23 years ago the Dragon Drone was being used in urban warfare tests at Camp Lejeune. The delta flying wing design, which offers high endurance and simplicity, remains a very popular configuration for drones over two decades later, especially among adversaries.
The planform for RPAs/UAVs goes way back. For instance, here is a Star Mini being launched at NAF El Centro in 1977!:
Fast forward to today, & Iran & Israel, in particular, make great use of the delta planfrom with their suicide drones. Israel largely pioneered the concept decades ago. Small gasoline engines offer high endurance & are cheap. The sound is also terrifying:
It's really amazing how far these technologies go back and how they have evolved over time, finally hitting their stride in the 2010s.
So many of the UAV innovations we are familiar with today come from decades of work by the Ryan Aeronautical company. Below is a little diagram of the Star. The company had multiple variants in mind that differed wildly in capabilities.

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More from @Aviation_Intel

11 Jan
Let me take a stab at this after years of reporting on Marine One, HMX-1, Continuity of Government, etc. None of this is definitive, but it could help explain what folks are seeing:

1.) HMX-1, which flies the VH-3D and VH-60N 'White Top' helicopters used to move... 1/X
the President and VP around, those helos being called Marine One or Two when either is onboard, need to train. The urban landing zones, including WH and VP Residence, are not simple to get in and out of. So, crews need some currency training. They are not just tasked with... 2/X
moving POTUS and VP to get them around the region and to Andrews AFB for long-haul flights, they are essential to Continuity of Government operations. This means that if a threat were to emerge, they need to be ready to snatch POTUS and VP in minutes. This is partially... 3/X
Read 9 tweets
25 Dec 20
Lots of people talking about some sort of impending kinetic operation over Iraq due to OSINT. Considering what is happening there, especially today's news, an increase of on-call strike aircraft, and especially ISR/networking aircraft, & tanker support, would not be unexpected.1/
This does not mean an operation is about to kick-off, although it's always possible. It does mean that coalition forces want to get a leg up on any possible hostile action & be ready to detect, fix, and kill a threat before it manifests itself fully or quickly after as well as 2/
being in a place to deter & respond to a major hostile action, especially by Iran. Not having to be in a fully reactionary, long-lead posture is precisely one of the reasons so much airpower is stacked in that region at any given time. You want it up, watching & ready 3/
Read 8 tweets
16 Sep 20
I think people are looking at this NGAD demonstrator a little differently than they should. Technology demonstrators are used to reduce risk and prove various technologies so that they can be incorporated into an operational system down the line. This can include everything 1/X
from sensor systems to propulsion systems to aerodynamic shaping and production methods. Often times, multiple aspects can be rolled into a single demonstrator. We have examples of this, like Have Blue, Tacit Blue, Bird of Prey etc but the reality is that far far more...
Technology demonstrators have existed than we really can imagine. They are built for limited flight time and in some cases in a rapid iteration series. There are dozens of highly classified programs ongoing out A51 and elsewhere at any given time, some do not involve...
Read 14 tweets
16 Aug 20
Love how half of this episode of Unidentified was based on all my & my team’s painstaking research without 1 bit of credit. Would i do their show when asked? No, i don’t do UFO shows, but jesus at least mention where all that came from. Sickening. Couldn’t believe what I watched
I mean don’t credit us, fuck us right, but don’t credit it to anyone willing to do interviews. That’s so fucked up.
there is so much fucked up about this show, so many inaccuracies. I said fuck it, let them do their thing, but it’s flagrant. At the end of this episode they blow off electronic warfare & spoofing & then literally describe NEMESIS, but don’t know that’s a real program....
Read 9 tweets
5 Aug 20
The whole Beirut was a nuke idiot fest: We live in an era where unlimited info and learning potential is at one's fingertips, but also totally unsubstantiated & implausible rumors & sensational claims can rule the day. Like the entire world is now a middle school gossip circle...
The internet can make smart people way smarter and stupid people way stupider. It's an amazing albeit startling nexus of human nature.
People are so lonely and desperate for conversation, they comment all day on articles on complex subjects they didn't even skim. They just want to give an opinion regardless of it is absolutely worthless or even outright misleading. It's an amazingly low standard to exist within.
Read 6 tweets
2 May 20
Star Wars: Clone Wars four episode finale is absolutely a masterpiece. It’s the best thing Star Wars ever. It eclipses the Mandalorian, no baby yoda needed. Filoni is such a talent, and as the last installment proves, he can do horror with the best of them. Tense as can be! 1/2
The action and animation are just off the charts and above all else Ashoka Tano is firmly the best lead character the franchise has ever produced. Live action will make her a household sensation. It’s coming and they set it up magnificently over two series.
Bonus tweet, Clone Wars has retroactively made episode 3 the best out of all of them. True and very complex tragedy of epic proportions. It redefines the Jedi. In reflection, it highlights just how poor and unimaginative the sequel trilogy was.
Read 4 tweets

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