The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military C-130 Hercules taking off from Nellis Air Force Basetransport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 Hercules was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport aircraft. The versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship (AC 130), for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol and aerial firefighting. It is the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide. Over 40 models and variants of the Hercules serve with more than 50 nations.

During its years of service the Hercules family has participated in countless military, civilian and humanitarian aid operations. The family has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history. In 2007, the C-130 Hercules became the fifth aircraft—after the English Electric Canberra, B-52 Stratofortress, Tupolev Tu-95, and KC-135 Stratotanker—to mark 50 years of continuous use with its original primary customer, in this case, the United States Air Force. The C-130 is also the only military aircraft to remain in continuous production for 50 years with its original customer, as the updated C-130J Super Hercules.

Head on view of a C-130 Hercules departing Nellis Air Force BaseThe Korean War, which began in June 1950, showed that World War II-era transports—C-119 Flying Boxcars, C-47 Skytrains and C-46 Commandos—were inadequate for modern warfare. Thus on 2 February 1951, the United States Air Force issued a General Operating Requirement (GOR) for a new transport to Boeing, Douglas, Fairchild, Lockheed, Martin, Chase Aircraft, North American, Northrop, and Airlifts Inc. The new transport would have a capacity for 92 passengers, 72 combat troops or 64 paratroopers in a cargo compartment that is approximately 41 feet long, 9 feet high, and 10 feet wide. Loading is from the rear of the fuselage with a range of 1,100&_160;nmi (1,300&_160;mi; 2,000&_160;km), takeoff capability from short and unprepared strips, and the ability to fly with one engine shut down.

Fairchild, North American, Martin and Northrop declined to participate. C-130 Hercules comes in to land at Nellis Air Force Base against a mountain backdropThe remaining five companies tendered a total of ten designs Lockheed two, Boeing one, Chase three, Douglas three, and Airlifts Inc. one. The contest was a close affair between the lighter of the two Lockheed (preliminary project designation L-206) proposals and a four-turboprop Douglas design.


The Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multirole jet fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air An F-16C Fighting Falcon returns to Nellis Air Force Base with unused weaponsForce. Designed as a lightweight, daytime fighter, it evolved into a successful multirole aircraft. The F-16’s versatility is a paramount reason it has proven a success on the export market, having been selected to serve in the air forces of 25 nations.Over 4,400 aircraft have been built since production was approved in 1976.Though no longer being purchased by the U.S. Air Force, advanced versions are still being built for export customers. In 1993, General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing business to the Lockheed Corporation,which in turn became part of Lockheed Martin after a 1995 merger with Martin Marietta.


The Fighting Falcon is a dogfighter with numerous innovations including a frameless, bubble canopy for better visibility, side-mounted control stick to ease control while under high g-forces, and reclined seat to reduce the effect of g-forces on the pilot. The F-16has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon and has 11 hardpoints for mounting various missiles, bombs and pods. It was also A USAF Thunderbird banks left to line up with the runway at Nellis Air Force Basethe first fighter aircraft deliberately built to sustain 9-g turns. It has a thrust-to-weight ratio greater than one, providing power to climb and accelerate vertically—if necessary. Although the F-16’s official name is “Fighting Falcon”, it is known to its pilots as the “Viper”, due to it resembling a viper snake and after the Battlestar Galactica starfighter.In addition to USAF active, reserve, and national guard units, the aircraft is used by the USAF aerial demonstration team, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and as an adversary/aggressor aircraft by the United States Navy.

The F-16 is scheduled to remain in service with the U.S. Air Force until A pair of F-16 Fighting Falcons returning to Nellis Air Force Base with landing gear deployed2025. The planned replacement is the F-35 Lightning II, which will gradually begin replacing a number of multirole aircraft among the air arms of the program’s member nations.

Real-world experience in the Vietnam War revealed some shortcomings in American fighter capabilities, and the need for better air-to-air training for fighter pilots.The need for new air superiority fighters led the USAF to initiate two concept development studies in 1965 the Fighter Experimental (FX) project originally envisioned a 60,000&_160;lb (27,200&_160;kg) class twin-engine design with a variable-geometry wing, and the Advanced Day Fighter (ADF), a lightweight design in the 25,000&_160;lb (11,300&_160;kg) class which would out-perform the MiG-21 by 25%. However, the first appearance of the Mach-3-capable MiG-25 ‘Foxbat’ in July 1967 resulted in the ADF effort being deemphasized in favor of the FX program, which would produce the F-15 Strike Eagle, a 40,000&_160;lb (18,100&_160;kg) class aircraft.

Lake Havasu in Arizona is probably best known for the wild spring break season it hosts every year. There’s even a COPS type show about the wild times on the Lake. That aside, Lake Havasu is a remarkable place of beauty.

When I visited I drove from Laughlin Nevada to Lake Havasu. The drive is pretty typical for the southwest of the country. It changes from the typical to stunning beauty when you approach the marsh end of the lake. It was amazing to see the large area of lush, green marsh in the middle of the desert southwest. The amazingly blue water of the lake provides a great contrast to the reddish brown mountains that surround it.

Lake Havasu is worth the drive from Las Vegas, it can be done in a day but really you need to spend the night so as not to be rushed and see the entire area of Lake Havasu. The following photos of Lake Havasuwere taken in 2009.


Photo of bridge over a marsh in Lake Havasu Arizona


Photo of a rock outcropping in the lake in Lake Havasu Arizona


Photo of white clouds dotting a deep blue sky in Lake Havasu Arizona

The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Strike Eagle is a major fighter in today’s United An F-15D Strike Eagle on approach at Nellis Air Force Base with airbrake deployedStates Air Force inventory. It is a two seat, dual engine, all weather fighter that has been in service since July 1972 and is scheduled to remain in service until at least 2025.

Since it’s inception into service, the F-15 Strike Eagle has been exported to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Eagle’s initial versions were designated F-15A for the single-seat configuration and F-15B for the twin-seat. These versions would be powered by new Pratt & Whitney F100 engines to achieve a combat thrust-to-weight ratio in excess of 1 to 1. A proposed 25 mm Ford-Philco GAU-7 cannon with caseless ammunition was dropped in favor of the standard M61 Vulcan gun due to development problems. The F-15 retained conformal carriage of four Sparrow missiles like the F4-Phantom which the F-15 was to replace. The fixed wing was put onto a flat, wide fuselage that also provided an effective lifting surface. Some questioned if the zoom performance of the F-15 with SparAn F-15 Strike Eagle comes in for a landing at Nellis Air Force  Base, landing gear deployed belly shotrow missiles was enough to deal with the new threat of the high-flying MiG-25 “Foxbat”, but its capability was eventually demonstrated in combat.

The F-15 has an all-metal fuselage with a large cantilever shoulder-mounted wing. The F-15 has a spine-mounted air brake and retractable tricycle landing gear. It is powered by two Pratt & Whitney F100 axial-flow turbofan engines with afterburners mounted side-by-side in the fuselage. The cockpit is mounted high in the forward fuselage with a one-piece windscreen and large canopy to increase visibility.

A multi-mission avionics system includes a head-up display (HUD), advancedF-15E Strike Eagle landing at Nellis Air Force Base with mountain range in background showing exhuast heat waves radar, inertial guidance system (INS), flight instruments, ultra high frequency (UHF) communications, and Tactical Air Navigation (TACAN) and Instrument Landing System (ILS) receivers. It also has an internally mounted, tactical electronic-warfare system, identification, friend or foe (IFF) system, electronic countermeasures suite and a central digital computer.

A variety of air-to-air weaponry can be carried by the F-15. An automated weapon system enables the pilot to perform aerial combat safely and effectively, using the HUD and the avionics and weapons controls located on the engine throttles or control stick. When the pilot changes from one weapon system to another, visual guidance for the required weapon automatically appears on the head-up display

A squadron of three F-15 Strike Eagles flyover Nellis Air Force base, one is banking hard leftThe rear cockpit is upgraded to include four multi-purpose CRT displays for aircraft systems and weapons management. The digital, triple-redundant Lear Siegler flight control system permits coupled automatic terrain following, enhanced by a ring-laser gyro inertial navigation system. For low-altitude, high-speed penetration and precision attack on tactical targets at night or in adverse weather, the F-15E carries a high-resolution APG-70 radar and LANTIRN pods to provide thermal imagery.

The ASM-135 anti-satellite (ASAT) missile was designed to be a standoff A rear view of an F-15 Strike Eagle landing at Nellis Air Force Baseanti-satellite weapon, with the F-15 acting as a first stage. The Soviet Union could correlate a U.S. rocket launch with a spy satellite loss, but an F-15 carrying an ASAT would blend in among hundreds of F-15 flights. From January 1984 to September 1986, two F-15As were used as launch platforms for the ASAT missile. The F-15As were modified to carry one ASM-135 on the centerline station with extra equipment within a special centerline pylon.

The third test flight involved a retired P78-1 solar observatory satellite in a 345-mile (555 km) orbit, which was successfully destroyed by kinetic energy.The pilot, USAF Major Wilbert D. “Doug” Pearson, became the first and only pilot to destroy a satellite.The ASAT program involved five test launches. The program was officially terminated in 1988.

The F-15C/D model is being supplanted in U.S. service by the F-22 Raptor. The F-15E, however, will remain in service for years to come because of their different air-to-grouAn F-22 Raptor takes off from Nellis Air Force Base creating vapor  trails as it banks leftnd role and the lower number of hours on their airframes.The USAF will upgrade 178 F-15Cs with the AN/APG-63(V)3 AESA radar,and upgrade other F-15s with the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System.The Air Force will keep 178 F-15Cs as well as the 224 F-15Es in service beyond 2025.

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