Air force Stories June 18

The New York Times Magazine featured a lengthy but excellent article about the ‘wounds’ that drone pilots suffer when they engage remotely in overseas wars. For instance, behind computer screens at the Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, drone pilots fly missions with unmanned aircraft such as the MQ-9 Reaper in far away places like Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen. Some people have thought that these ‘joystick pilots’ would escape the gravity of war but, we are now learning that they are suffering ‘moral injuries’ from their actions similarly to soldiers when they return home from battlefields.

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Air force Stories December 9, 2017

MIT’s AeroAstro labs is working on a special rocket drone that can fly up to Mach 0.8 (614 mph) and it is called the Firefly. The zeppelin-shaped mini-rocket is designed to be launched from a fighter jet to collect data or distract enemy weapons systems.

The Firefly is designed in response to a challenge presented by the U.S. Air Force. The assignment was as follows: develop an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) no more than 2.5 inches wide and 17 inches long that can be launched mid-air from a fighter jet and that can fly at Mach 0.8 for 2 to 5 minutes. MIT had been successful in the past designing the Peredix swarming drones so they were up for the challenge.

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