Fly with the USAF Thunderbirds photographer


Lockheed Martin’s outstanding images of 2013

Lockheed Martin’s Code One magazine is a treasure trove for fans of aviation photography, and their collection of outstanding images of 2013 does not disappoint.

Image credit: Lockheed Martin

2013 through the eyes of AOPA’s photographers

2013 through the eyes of AOPA’s photographers

AOPA photographers Mike Fizer and Chris Rose took some fantastic images in the year that passed.



45 years ago today, perhaps the most renowned photograph in history was taken by the Apollo 8 crew.

Image credit: NASA

Here is a fascinating video about how the iconic photograph was taken.

Time magazine’s most beautiful photos from space in 2013


Time magazine’s most beautiful photos from space in 2013

Spectacular aerial view of Niagra Falls from an unmanned helicopter

Watch in 1080p HD for best quality. H/t to Mitch Baxter for bringing this video to my attention.

One of the most spectacular aviation videos ever

An unusual view of a rocket launch

An airline pilot flying over an undercast photographed a rocket climbing through above the clouds.

CH-53E training exercise

Matt Ottosen has some outstanding photography of US Marine Corps CH-53E training at Southwest Aviation Review.

X-51A has successful flight

If at first, and second, and third, you don’t succeed, keep trying. The goal of the $300 million X-51A program became reality on May 1, 2013 when the test team achieved a record-setting 210 seconds of air-breathing hypersonic flight, powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne ramjet. The Boeing X-51A was launched from a B-52H flown by the 419th Flight Test Squadron, 412th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB.

During this, the X-51A’s fourth and final planned flight, the unmanned WaveRider vehicle was carried beneath the wing of a B-52H and dropped from an altitude of about 50,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean off southern California. A solid rocket booster fired and propelled the cruiser to scramjet takeover, creating the supersonic environment necessary to operate the engine. The scramjet successfully propelled the cruiser more than 230 nautical miles in approximately six minutes, streaking through the sky from Mach 4.8 to Mach 5.1 while climbing in altitude. The engine ran full duration, depleting all fuel as planned. It was the longest of the four X-51A test flights and the longest air-breathing hypersonic flight ever. Early indications show the propulsion system accomplished all objectives.


The X-51A Waverider prepares to launch its historic fourth and final flight. The cruiser achieved Mach 5.1 traveling 230 nautical miles in just over six minutes, making this test the longest air-breathing hypersonic flight ever.
Image Credit: Bobbi Kapka, U.S. Air Force

Launch video:

Here is the video of an earlier launch from B-52H 60-0050, which was your humble blogger’s aircraft when he was on USAF active duty.