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  • An Evolving Service Modeled on the FBI

    After becoming a separate service in 1947, the Air Force needed a single investigative branch to replace an inefficient mix of Army investigative functions. Founded in 1948, the new Office of Special Investigations (OSI) united a number of security-related groups. Organized similarly to the FBI, OSI's first director was a veteran FBI agent.OSI has
  • A McDonnell Douglas KC-10 refuels a Lockheed SR-71

    (approximately 1/48 scale)Tankers, like the KC-10 and the smaller Boeing KC-135, permit the refueling of other aircraft in flight, extending their range to permit global missions. Fuel is transferred to the receiver aircraft by way of a boom mounted on the tanker's lower aft fuselage. Operation of the refueling system is controlled by the boom
  • Atomic Bomb Alarm: Early Days of Early Warning

    In the 1960s, The U.S. Air Force needed a sure way to know quickly whether Soviet bombers or missiles had struck American cities and bases with nuclear weapons. This small device, part of a nationwide "Bomb Alarm Display System," was designed to send warning signals to military command centers to confirm that an attack had occurred. The Bomb Alarm
  • ALQ-131 ECM Pod

    The ALQ-131 is an advanced electronic countermeasures (ECM) pod designed to provide an aircraft self-protection against radar threats. The ALQ-131 accomplishes this by responding with a combination of noise, repeater or transponder electronic jamming techniques. The pod weighs 600 pounds, with modular design for multiple frequency band capability.
  • AIM-9 Sidewinder Air-to-Air Missile

    The AIM-9 is a 200-pound supersonic air-to-air missile carried by A-10, F-4, F-15, F-16 and F-111 aircraft. It is a "heat seeking" missile with a range of 1-2 miles and is generally used during the day in clear weather conditions. The Sidewinder has been continually improved since entering service in the 1950s. The missile shown here is an AIM-9E;
  • AGM-65 Maverick

    The AGM-65 is a highly accurate, 460-pound air-to-ground missile employed by A-10 and F-16 aircraft. The Maverick carries a 125 pound shaped charge warhead optimized against heavy armor or reinforced structures. It uses either TV or infra-red imaging guidance and provides a long range "launch and leave" capability. The missile shown on the above
  • Avro CF-100 Mk.4A Canuck

    The all-weather CF-100 was the only Canadian-designed and Canadian-built fighter to go into large-scale production. Powered by two Canadian-designed Orenda jet engines, the CF-100 entered service with the 445 Squadron in 1953. In 1957 the two-seat CF-100 became an integral part of the newly formed U.S.-Canadian North American Air Defense (NORAD)
  • Allison J35-A-35A Turbojet

    Originally developed by the General Electric Co., the J35 was the USAF's first axial-flow (straight-through airflow) compressor engine. Late in 1947 complete responsibility for the production of the engine was transferred to the Allison Division of General Motors. More than 14,000 J35s had been built by the time production ended in 1955. The J35
  • Advance Biomedical Capsule Training Couch

    At Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Air Force researchers trained chimpanzees to push levers in response to timed and colored lights in order to approximate human behavior in spaceflight. The training couch on display contains two levers and a selection of lights. Holloman's group of six chimps underwent 29 training sessions before one chimp was
  • Alert Facility Support

    Missile alert facilities require around-the-clock security and maintenance support. At Minuteman II sites, an enlisted facility manager oversaw all topside operations to support the combat crew and the missile system. Two enlisted flight security controllers monitored the alert facility and all ten missiles, with one in the above-ground security
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