U.S. Air Force enlisted personnel will be able to fly the remotely-piloted vehicles commonly known as drones, officials announced today. The idea has been kicked around for many years in one form or another, but the recent drone pilot crisis seems to have finally made the Air Force change its ways.
Lockheed’s initiative to create an optionally-manned alternative to the U-2 Dragon Lady and RQ-4 Global Hawk has taken a “tactical” turn. Skunk Works has morphed its philosophy into what appears to be an unmanned stealthy aircraft dubbed the Tactical Reconnaissance-X.
Lockheed’s vaunted Skunk Works is setting its sights on developing a successor to its venerable U-2 Dragon Lady spy plane and Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) drone. This new aircraft will seemingly take the best of the unmanned and manned features of both aircraft, and fuse…
China has reportedly been trying to jam U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk flights flying over the increasingly volatile South China Sea. Meanwhile, they are busy perfecting their own High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft, with new pictures of a twin fuselage design emerging on the internet.
The Global Hawk has been flying for close to 15 years, and its development has been a twisting road filled with dead ends and wandering requirements. After over $10B spent and almost 50 airframes produced I ventured to Edwards AFB to get a rare close up look at what we actually paid for.
Foxtrot Alpha ventured to Edwards AFB late last spring to catch up with the RQ-4 Global Hawk test team to see how the program was progressing. While there, we also got a unique first-hand account of what it is like to 'fly' an aircraft that essentially flies itself.
While the world is tied up in the mystery of what happened to Malaysian Air Flight 370, testers at Edwards AFB in south central California and at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland are hard at work developing the ultimate tool for solving such a mystery, the Northrop Grumman built MQ-4C Triton.
The venerable U-2 'Dragon Lady' is a spy plane born from Cold War necessity that soldiered on operationally for decades past anyone's wildest dreams. She went from sleek design to a bulging beast of burden whose silhouette can change as fast as her mission requires it to. Here's a guide to her many configurations.
The Lockheed U-2 was designed to keep tabs on the Soviet Union over half a century ago. The RQ-4 Global Hawk drone was designed to replace this 50s antique. But how strange you are, fate! The U-2's replacing its successor.
I keep forgetting about how damn huge some drones are. Most people think they are tiny, like toy planes. As this photo of a Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk shows, they are actually big. Big as in pretty damn huge.