Posts tagged ‘cold war’

Jets and Rockets!

Bell X-15 Rocket Plane and Boeing B-52 Flyover (Public Domain)

The Cold War was an amazing time of wholesale fear tied to the rise of technology.

As world powers tread lightly on subjects of military might, atomic weapons, and troop deployments, the engineering behind the power was being displayed and used in other ways.  Rocket power and jet bombers were perfect examples of technology which had come to fruition in the 1950s, and ultimately fine-tuned into the factors we see in the picture above.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Bell X-15 and the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress.

The X-15 was built to test the limits of aerospace technology, operating from 1959 to 1970 with NASA.  It set many records in both speed and altitude,

An American icon of power and aviation, the B-52 first flew in 1954 and went into service with the US Air Force in 1955.  Of the original 744 built through 1962, about 85 continue to fly.  I started looking for cool B-52 pictures recently after reading that the planes were now being configured with Sniper Pods, which will make them an even-more effective tool when collaborating air strikes with ground forces.  Current fitment timelines have it flying – with continuous maintenance – until its full retirement in the 2040s.

That’s right; it will be flying the skies in our military for nearly 90 years.

HL-10 Lifting Body and B-52 Flyover (Public Domain)

 

Now that’s what I call Long Range!

Big Fifties Bomber and The Cold War Cowboy

“Well it was about that time when ole Clem mosied on down to the air strip to take a gander at one of them New-Q-Ler Bommers…”

One of the cutest Fifties pictures I’ve ever seen.  The little man has the stance, the hat and the weapons to remain part of popular culture well into the 21st Century.  I wonder if – as an adult – he realizes that his picture is all over the InterTubes these days.  And the object of his determined look?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the YB60 strategic bomber.

The YB60 was a jet-powered prototype version of the Convair B-36 Peacemaker.  Both planes – being integral to the defense of America during The Cold War – were designed to carry nuclear weapons.  While the B-36 enjoyed a fairly long career (1946 to 1959), the YB60 never got past experimental stage.

The official statement that went with this picture says,

A young “cowboy”, the son of a member of the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California, looks over the Convair built YB-60 during its visit at Edwards from the Fort Worth, Texas, plant.  1953

Ride `em Clem!!

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US Air Force Photo, 1953 (Public Domain)
Original Image URL: www.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/040315-F-9999G-008…

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