Browsing: Naval aviation

It’s not just the littoral combat ship Independence that has a cameo in a Disney movie. All sorts of Navy hardware show up for an upcoming release. A carrier and at least a squadron’s worth of Super Hornets are featured in “Planes,” a direct-to-video movie expected in 2013. A frame-by-frame review of the trailer shows that in addition to Hornets, there’s what looks like an S-3B Viking in the background of an unidentifiable aircraft carrier (a big “10” is painted on the flight deck, but this ship is clearly is not Yorktown, which was decommissioned in 1970), and a B-2…

A tip of the hat to the Navy and its Facebook notifications for the reminder that today marked the 50th anniversary of an event frozen in the minds of many Americans of a (ahem!) certain age: the day Navy Cmdr. Alan Shepard became the first American launched into space. His feat captivated the nation, and won back some American pride bruised by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin beating him into space by 23 days. The Naval Academy grad and jet test pilot had in 1959 become one of the original Mercury astronauts — the guys with the “Right Stuff,” as Tom…

The vision that began with a January 2001 contract award will be fully realized on Wednesday, May 11, when the carrier George H.W. Bush leaves Norfolk to begin its first-ever combat deployment. The 1,092-foot Bush is the 10th and final carrier of the Nimitz class. Commissioned in January 2009, the carrier, as well as its strike group, have been in training for this cruise for most of the past year. The Bush Carrier Strike Group, led by Rear Adm. Nora Tyson, will consist of five total ships, eight aircraft squadrons and nearly 6,000 sailors, and will operate in the 5th…

Tucked between displays of what will become the future of naval aviation is a tribute to the previous century of naval flight. An early flight simulator is one of the more interesting attractions. It looks like a really intense kiddie ride, one of those machines found outside of grocery stores that that blare really loud music and buck kids around for a quarter. Basically, the aviation simulator is a miniature open-cockpit airplane — it’s around the size of a golf cart — sitting atop a hydraulic system. The cockpit has a series of controls that make the whole device move…

Unmanned aerial vehicles aren’t brand-spanking new to naval aviation; UAVs the Navy uses include the rotary-wing Fire Scout and the RQ-2A Pioneer. But the next big thing in unmanned flight at sea will be an aircraft that can take off from and land on a carrier. Several companies are in the process of making that happen. The big names in flight are displaying wares that they hope become the backbone of the Navy’s collection of UAVs at the Sea Air Space Expo at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. Look at the pictures above.…

Huntington Ingalls Industries must have made a Best Buy run before they set up their stall at the Navy League’s Sea Air Space Exposition. Exhibitors use all sorts of displays to show off their goodies, but HII’s came complete with video games and a huge 3-D television, which would make  teenage boys everywhere incredibly jealous … at least if they came here. The video game ran on an X-Box but it wasn’t getting much attention, maybe because the objective was to fight fires on a flight deck. It’s just not quite the same as “Call of Duty.” Nearby was a…

Officials have to be encouraged at the trend toward a safer on- and off-duty Navy, indicated by near-mid-year Naval Safety Center statistics. We type those words with a big “knock on wood,” of course. But with the fiscal year — which began Oct. 1 — nearly halfway gone, it’s looking like the Navy is shaping up, safety-wise — at least in terms of major mishaps, and on- and off-duty deaths. Check the trends for the fiscal year through March 23, referred to in the following as “at this point”: Class A afloat mishaps: two this year compared to four a…

Navy ships and subs launched a barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles at Libyan air defenses Saturday, including this one, filmed by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Sunderman, leaping skyward out of the Norfolk-based destroyer Barry. The strikes, and subsequent bomb attacks by U.S., French and British aircraft, followed the March 17 passage of a U.N. resolution authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect civilians in Libya, particularly rebel fighters, being attacked by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s forces. The coalition air strikes continued Sunday, with the Associated Press reporting that a line of Libyan tanks south of Benghazi were destroyed. Rebel…

The Marine Corps variant of the Joint Strike Fighter is officially on shaky ground, as observers of military affairs learned Jan. 6 when Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressed concern over “significant testing problems” and announced he was putting the F-35B “on the equivalent of a two-year probation.” Oddly, that same day, manufacturer Lockheed Martin said the jet made its first vertical landing — at the same base, Naval Air Station Patuxent, Md., where the jet completed its first successful hover test in March. Impressive. What can’t be seen, however, are the testing problems that Gates could lead to “a redesign…

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