ADDIS ABABA—Ethiopian Airlines is dispatching its first-ever flight operated by an all-female crew. The flight was scheduled to depart for Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday night. The airline says it wants to promote women’s empowerment and encourage more African girls to pursue aviation careers.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said attracting more women to aviation jobs is one of the reasons for hosting the female flight, together with empowering women.

“It’s going to be very inspiring for all the women all over the world, aviation women and particularly the African woman. Because, as you know, here in the continent of Africa, we are lagging behind in women empowerment. So this is going to inspire all the school girls in Africa that they have a very bright future in the 21st century,” Gebremariam said.

The flight is being handled by women in every aspect – from planning, to aircraft maintenance, and from the pilots to air traffic controllers. Even upon arrival in Bangkok, all customs and immigration officers will be female.

Ethiopian Airlines says about one third of its employees are women. But the number is smaller when it comes to positions such as pilots and technicians.

Revealed: US Air Force Is Planning to Build a Super A-10 Warthog

The Air Force is beginning to work on how fast, lethal, durable and capable a new “A-10”-like aircraft would need to be in order to provide U.S. military ground troops with effective close-air support for decades to come.

Senior service officials are now exploring “draft requirements” concepts – and evaluating the kind of avionics, engineering, weapons, armor and technical redundancy the aircraft would need, Air Force officials told Scout Warrior.

Many of the core technical attributes and combat advantages of the A-10 will be preserved and expanded upon with the new effort, officials said.

The performance of the A-10 Warthog in the ongoing bombing campaign against ISIS, coupled with the Air Forces’ subsequent decision to delay the aircraft’s planned retirement – has led the service to begin the process of developing a new, longer-term A-10 type platform.

Following an announcement earlier this year from Pentagon leaders that the A-10 will not begin retiring but rather will serve until at least 2022, Air Force and DoD officials are now hoping to keep a close-air-support aircraft for many years beyond the previously projected timeframe.

Given the emerging global threat environment, it would make sense that the Air Force would seek to preserve an aircraft such as the A-10. While the aircraft has been extremely successful attacking ISIS targets such as fuel convoys and other assets, the A-10 is also the kind of plane that can carry and deliver a wide-ranging arsenal of bombs to include larger laser-guided and precision weapons.

This kind of firepower, coupled with its 30mm cannon, titantium armor plates and built-in redundancy for close-air-support, makes the A-10 a valuable platform for potential larger-scale mechanized, force-on-force type warfare as well. The A-10 has a unique and valuable niche role to perform in the widest possible range of combat scenarios to include counterinsurgency, supporting troops on the ground in close proximity and bringing firepower, protection and infantry support to a large-scale war.

Air Force officials have told Scout Warrior that the current approach involves a three-pronged effort; the Air Force may consider simply upgrading the existing fleet of A-10s in a substantial way in order to extend its service life, acquire an off-the-shelf existing aircraft or develop a new close air support platform through a developmental effort.


Predicted Soviet invasion plan of Scandinavia in the 1960’s.


Translation of key from Swedish:

Inledande Markoperationer = Inital Ground Operations

Efterföljande Markoperationer = Subsequent Ground Operations

Inledande Maritima Operationer = Initial Maritime Operations


The invasion plan.

This plan is from the early part of the Cold War period and was published in the periodical Military Review, 1964. The plan was presumably current until the early 1960s when military strategies changed because of the development of missiles and fast, long-range aircraft. The plan also operated on the basis of an invasion of southern Norway through Sweden, in addition to the strategically important northern Norway.

The northern part of Sweden was to be attacked from Finland. The blue arrows show that the invasion of the sea would come from the Baltic States (detailed Swedish city maps were later found in the Lithuanian military archives). (Bengt Gustafsson). […]



     Other than the Blackbird family of aircraft, I plan on covering rocket planes, experimental aircraft, any oddball/interesting aerospace items I stumble upon, and prototypes. This is one of my prototype posts, covering the YF-17.

     On the left, we have Northrop YF-17 Cobra, Prototype 72-1570. This prototype, one of only two ever made, would eventually be developed into the F/A-18.

     The bird on the right is McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet 162417, Snake 407, the first Hornet to see battle.

     In the 1960s, the United States Air Force initiated an acquisition program called the Lightweight Fighter Competition (LWF). This competitive prototyping competition pitted two aircraft together, the General Dynamics YF-16, and Northrop’s YF-17. Both aircraft would conduct flyoffs against each other, competing for an Air Force production contract. Our YF-17 actually lost. The YF-16 won the Air Force contract and went into production as the F-16 we know today. Rather than scrapping the losing YF-17, the United States Navy favored the design for carrier use and developed it into the widely used F/A-18 Hornet.

     Both of these aircraft are on display at the USS Alabama Battleship Museum in Mobile, Alabama. The museum also contains A-12 #06938, which I’ve covered on multiple previous posts in this project.


Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAIC) Z-10 Pi Li Huo (“Fierce Thunderbolt”) Attack Helicopter 

Designed by the Kamov design bureau of Russia, the Z-10 serves in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and may soon have a role in the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). It has a primary role of anti-tank, with a secondary air-to-air role.

via Chinese Military Review

On Tuesday the 13th of September 2011, Zurich’s Mayor christened Lufthansa’s sixth A380 Super Jumbo “Zurich” at the hub of Swiss Airlines at Zurich International airport.

To kick off the baptism of the A380, F/A-18 fighter jets of the Swiss Air Force intercepted to the photo shoot.

The Swiss Air Force used this A380 Lufthansa flight by its own account for an excersice in air policing. Two Swiss Air Force Hornets conducted a QRA training interception of the new Airbus on its flight through Swiss airspace, and flew in formation with the A380 accompanying the aircraft, as planned, to Zurich airport.

As the traveling public knows, all electronic devices are screened by security officers. During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones. Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft.
—  The TSA plans to confirm that overseas travelers have functional cell phones before they get on a flight to enter the U.S. Be sure to charge up beforehand.

Shenyang J-16 (with CGI full bomb load depicted)

Derived from the J-11 and Sukhoi Su-30MKK fighters bought from Russia in the 2000’s, the J-16 is intended to be China’s equivalent of the American F-15E Strike Eagle. AESA radar, updated ECM, composites, and radar-absorbing material (RAM) add a technological punch, but until higher-quality WS-10 engines are manufactured, don’t look for the aircraft to be this heavily loaded anytime soon…

via Chinese Military Review


People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Xian H-6K Bomber

With improved engines, a glass cockpit, and use of composites, the H-6K is an improved, license-built Tu-16 Badger. The H-6K has the bomb bay removed for extra fuel capacity and six pylons added to the wings for cruise missiles or anti-ship missiles.

via Chinese Military Review


USAF Long-Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) Concept Art

  • Northrup-Grumman Design
  • Boeing-Lockheed Design

A contract for the LRS-B is expected to be awarded in 2015, with the US Air Force planning to purchase 80-100 LRS-B aircraft at a cost of $550 million each, in 2010 dollars. The aircraft is planned to replace the B-1 and B-52 and have an initial operating capability in the mid-2020′s. It is intended to use mature technologies, have an open architecture for future enhancements, be nuclear-capable, and possibly have the ability to operate unmanned.

via Breaking Defense