However, the Soviet Union did… Read More

2 years ago

Naval Aviator explains why the Iconic Vigilante is his favorite US Navy Aircraft

‘The “Viggie” was fast as stink - Mach 2 at altitude - and I always felt it was just a… Read More

3 years ago

The True Story Behind the Famous Sequence of Thirteen Days Movie featuring the RF-8 Crusader Low-Level High Speed Run Over Cuba during the Missile Crisis

Recovering at Jacksonville after a mission, each Crusader would receive another 'dead chicken' marking below its cockpit to denote the… Read More

4 years ago

USAF RC-135V Rivet Joint Spy Plane flies over Black Sea amid Naval Clash between Russia and Ukraine

Flight Radar monitors showed the RC-135V has been flying close to the Crimean Peninsula, a Russian territory in the Black… Read More

5 years ago

Read the story of the SR-71 crew that landed their Blackbird in zero visibility

"With no forward visibility from the back seat, my RSO was looking through his viewsight and had picked up the… Read More

5 years ago

All you need to know about applying to fly the SR-71 Blackbird

"I came away with one observation—the more recommendations an applicant had from general officers, the less likely were his chances… Read More

5 years ago