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Photo series #15

The eyes and ears of many air forces around the world, this is the Boeing E-3 Sentry.

This is an AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) or AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning and Control) meant to keep an eye on all airborne threats that are flying in it’s area of deployment or battle zone and forward units to their intended missions.

The E-3 was entered service in 1977 and since then has served with the USAF, Royal Air Force, NATO, French Air Force (Armee de l’air) and Royal Saudi Air Force.

You might notice a difference between the aircraft’s engines in the pictures, that’s because the USAF’s E-3 Sentry are equipped with TF-33/JT3D turbofan engines (low bypass, small engines) and the Royal Air Force, French Air Force and Royal Saudi Air Force E-3′s are fitted with the newer CFM International CFM56 (F108) (high bypass, larger engines).

One of it’s most distinctive aspects is the rotodome on top of the aircraft, which houses the Northrop Grumman AN/APY-½ radar. The radome with the radar in operation scans at six revolutions per minute and one revolution every four minutes when the radar in not operating.

The E-3 participated in many large-scale operations such as Op. Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Eagle Assist following the 9/11 WTC (World Trade Center) attacks, and Inherent Resolve.

That’s it for this photo series, as always if you have any suggestions or want to send pictures for me to upload, don’t be shy, i’ll be more than happy to set them up.

Have an awesome day, people!!!

tras-2  asked:

What do you think of the theory that the CIA knew of the WTC attacks but didnt do anything about it

It doesn’t explain how a bunch of worst-than-novice pilots flew impossible angles into the Pentagon, and the towers.

Also, Operation Northwoods, a proposed plan by the DoD from the 1960s, suggested using a drone aircraft. Here is an excerpt from the declassified papers:

“An aircraft at Eglin AFB would be painted and numbered as an exact duplicate for a civil registered aircraft belonging to a CIA proprietary organization in the Miami area. At a designated time the duplicate would be substituted for the actual civil aircraft and would be loaded with selected passengers, all boarded under carefully prepared aliases. The actual registered aircraft would be converted to a drone.

From the rendezvous point [with the drone] the passenger-carrying aircraft will descend to minimum altitude and go directly into an auxiliary field at Eglin AFB where arrangements will have been made to evacuate the passengers and return the aircraft to its original status. The drone aircraft will meanwhile continue to fly the filed flight plan. When over Cuba the drone will being [sic] transmitting…a “MAY DAY” message stating he in under attack by Cuban MIG aircraft. The transmission will be interrupted by destruction of the aircraft which will be triggered by radio signal.“

I was twelve years old when 9/11 happened. I remember a strange hushed frantic air to the class. There was something going on and it was slowly rippling through the school. To be completely honest I didn’t even know what the World Trade Center was back then, but I could tell that something serious had happened. We were all let out early and given advice on how to get home. Luckily I didn’t have far to walk home. The streets were packed with people all walking somewhat aimlessly–in a fog–waiting until they could get home and make sure the news was real for themselves. When I did get home, the planes were crashing into the buildings over and over, on repeat. It made me slightly sick and I turned the TV off.

I never visited the memorial until this past year, and it’s a beautiful place. There’s a mournful stillness about it, and yet still so much hustle and bustle going on outside the memorial that it’s perfect. The heart of New York, still beating after a trauma.

- David Isler, New York City, NY