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  • Berlin Airlift Dog Parachute

    This parachute was specially made for "Vittles," a dog that flew 131 missions with his owner, 1Lt. Russ Steber, during the Berlin Airlift. Gen. Curtis LeMay named the dog and ordered the parachute made for him. Vittles, a boxer, accumulated around 2,000 flying hours, but never had to use the parachute. His owner, Lt. Steber, did have to bail out of
  • Berlin: City Held Hostage

    1948-1949: Humanitarian TriumphThe Berlin Airlift was one of the defining events of the Cold War. The 464-day effort to supply a city's needs solely through the air demonstrated the resolve of democratic nations to oppose communist repression. The massive humanitarian effort was an early triumph for the young U.S. Air Force, and symbolized Western
  • Berlin Wall: Concrete Symbol of the Iron Curtain

    In 1961, Berlin became the focal point of increased tensions between the Western democracies and the Soviet Union. Dissatisfied with the economy and the political conditions in East Germany, thousands of East German refugees fled into West Berlin, the only gap in the Iron Curtain running from the Baltic to the Black Sea. To stop the exodus of their
  • BLU-107/B Durandal

    The Durandal is an airfield denial weapon used by several air forces around the world. Designed by the French company Matra in the early 1970s, it entered service with the U.S. Air Force in the late 1980s. After being dropped from low altitude, the unguided Durandal deploys a parachute from its tail. When the Durandal's nose is pointed down, its
  • Bomb Live Unit (BLU-82/B)

    During the Vietnam War, the USAF used 10,000-pound M121 bombs left over from World War II, to blast Helicopter Landing Zones in the dense undergrowth. As the supply of M121 bombs dwindled, the USAF developed the Bomb Live Unit-82/B (BLU-82/B) as a replacement. Weighing a total of 15,000 pounds, the BLU-82/B was essentially a large thin-walled tank
  • B53 Thermonuclear Bomb

    An enduring symbol of the Cold War, the B53 was one of the longest-lived nuclear weapons fielded by the United States, and it remained a key element of nuclear deterrence until retired in 1997. First produced in 1962, the Mk-53 "hydrogen" bomb -- later redesignated B53 -- was carried internally by B-47, B-52 and B-58 aircraft. It was equipped with
  • Boeing AGM-86B ALCM

    The AGM-86B cruise missile is an air-to-ground nuclear weapon launched from B-52 or B-1 bombers. The ALCM is self-guided -- it finds its preselected target by comparing prerecorded contour maps with terrain "seen" by its sensors. The cruise missiles wings, tail surfaces and engine inlet are folded while the ALCM is being carried, and deploy upon
  • Beech T-34A Mentor

    The U.S. Air Force used the T-34A for primary flight training during the 1950s. The original Mentor, a Beechcraft Model 45 derived from the famous Beechcraft Bonanza, was first flown in December 1948. The first military prototype, designated YT-34 by the USAF, made its initial flight in May 1950. After extensive testing, the USAF ordered the Mentor
  • Boeing YCGM-121B Seek Spinner

    The BRAVE 200 was designed and built by Boeing Military Airplane Co. in the early 1980s and received the military designation YCGM-121B. It is an unmanned aerial vehicle designed to seek out and attack the radars that control enemy anti-aircraft artillery or surface-to-air missile defenses. (Some radar antennas rotate or spin, hence the name "Seek
  • Boeing WB-50D Superfortress

    The B-50, the last propeller-driven bomber delivered to the U.S. Air Force, made its initial flight on June 25, 1947. Basically an improved version of the B-29, this aircraft's large number of modifications caused its redesignation as the B-50. Between 1948 and 1954, B-50s served with the Strategic Air Command as medium bombers, and they were

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