Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk

The first Lockheed YF-117a Nighthawk, stealth fighter made its maiden flight from Groom Lake, Nevada, on 18 June 1981. The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk is a single-seat, twin-engine stealth attack aircraft that was developed by Lockheed’s secretive Skunk Works division and operated by the United States Air Force (USAF). The F-117 was based on the Have Blue technology demonstrator. The Nighthawk achieved initial operating capability status in 1983. It was initially shrouded in secrecy until it was revealed to the public in 1988. Of the 64 F-117s built, 59 were production versions, with the other five being demonstrators/ prototypes. The F-117 was widely publicized for its role in the Persian Gulf War of 1991. Although it was commonly referred to as the “Stealth Fighter”, it was strictly an attack aircraft. F-117s took part in the conflict in Yugoslavia, where one was shot down by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) in 1999; it was the only Nighthawk to be lost in combat.

The F-117 was developed following combat experience in the Vietnam War as a response to increasingly sophisticated Soviet surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). So the Air Force approached Lockheed with the stealth concept, Skunk Works Director Kelly Johnson proposed a rounded design. He believed smoothly blended shapes offered the best combination of speed and stealth. However, his assistant, Ben Rich, showed that faceted-angle surfaces would provide significant reduction in radar signature. The resulting unusual design surprised and puzzled experienced pilots; a Royal Air Force pilot, who flew it as an exchange officer while it was still a secret project, stated that when he first saw a photograph of the F-117, he was not convinced it would fly.

The project began in 1975 with a model called the “Hopeless Diamond”(a wordplay on the Hope Diamond because of its appearance). In 1976 the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) issued Lockheed Skunk Works a contract to build and test two Stealth Strike Fighters, under the code name “Have Blue”. These incorporated jet engines of the Northrop T-38A, fly-by-wire systems of the F-16, landing gear of the A-10, and environmental systems of the C-130 By bringing together existing technology and components, Lockheed built two demonstrators under budget, at $35 million for both aircraft. The F-117A’s faceted shape resulted from the limitations of the 1970s-era computer technology used to calculate its radar cross-section.

The maiden flight of the demonstrators occurred on 1 December 1977. Although both aircraft were lost during the demonstration program, valuable test data proved useful. The success of Have Blue led the government to increase funding for stealth technology. Much of that increase was allocated towards the production of an operational stealth aircraft, the Lockheed F-117A, code named “Senior Trend”. The decision to produce the F-117A was made on 1 November 1978, and a contract was awarded to Lockheed Advanced Development Projects, popularly known as the Skunk Works, in Burbank, California. This was led by Ben Rich, with Project manager Alan Brown, Lockheed mathematician, Bill Schroeder, and computer scientist Denys Overholser. They designed a computer program called “Echo”, which made it possible to design an airplane with flat panels, called facets, which were arranged so as to scatter over 99% of a radar’s signal energy “painting” the aircraft with the necessary aerodynamic control being provided by computers.

The 4450th Tactical Group stationed at Nellis AFB, Nevada helped develop the early F-117 between 1981 and 1989 they used LTV A-7 Corsair IIs for training, to bring all pilots to a common flight training baseline and later as chase planes for F-117A tests. The 4450th was absorbed by the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing in 1989. In 1992, the entire fleet was transferred to Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, under the command of the 49th Fighter Wing. This move also eliminated the Key Air and American Trans Air contract flights to Tonopah, which flew 22,000 passenger trips on 300 flights from Nellis to Tonopah per month. The Air Force initially denied the existence of the aircraft until 10 November 1988, when Assistant Secretary of Defense J. Daniel Howard displayed a grainy photograph at a Pentagon press conference, disproving the many inaccurate rumors about the shape of the secret “F-19”. After the announcement pilots could fly the F-117 during daytime and no longer needed to be associated with the A-7. April 1990, two F-117 aircraft were flown into Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada and displayed to the public. Five Full Scale Development (FSD) aircraft were built, designated “YF-117A” . Between 1984 and-1992, the F-117A fleet was based at Tonopah Test Range Airport, Nevada, where it served under the 4450th Tactical Group. The first production F-117A was delivered in 1982, and operational capability was achieved in October 1983

The F-117 is primarily an attack aircraft and is designed with a focus on minimal radar cross-section (RCS) rather than aerodynamic performance. Highly-stealthy, the F-117 Nighthawk isshaped to deflect radar signals and is about the size of an F-15 Eagle. The operational aircraft was officially designated “F-117A”. The public assumption was that the aircraft would likely receive the F-19 designation as that number had not been used. However, there were no other aircraft to receive a “100” series number following the General Dynamics F-111. Meanwhile Unusual military aircraft types flying in the southern Nevada area, such as captured fighters, are assigned an arbitrary radio call of “117” Which was used by the enigmatic 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron, also known as the “Red Hats” or “Red Eagles”, that often had flown expatriated MiG jet fighters in the area. Consquently WhenLockheed released its first flight manual (i.e., the Air Force “dash one” manual for the aircraft), F-117A was the designation printed on the cover.

The F-117 Nighthawk is powered by two non-afterburning General Electric F404 turbofan engines. It is air refuelable and features a V-tail. The maximum speed is 623 miles per hour (1,003 km/h) at high altitude, the max rate of climb is 2,820 feet (860 m) per minute, and service ceiling is 43,000 to 45,000 feet (13,000 to 14,000 m). The cockpit is quite spacious, with ergonomic displays and controls, however there is a large blind spot to the rear. It has quadruple-redundant fly-by-wire flight controls. To lower development costs, Many systems, were derived from the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet and McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle. The aircraft is equipped with sophisticated navigation and attack systems integrated into a digital avionics suite. It navigates primarily by GPS and high-accuracy inertial navigation, however The F-117A carries no radar. Targets are acquired by a thermal imaging infrared system, slaved to a laser rangefinder /laser designator that finds the range and designates targets for laser-guided bombs. The F-117A’s split internal bay can carry 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) of ordnance. Typical weapons are a pair of GBU-10, GBU-12, or GBU-27 laser-guided bombs, two BLU-109 penetration bombs, or two Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), a GPS/INS guided stand-off bomb.

Unfortunately the increased stealth capabilities of the F-117 came at a price and the F-117 is aerodynamically unstable and requires constant flight corrections from a fly-by-wire (FBW) flight system to maintain controlled flight. Engine thrust was also reduced due to losses in the inlet and outlet, due to the need to reduce Infra red signature. The F-117 has a very low wing aspect ratio, and a high sweep angle (50°) to deflect incoming radar waves to the sides. The F-117 also lacks afterburners, because the hot exhaust would increase the infrared signature, and breaking the sound barrier would produce an obvious sonic boom, as well as surface heating of the aircraft skin which also increases the infrared footprint so the F-117 is limited to subsonic speeds. A normal exhaust plume would also contribute a significant infrared signature. So The F-117 reduces IR signature with a non-circular tail pipe (a slit shape) to minimize the exhaust cross-sectional volume and maximize the mixing of hot exhaust with cool ambient air. The F-117’s performance in air combat maneuvering required in a dogfight did not match that of a dedicated fighter aircraft so it was designed to be a bomber.

F-35b lightning II

Since the F-117 entered service Stealth technology has advanced and Today Passive (multistatic) radar, bistatic and multistatic radar systems detect some stealth aircraft better than conventional monostatic radars, since first-generation stealth technology (such as the F-117) reflects energy away from the transmitter’s line of sight, effectively increasing the radar cross section (RCS) in other directions. Consequently the last of 59 production F-117s were delivered on 3 July 1990 and The F-117 was eventually retired In 2008 after the Air Force closed the F-117 formal training unit (FTU),in 2006 and announced the retirement of the F-117. The first six aircraft to be retired made their last flight on 12 March 2007 after a ceremony at Holloman AFB to commemorate the aircraft’s career. The F-117 has since been replaced by the F-22 Raptor and the multirole F-35 Lightning II.

Waterloo Day

Waterloo Day takes place annually on June 18 and marks the Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, which was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the Netherlands. During the Battle of Waterloo the French army under the command of Napoleon was defeated by the armies of the Seventh Coalition, comprising an Anglo-allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington and the Prussian army under the command of Prussian Generalfeldmarschall (field marshal) Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Fürst von Wahlstatt

Blücher was born in Rostock, the son of a retired army captain. His military career began in 1758 as a hussar in the Swedish Army. He was captured by the Prussians in 1760 during the Pomeranian Campaign and thereafter joined the Prussian Army, serving as a hussar officer for Prussia during the remainder of the Seven Years’ War. In 1773, Blücher was forced to resign by Frederick the Great for insubordination. He worked as a farmer until the death of Frederick in 1786, when Blücher was reinstated and promoted to colonel. For his success in the French Revolutionary Wars, Blücher became a major general in 1794. He became a lieutenant general in 1801 and commanded the cavalry corps during the Napoleonic Wars in 1806.

War broke out between Prussia and France again in 1813 and Blücher returned to active service at the age of 71. He was appointed full general over the Prussian field forces and clashed with Napoleon at the Battles of Lützen and Bautzen. Later he won a critical victory over the French at the Battle of Katzbach. Blücher commanded the Prussian Army of Silesia at the Battle of the Nations where Napoleon was decisively defeated. For his role, Blücher was made a field marshal and received his title of Prince of Wahlstatt. After Napoleon’s return in 1815, Blücher took command of the Prussian Army of the Lower Rhine and coordinated his force with that of the British and Allied forces under the Duke of Wellington. At the Battle of Ligny, he was severely injured and the Prussians retreated.

After recovering, Blücher resumed command and joined Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo, with the intervention of Blücher’s army playing a decisive role in the final allied victory. Blücher was made an honorary citizen of Berlin, Hamburg and Rostock. Known for his fiery personality, he was nicknamed Marschall Vorwärts (“Marshal Forward”) by his soldiers because of his aggressive approach in warfare. Along with Paul von Hindenburg, he was the highest-decorated Prussian-German soldier in history: Blücher and Hindenburg are the only German military officers to have been awarded the Star of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross. A statue of him was earlier to view at the square, which also carried his name, Blücherplatz at Breslau.

Prior to the battle of Waterloo Two large forces under Wellington and Blücher assembled close to the north-eastern border of France. Napoleon chose to attack in the hope of destroying them before they could join in a coordinated invasion of France with other members of the coalition. Two days before the battle, Blücher’s Prussian army had been defeated by the French at Ligny. Wellington decided to offer battle upon learning that the Prussian army had regrouped and was able to march to his support. Wellington’s army, positioned across the Brussels road on the Mont-Saint-Jean escarpment, withstood repeated attacks by the French, until, in the evening, the Prussians arrived in force and broke through Napoleon’s right flank. At that moment, Wellington’s Anglo-allied army counter-attacked and drove the French army in disorder from the field. Pursuing coalition forces entered France and restored King Louis XVIII to the French throne.

After the Battle of Waterloo Napoleon abdicated, eventually surrendering to Captain Maitland of HMS Bellerophon, part of the British blockade. The defeat ended Napoleon’s rule as Emperor of the French, and marked the end of his Hundred Days return from exile on Elba and he was exiled again, this time to Saint Helena where he died in 1821. The battlefield is located in the municipalities of Braine-l’Alleud and Lasne, about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of Brussels, and about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the town of Waterloo. The site of the battlefield today is dominated by a large monument, the Lion’s Mound. As this mound was constructed from earth taken from the battlefield itself, the contemporary topography of the battlefield near the mound has not been preserved. 1815. It is remembered and celebrated each year by certain regiments of the British Army,in the same way that the Royal Navy celebrates Trafalgar Day (21 October).

Dizzy Reed (Guns’n’Roses)

Best known as the keyboardist for the rock band Guns N’ Roses, the American musician and occasional actor Dizzy Reed was born on June 18, 1963 in Hinsdale, Illinois. He was raised in Colorado. Reed was described as reclusive and introverted, however he has since denied this. His grandmother began teaching him to play the organ when he was a young child, and before he was out of elementary school, he formed small local band

As an adult, Reed pursued a music career in Los Angeles. He was a founding member of the club band The Wild in the late 1980s, with whom he spent five years. Reed met the original lineup of Guns N’ Roses in 1985 while his band, The Wild, rehearsed in a neighboring studio. He kept in touch, and in 1990 was invited by friend Axl Rose to join the group for the recording of the two Use Your Illusion albums.

Reed soon became an accepted member of the group and his work was heard on the majority of tracks on both albums. As a member of Guns N’ Roses, Reed has become well known for his keyboard, piano, and backing vocal work during live performances, music videos and on such songs as “Estranged”, “Live and Let Die”, “Bad Obsession” “November Rain”, “Garden of Eden”, “Don’t Damn Me”, “Bad Apples”, “Civil War”, “14 Years”, “Yesterdays”, “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”, “Get in the Ring”, “Pretty Tied Up” and “Locomotive”, as well his contributions to some of the band’s newer tracks, including “Chinese Democracy”, “Shacklers Revenge”, “Better”, “Street of Dreams” “If the World”, “There Was a Time”, “Catcher in the Rye”, “Scraped”, “Riad N’ the Bedouins”, “I.R.S” and “Prostitute.” When not playing keyboards or piano, Reed frequently provides backup on percussion and vocals during live Guns N’ Roses performances. He is also known for playing percussions during live performances of songs such as “Mr Brownstone”,”Nightrain”, “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Rocket Queen”.

Reed continues to record and play live with the current Guns N’ Roses line-up, and has now been a member of Guns N’ Roses longer than any other member besides Axl Rose. However, since he joined the band in 1990, five years after its formation in 1985, he cannot be described as an original member. Although Reed did not co write any songs during the Illusion sessions, for Chinese Democracy he co wrote “Street of Dreams” with Axl Rose and Tommy Stinson and “There Was a Time” and “I.R.S” with Rose and Paul Tobias, as well as the non-album single “Oh My God” with Rose and Tobias. It has also been confirmed that the unfinished demo that did not make the cut on Chinese Democracy called “Silkworms” was written by Reed himself and the bands other keyboardist Chris Pitman. As well as singing during Guns N’ Roses live performances, Reed also serves as a backing vocalist. He sang backing vocals on a few songs on the Use Your Illusion albums, notable examples were “November Rain”, “Garden of Eden”, “Bad Apples” and “Civil War” as well as “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory” from “The Spaghetti Incident?”.

Outside of Guns N’ Roses, Reed played on albums for his former bandmates Slash, Duff McKagan, and Gilby Clarke. He also guested on former Guns N’ Roses bassist Tommy Stinson’s 2004 solo effort Village Gorilla Head. Reed is additionally a fan of Larry Norman, a pioneer of Christian music, and played on Norman’s Copper Wires album. Most recently, he has composed music for the film scores The Still Life, released in 2006, and Celebrity Art Show. When he is not touring or recording with Guns N’ Roses, Reed frequently tours with his hard rock cover band Hookers N’ Blow, in which he plays keyboard and guitar and occasionally sings lead vocals. For his work with Hookers N’ Blow, Reed was named Outstanding Keyboardist of the Year at the 2007 Rock City Awards (“Rockies”). Hookers N’ Blow was also named Best Cover Band. Reed has also dabbled in acting, appearing as ‘Mumbles’ in the 2005 film Charlie’s Death Wish. Reed was a member of The Dead Daisies alongside Guns N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus, both left the band in 2015 to focus on Guns N’ Roses.

Aside from lead singer Axl Rose, Reed was the longest-standing and only member of Guns N’ Roses to remain from the band’s Use Your Illusion era, until early 2016 when guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan returned to the band. In 2012, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Guns N’ Roses, although he did not attend the ceremony. He was also a member of the Australian-American supergroup The Dead Daisies with his Guns N’ Roses bandmate Richard Fortus, ex-Whitesnake member Marco Mendoza, ex-Mötley Crüe frontman John Corabi and session drummer Brian Tichy.

Sir Paul McCartney MBE Hon RAM FRCM

English musician, singer-songwriter and composer Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM was born 18th June 1942. He gained worldwide fame as a member of the Beatles With John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Star, and formed one of the most celebrated songwriting partnerships of the 20th century with Lennon.The Beatles were formed when, At the age of fifteen, McCartney met Lennon and his skiffle band, the Quarrymen in 1957 andjoined the group soon thereafter, and formed a close working relationship with Lennon. Harrison joined in 1958 as lead guitarist, followed in 1960 by Lennon’s art school friend Stuart Sutcliffe on bass. By May 1960 they had tried several new names, including “Johnny and the Moondogs” and “the Silver Beetles”, They changed their name to”the Beatles” in mid-August 1960, and drummer Pete Best was recruited prior to the first of what would be five engagements in Hamburg, Germany.

The recording brought them to the attention of Brian Epstein, who became their manager in January 1962. Epstein negotiated a record contract for the group with Parlophone that May. After replacing Best with Ringo Starr in August, and releasing their first hit; “Love Me Do” in October, they became increasingly popular in the UK during 1963 and in the US in 1964. Their fans’ frenzied adulation became known as “Beatlemania”; during which McCartney was dubbed the cute Beatle. His contributions to the band’s early hits include: “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1963); co-written with Lennon, “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1964) and “We Can Work It Out” (1965); co-written with Lennon. In 1965 the Beatles were appointed Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) and they recorded the McCartney composition “Yesterday”, featuring a string quartet. It was the group’s first recorded use of classical music elements in their music and their first recording that did not include more than one band member.

McCartney also composed 1966 Beatles’ hits “Paperback Writer” as “a satire of pop ambition” and “Eleanor Rigby”, which included a string octet. Between 1962 and 1970 the group released twenty-two UK singles and twelve LPs, of which seventeen of the singles and eleven of the LPs became number ones. The band topped the US Billboard Hot 100 twenty times, and recorded fourteen number one albums as Lennon and McCartney became one of the most celebrated songwriting partnerships of the 20th century Before their break-up in 1970 they produced what some critics consider to be their finest material, including the innovative and widely influential albums Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles and Abbey Road McCartney was the primary writer of five of their last six US number one singles: “Hello, Goodbye”, “Hey Jude”, which was the band’s most successful single ever, “Get Back”, “Let It Be” and “The Long and Winding Road”.

After the break -up of The Beates in 1970 McCartney continued his musical career, releasing his first solo album, McCartney, which contained the stand-out track “Maybe I’m Amazed”, written for Linda Eastman. With the exception of some vocal contributions from her, it is a self-performed album, Paul providing all the instrumentation himself. In 1971 Paul collaborated with Linda on a second album, Ram, a UK number one which included the co-written US number one hit single, “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”. Later that year, the pair were joined by ex-Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine and drummer Denny Seiwell to form the group Wings, and release their first album together, Wild Life.In March 1973 Wings’ achieved their first US number one, “My Love”, included on their second LP, Red Rose Speedway, in 1973 McCartney’s collaboration with Linda and former Beatles producer George Martin resulted in the James Bond theme song and Wings hit, “Live and Let Die”. The song was nominated for an Oscar, and it earned Martin a Grammy for his orchestral arrangement.

In 1974 Wings achieved a second US number one, “Band on the Run”; the acclaimed album of the same name, their third, was a massive success that became Wings’ first platinum LP. They followed with the chart topping albums, Venus and Mars and Wings at the Speed of Sound. in November, the Wings song “Mull of Kintyre”, co-written with Laine, was fast becoming one of the best-selling singles in UK chart history. The track became The most successful single of his solo career. Wings completed their final concert tour together in 1979. Active through 1981 Wings produced seven studio albums, five of which topped the US charts, as well as their live triple LP, Wings over America, one of few live albums ever to achieve the top spot in America. They also recorded six US number one singles including, “Listen to What the Man Said”, “Silly Love Songs, “With a Little Luck”, and “Coming Up”. Wings was formally disbanded in 1981,

Since then McCartney has had a prolific solo career and has been described by Guinness World Records as the “most successful composer and recording artist of all time”, with 60 gold discs and sales of over 100 million albums and 100 million singles, and “the most successful songwriter” in UK chart history. His Beatles song “Yesterday” has been covered by over 2,200 artists—more than any other song in the history of recorded music. Wings’ 1977 release “Mull of Kintyre”, co-written with Laine, was one of the best-selling singles ever in the UK. He has written or co-written thirty-two songs that have reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and as of 2012 he has sold over 15.5 million RIAA-certified units in the United States.

McCartney has also composed film scores, classical and electronic music and has released a large catalogue of songs as a solo artist. He has taken part in projects to help international charities, been an advocate for animal rights, vegetarianism and music education, campaigned against landmines and seal hunting and supported efforts such as Make Poverty History. His company MPL Communications owns the copyrights to more than 25,000 songs, including those written by Buddy Holly, as well as the publishing rights to the musicals Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line and Grease. He is one of the UK’s wealthiest people, with an estimated fortune of £475 million in 2010.He has been married three times, and married his third wife Lady Nancy Shevell on Sunday 9th October 2011, and is the father of five children. McCartney also performed “Magical Mystery Tour”,”All My Loving” and “Let is Be” followed by a stirring version of “Live and Let Die” accompanied by some impressive pyrotechnics and “Oh-Bla-Di” at Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Concert and also played at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. McCartney’s latest album, Pure McCartney was released June 2016 and is an enormous career spanning retrospective from the 1970’s to the present day.