Six Facts You Should Know About Military Aviation

Dan Vance in P-51D 'Speedball Alice' flying as Race#31. (photo by Aaron Haase)

“Vintage Aviation News staff did not write this article; the content comes via our partners who wish to help support our website.”

Wright Brothers built their first aircraft for the Army in 1903, airmen have been protecting and serving the United States military ever since. These brave pilots are seen in movies soaring above in their planes, daringly taking on missions air-dropped with precision and accuracy. The air power of U.S. militaries has not just been proud but also honorable, uniting to create some of history’s most noteworthy aerial campaigns such as WWI’s America’s First Pursuit Squadron to the brave aviators who aided Allied forces during WWII. Today, airmen continue to take on perilous missions that make a real difference in air battles from late-night air reconnaissance to blasting targets from way up high. Any one case makes it apparent: Military aviators are true American heroes who deserve respect and admiration for putting themselves forward for the safety and security of our nation.

First Plane

In air force facts, the army’s first aircraft was officially accepted in 1908 following a proposal from the Wright Brothers. Their two-seat observation aircraft passed all necessary standards set by the military. Unfortunately, one of its tests resulted in tragedy when Army observer Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge died. The Wright Brothers responded to this failure with an improved version known as the Wright Military Flyer which the Army purchased for $30,000. This became the world’s first official military aircraft and started a new era of air force training around the world.

The Air Force Tracks Santa

Every December 24th, tens of thousands of children around the world pepper Santa’s phone number with eager inquiries about when he’ll be arriving. Since 1955, this lively scene has been repeated repeatedly, unbeknownst to most children that their calls are being answered by U.S Air force personnel. What began as a joke on a North Pole-based newspaper ad transformed into a living tradition as Colonel Harry Shoup’s team of airmen tracked St Nick in the sky each Christmas Eve and faithfully reported his current coordinates to every playful caller. Over 200 countries now participate in the charade, and while the receivers have changed over the years through advancements in technology, the core message remains unchanged: that no matter where you are or how far away it might feel from home, Santa is never too far away to share in your holiday cheer.

Sound Barrier

In 1947, military aviation history was forever changed when then-Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier while flying his Bell X-1 rocket-powered aircraft. This momentous achievement signaled the beginning of a race among military pilots to do ever more daring and incredible feats. The accomplishments of such airmen over the course of the ensuing decades led to technologies that would eventually give us rockets that could take us out of the atmosphere and all the way to the moon. Yeager’s feat in military aviation set off a chain reaction of remarkable advancements for humanity.

Maj. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt

Major General Jeannie Leavitt is well-known as the first female fighter pilot of the Air Force and one of its most decorated veterans. After entering in 1992, she rose to become the branch’s first commander of a combat fighter wing and has logged impressive 3,000-plus flight hours, including 300 combat hours. She was awarded a Bronze Star Medal in recognition of her service, among many other decorations. At present, she serves at Headquarters Air Education and Command on Joint Base San Antonio, Texas as Director of Operations and Communications. Leavitt’s story is one of determination and courage, blazing the trail for all women alumni who take up arms to defend their country.

Supercomputer Assembled From Sony PlayStation

The Air Force Research Lab recently built a supercomputer unlike any other. Named the Condor Cluster, it’s made up of a staggering number of 1760 Playstation 3’s combined together to make a formidable piece of technology. It the lab plans to use this newly assembled computer to analyze high-definition satellite imagery for research purposes. It is now established as the 33rd most-powerful computer in the world which is quite an impressive feat for such a small cost. With their new supercomputer, the lab has taken immense strides in developing efficient computing power and ushering us into an exciting new era of sophisticated military research.

Interestingly, instead of a powerful computer, it was the Playstation that was used. This is despite the fact that the PC is easier to expand and upgrade, but it costs a little more. Computers have other advantages, including flexibility in customization. For example, you can easily install the VPN extension. With a good VPN for Chrome, your device can connect to third-party servers to bypass website blocking and improve your internet experience. The same VeePN is effective in all respects. It works stably even during rush hour, does not encounter lag, has high bandwidth, and has many more advantages. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, so the PC outperforms the PS in some respects, but not in terms of price. If you had an idea to assemble a device from PS, then it’s better to leave this idea.

An Ace

Joseph C. McConnell’s feat of achieving 16 aerial victories, and thus earning the title of ‘triple ace’, is truly remarkable. During his four-month deployment as part of the Korean War, his expertise led him to a record that remains unbroken in United States Air Force (USAF) history. His determination to protect his comrades and country was evident on his last mission when he bagged three enemy jets in one day leaving enemies scattered throughout the sky. The legacy of this USAF jet ace will live on forever thanks to this record-breaking achievement.


The brave pilots, veterans, and inventors of the United States Air Force have made incredible contributions to our country’s military history. From Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier to Major General Jeannie Leavitt became the first female fighter pilot, to Joseph C. McConnell earning the title of ‘triple ace’; their stories serve as an instructive and exemplary example that we have inherited and are proud of.


Vintage Aviation News staff did not write this article; the content comes from our partners who wish to help $upport our website.

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