Today in AFJ History

1987: A battleship for the 21st century

Vice Admiral Mike Metcalf's dream dreadnought looks a lot like the Arsenal Ship proposed in the mid-1990s.

From AFJ’s archive: November 1987

Editor’s note: Non-ship geeks may best recall Adm. Joseph “Mike” Metcalf III as the guy who in October 1983 “was given less than two days to plan …

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1948: Crashing B-17s, deliberately

The aircraft that crashed in 1948 were far from the only B-17s modified to fly without onboard crew. Here, four QB-17s of the 1st Experimental Guided Missiles Group fly over New Mexico in April 1946.

From the archive: November 20, 1948

5 Bombers To Be Ditched

Five Air Force radio-controlled “drone” B-17s, the Flying Fortress of World War II, will be crash landed in the waters of …

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Gettysburg Address: too late for this edition

Gettysburg Address: too late for this edition

Seven score and 10 years ago, President Lincoln dedicated the graveyard at Gettysburg, Pa., with a few words of immeasurable influence. (Reread it here; listen to it read and animated here.)

And …

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1982: Too many air shows?

The F-16XL Fighting Falcon prototype aircraft drops bombs in a Sept. 12 demonstration at the 1982 Farnborough Air Show. (General Dynamics photo)

From the archive: September 1982

Editor’s note: If this wasn’t the first time the sentiment had been expressed, it certainly wasn’t the last.

Too Many Air Shows, Too Often?

Missing at Farnborough …

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1948: Predicting the future of air warfare

In 1948, the USAF was flight-testing Northrop's YB-49, but the head of the company believes guided missiles would reign supreme within a dozen years. (U.S. Air Force photo)

From the archive: November 6, 1948

Editor’s note: Jack Northrop, who had founded his eponymous company in 1939, would go on to purchase an early manufacturer of drones in 1952.

Future Air …

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1962: Crowing over Cuba

Soviet truck convoy deploying missiles near San Cristobal, Cuba, on Oct. 14, 1962. This image, taken by Maj. Steve Heyser in a USAF U-2, is the first picture that proved Russian missiles were being emplaced in Cuba. (U.S. Air Force photo)

From the archive: November 3, 1962

Editor’s note: Here’s how AFJ reacted to the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, 13 October days when the world lived on a knife’s edge.


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1979: Saudis top U.S. arms-sales lists

In 1978, the U.S. agreed to sell F-15s to Saudi Arabia.(USAF photo)

From the archive: October 1979

Editor’s note: The “change in Iranian government” mentioned below was, of course, the Ruhollah Khomeini-led revolution that ejected the U.S.-backed Shah Reza Pahlavi.

Saudis Now Biggest U.S.

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1957: Nuclear artillery is ‘near at hand’

This 1953 test of an 11-inch nuclear shell, among other developments, led Army leaders to believe that the day of atomic artillery was coming. (National Nuclear Security Administration)

From the archive: October 26, 1957

Dual-Purpose Artillery Missiles

The Armed Forces are on the threshold of a new era in artillery firepower. Dual-purpose missiles with atomic warheads make possible the use …

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1982: A final Falklands lesson

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1964: Missiles can’t replace guns

In the late 1950s, RIM-2 Terrier missiles replaced eight six-inch guns aboard the cruiser Providence. (Navy)

From the archive: October 17, 1964

Is Navy Too Quick In Abandoning Guns?

There are many in the Navy and Marine Corps who were happy to learn, from Admiral David L. McDonald’s …

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