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Edwards AFB, August 27 1990

the battle for a new contract of the century is indeed committed. The winner will be called, as of the end of the Nineties, to replace the F-15 Eagle and F-14 Tomcat of Navy and the US Air Force. The stake is serious since with it only Navy plans to acquire per less than 750 FRA (Advanced Tactical Fighter). The total cost of the program could border the 140 billion dollars, with a hoped unit cost of approximately 40 million dollars. First of the two competitors, the YF-23 of Northrop and McDonnell-Douglas, accomplished today first a one hour flight since the base of Edwards, in the desert of Mojave, preceding few weeks presentation of its rival, the YF-22, of size close to those of the F-15, was designed according to constraints related to the furtivity: round forms, engine nacelles integrated into the aerofoil, drifts notched out of V and air intake under the aerofoil. Like the YF-22, the YF-23 is a single-seater twin-jet aircraft of a mass of approximately 22 T and a maximum speed about Mach 1.5.


California, October 11 1990

X-31 explores the flight at low speed. The aerial combats of the year 2000 will not be gained by the fastest planes, but by most handy, those which will be able to transfer tightest and to box the most load factor. A hunter able to pass in a few seconds from 500 to 100 nodes or less will dominate the thorough-bred of the Mach. The experimental plane X-31 developped at the point by American Rockwell and German MBB has just started in Palmdale its tests of very slow flight with marked angles of incidence. These tests are intended to study the limits of the evolution of a fighter in taken down flight, i.e. below the threshold of bearing pressure. The engine with vectorial push of X-31 plays a paramount part in the control of pitching and the laces to the very high incidences. An integrated numerical system makes it possible to the pilot to direct the flow of push.


January 17 1991

an impact on the canopy, a great shock with the head. The sight of the captain Alain Mahagne is disturbed. It has been just touched by a ball of small gauge. Instinctively, it draws on the handle to move away from the ground. The French officer rocked in the war this morning at 4 a.m. 30, at the time of the briefing with Al-Asha. The pilots of the 11th squadron of hunting of Toul received for mission of bombarding aerodrome Al-Jaber with. At 5 a.m. 30, 12 Jaguar take off: the pilots will receive their baptism of fire. Four aircraft are equipped with missiles HAVE 30 with laser guidance. The Jaguar attack at low altitude: a tactic which will prove very risky vis-a-vis with the DCA Iraqi. With the apparatus of the Mahagne captain, four planes are touched. A ball came to be placed in the pitch control of the one of them. Another received a missile SAM 7, which will not explode, in his right engine, while the engines of a fourth were sifted of grapeshot. Two Jaguar had to be posed urgently in Jubail. From now on, the French pilots will attack in piqué.


Baghdad, January 17 1991

the sky of Baghdad has been just illuminated. It is 2 a.m. 40, the shootings of anti-aircraft batteries burst above the Iraqi capital. The American furtive planes entered the dance. About thirty F-117A, equipped with bombs BLU 109 900 kg to laser guidance, sign the beginning of the war. Cruise missiles Tomahawk, drawn since the Gulf, strike in the heart of the city with a precision époustouflante. Before the first wave of assault, EF-111A Raven, F-4G Wild Weasel and other planes specialized in the electronic war scrambled the radars, the fire control systems and the communications enemy. At 3 a.m. 15, in its F-15, the captain Steve Tate, 28 years, flies over Baghdad: "With all the explosions, the city was like glaze of a Christmas decoration!" The alarm of the radar resounds. In the darkness, an Iraqi plane, probably a F1 Mirage, take altitude quickly. A pressure of the finger, the Sparrow missile sinks on its prey. A ball of fire: first air victory of the war.


Paris Air Show, June 23 1991

Thank you with Mr. Gorbatchev! Without its new policy, never very secret Mig-31 Foxhound would not have been shown in Occident. Here with the living room, in its delivered aluminium and blue, a little old-fashioned air compared with the coldly returned American monsters of the Gulf, which are aligned just opposite with their paintings of war. However, eight years after its operational service entrance, Mig-31 remainders the most powerful interceptor in the world. Two-seater derived from Mig-25, 41 T on takeoff, it is equipped with two Soloviev engines of 15 T thorough each one. Its mission: to prohibit the Soviet sky with the strategic bombers and cruise missiles. Its asset: the radar Zaslon, the first designed in the USSR with a capacity of detection downwards, which makes it possible to locate and draw from the targets evolving/moving at low altitude, in spite of the ground effect which scrambles the echoes radar. 10 hostile can be tracked simultaneously by Zaslon, including four engaged with the missile at the same time. The Migone presented at the Paris Air Show is a model export. It was recently proposed... to the Israelis!


Edwards Air Force Bases, 27 Mars 2004

the experimental hypersonic plane without pilot X-43A beat Saturday the world record speed for a machine propelled by an atmospheric engine by briefly reaching 7.700 km/h (Mach 7), announced NASA. "It is a success, all went as envisaged (...) and of the first blow", a spokesman of the American space agency indicated, Leslie William, by specifying that "the atmospheric engine had functioned as envisaged during ten seconds at a hypersonic speed". X-43 was fixed under the wing of a bomber B-52. Once released by the B-52, the prototype was to be thorough at an altitude of 30.000 meters by a rocket. Then the aircraft was to separate and fly of it in an autonomous way at the speed of seven times the speed of sound (7.700 km/h). The preceding record speed with an atmospheric engine (in opposition to an engine of rocket) had been established by spy plane SR-71 "Blackbird" at Mach 3,2 (3.500 km/h). Another experimental plane, X-15, flew at Mach 6,7 but it acted of a "rocket", carrying with him its combustive. X-43 is an apparatus of small size (3,65 m length for 1,5 m of scale), of flat profile and with the frayed lines, extremely aerodynamic. It results 20 years of research in the technology known as of the "scramjet" (Supersonic Combustible Ramjet) founded on the propulsion by ramjet with supersonic combustion. The ramjet machine is the first which could be able to draw oxygen necessary to its propulsion directly in the atmosphere that it crosses at very high speed, contrary to the rockets or space shuttles which must carry with them enormous oxygen reserves for combustion by a mixture with hydrogen.


Edwards Air Force Bases, November 17 2004

Record with 11 000 km/h for a supersonic aircraft. "Once more, we reached a historical stage in the history of aviation", launched this night on the chain of television of NASA Vincent Rausch, director of program X-43A. Announced speed is of 11 000 km/h for the supersonic aircraft but it specifies that the figure correct will be known after the analysis of the flight. A B52 bomber of the US Air Force had taken off of the base of Edwards in California Tuesday evening carrying under its right wing X-43 with a little more than 12.000 meters of altitude. Once detached of the plane, after a rise of approximately one hour, the X-43A, halfway between the plane and the spacecraft, was increased to 30.000 meters by a Pegasus rocket of which it then separated to fly in an autonomous way with its ramjet lit to nearly Mach 10 during 10 seconds. The plane then continued its impetus by carrying out during ten minutes a series of canned operations before going to finish its race in the Pacific. Last March, another specimen of the X-43A had reached nearly Mach 7 (7.700 km/h), beating the preceding record speed with an atmospheric engine (in opposition to a rocket motor) established by spy plane SR-71 Blackbird at Mach 3,2 (3.500 km/h) in the Sixties. The last two successes of X-43, an apparatus of small size to the flat profile and the very aerodynamic lines, result 20 years of research in the technology known as of the "scramjet" (Supersonic Combustible Ramjet) founded on the propulsion by ramjet with supersonic combustion. Contrary to the rockets which must carry oxygen for the combustion of their engine, a ramjet burns its fuel by using the oxygen of the atmosphere which it crosses at high speed. The dream of the US Air Force: Joel Sitz, the project leader X-43, a programme of 230 million dollars, explained in a press conference at the base of Edwards that this historical flight "had opened the way with the technology of the scramjet which has without any doubt a future". The US Air Force seeks to develop a plane able to reach any point of the sphere in less than two hours while transporting six tons of bombs or cruise missiles. The Pentagon and the Australian ministry of Defense will try in 2005 in Australia to make steal another "scramjet" at Mach 10 within the framework of a project, which they cofinance, aiming at using this technology to place satellites in orbit.


Salina, 3 Mars 2005

Fossett beats the record of the turn of the world in the plane without stopover and supply The turn of the world in 67 hours. After having traversed 37.000 kilometers of a draft, Steve Fossett wanted of a good bath, a good meal and a good nap. The adventurer millionaire became Thursday the first man to carry out the turn of the world in the plane without stopover nor supply. He completed his exploit at the place where he had started it, in Salina, a small city of Kansas in the center of the United States. Several thousands of people had gathered at the aerodrome to see it posing its GlobalFlyer. This apparatus was designed by the engineer who had imagined Voyager, on board of which two pilots had carried out the first turn of the world in the plane in 1986. "Believe, it is super for me to find the ground", declared the aviator. "It is one of the most difficult things that I achieved." He explained to have survived by swallowing a dozen milk shakes lasting all the flight and by drinking much water. He suffered from headaches - which precisely disappeared by drinking water as well as lack from sleep. To be relieved, it made wee in bottles. Steve Fossett made a success of this tour as of its first attempt, whereas it had had to be caught there with six times to achieve its turn of the world in balloon in solo. Wednesday, a fuel problem had caused doubts about the capacity of GlobalFlyer to return to its starting point. The gauges of the 13 tanks of the apparatus single-engined aircraft indicated that 1.170kg, on the 8.145 embarked for the flight, "had volitilized", according to the team on the ground of Steve Fossett. One was unaware of if it acted of a leakage or a problem of gauge. The team had then wondered whether it were necessary to be posed in Hawaii or to continue above the Pacific Ocean to the American continent. The pilot had sliced while launching: "Let us go there!" Pushed then by strong winds postpones, Steve Fossett could fly over Los Angeles then to move towards Salina. At the time of its preceding record, in balloon, in 2002, it had taken off and landed in Australia. The millionaire originating in Chicago also crossed the English Channel to the stroke, taken part in the race of huskies Iditarod, in Alaska, and with 24 hours the motor race of Mans, in France. Fossett also holds the absolute record of the turn of the world to the veil, since April 5, 2004, in 58 days, 09 hours and 32 minutes. Wiley Post, a pioneer of aviation, had carried out the first turn of the world as a recluse in 1933 but it had been necessary for him more than seven days and of many stopovers. The turn of the world without stopover was produced in 1986 by the duet Jeana Yeager and Dick Rutan, the brother of Burt Rutan, the originator To travel and GlobalFlyer. Immediately after having left the plane, Fossett tightened his Peggy wife in her arms and was congratulated by Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the company Virgin Atlantic, which financed its exploit. "It is something which I wanted to do for a long time, one of my principal ambitions", commented on Fossett. Branson then seized a champagne bottle, and the pilot sprinkled shook. "That was a splendid voyage", declared Branson. "Obviously, it is with the seventh sky."



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