Browsing: Vehicles

A Brief History We previously told you about the AC-130 Spectre, the highest evolution of the cargo plane converted to gunship, in use from Viet Nam through today.  Here we look at ground attack aircraft throughout history and list what may be 10 of the greatest examples of that type of airplane.  The order listed is roughly our idea of “best,” although that is quite subjective and open for debate.  Please feel free to make the case for your favorite ground attack plane and the order you would list these fearsome aircraft. (Honorable mention to the Hawker Siddley, later McDonnel-Douglas, AV-8…

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A Brief History On August 16, 1942, while on routine anti-submarine patrol, the 2 man crew of US Navy Blimp L-8 disappeared without a trace.  The unmanned blimp drifted about aimlessly until crash landing in Daly City, California.  No trace of the crew or reason for their disappearance has ever been found. Digging Deeper (Note: An unrelated disaster, the 1964 Republican National Convention was held in the modern city limits of Daly City, although History usually refers to the convention as being held in San Francisco.  Barry Goldwater was nominated for President, and went on to lose by a record…

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A Brief History On August 10, 1904, during the Russo-Japanese War history observed the first battle between modern steel battleships in the Battle of the Yellow Sea.  (A minor battle had taken place a few months prior that lasted only 20 minutes that trapped the Russians at Port Arthur.) Digging Deeper The Battle of the Yellow Sea took place between what is referred to as Pre-Dreadnought type battleships, which were being built during this time.  Still, the all steel Pre-Dreadnoughts were heavily armed with a main battery of 12 inch guns that could shoot to an unprecedented range of 8…

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A Brief History On August 8, 1946, the Convair B-36 Peacemaker nuclear bomber made its first flight.  Later referred to as the “Billion Dollar Boondoggle” by the program’s opponents, the B-36 competed with the US Navy’s super carrier program for limited tax dollars. Digging Deeper The first bomber in the world able to carry a nuclear payload right from the start, the massive bomber also had the widest wingspan (230 feet) of any bomber in history and the most (10) engines of any mass produced airplane.  When the 6 mighty 3800 horsepower (apiece!) piston powered radial engines proved inadequate for…

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A Brief History On August 5, 1620, the Mayflower set out from England with another ship, the Speedwell, on its first attempt to take Pilgrims to the New World.  When the Speedwell started leaking, the ships turned back for repair.  Setting off again, the Speedwell again leaked and the ships returned, this time to for the Mayflower to take on Speedwell passengers and continue the Trans-Atlantic voyage alone. Digging Deeper Mayflower finally set sail for America on September 6 with 102 Pilgrims aboard (instead of the intended 65), and a crew of perhaps 25 to 30 men.  Not a big…

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