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BUSINESS
October 17, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan
High above the Mojave Desert, the military's next-generation fighter jet dropped a 2,000-pound bomb for the first time in its latest test flight. It's a key milestone for the stealthy, supersonic F-35, built by Lockheed Martin Corp., which has been undergoing tests since its first flight in late 2006. The F-35, piloted by Air Force Maj. Eric "Doc" Schultz, jettisoned the smart bomb Wednesday from the belly of the aircraft over the Naval Air Weapons Station test range at China Lake.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2014 | By Rong-Gong Lin II
It was a lone F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet that produced the sonic boom Wednesday that produced the rumbling so intense some Los Angeles and Orange County residents insisted it was an earthquake. The confirmation Thursday from the U.S. Navy came as some questioned that the rumbling came from an aircraft, while others suggested it was a test of the fabled Aurora spy plane. “It's maddening these things draw up these conspiracy theories,” said Peter Merlin, an aerospace historian and an author on military and experimental aircraft.
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BUSINESS
June 10, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
An F-35 fighter jet launched a missile in mid-flight from its internal weapons bay for the first time in a test flight for the Air Force. The missile firing took place last week about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles at the Navy's Point Mugu Sea Test Range after the plane took off from Edwards Air Force Base.  It is a milestone that paves the way for targeted launches later this year. On Monday, aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp. released a video in which the F-35 ejects an AIM-120 missile that briefly falls before firing its rocket motor and bursting into flight.
SCIENCE
April 10, 2014 | By Amina Khan, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Fruit flies could make some talented fighter pilots. Scientists who had the insects wing it through two laser beams watched the bugs make hairpin turns at blazing fast speeds, by banking in the same way that fighter jet planes do. The findings, published in the journal Science, shed light on these tiny critters' remarkable ability to evade predators (and fly swatters). [Updated at 5:15 p.m. PDT April 10: Tracking how these insects fly in response to a threat should help researchers understand the fruit fly's inner life, said Cornell University physicist Jane Wang, who was not involved in the research.
NATIONAL
March 16, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
The pilot of an F-16C fighter jet that crashed in a rugged area of western Arizona was killed when his plane went down, Air Force officials confirmed. The student pilot, whose identity was not released, was practicing air-to-air combat with another F-16 from Luke Air Force Base about noon Friday when his plane crashed, base spokeswoman Mary Jo May said. Aircraft from the Air Force, Marines, Civil Air Patrol and Arizona Department of Public Safety spent hours trying to find the wreckage, which was spotted in a remote area about 80 miles northwest of Phoenix.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Capt. Jeff Haney was headed back to base in his F-22 Raptor fighter jet, ripping through the frigid Alaskan night beyond the speed of sound at more than 1,000 mph, when things started going terribly wrong. Packed tight in cold-weather gear to protect him from the bitter temperatures, the Air Force pilot pulled back on the control stick at about 38,400 feet to gain altitude. Then Haney saw his plane was beginning to fail him. A caution light glowed green through his night vision goggles, alerting him that a section of the aircraft was overheating.
BUSINESS
February 4, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
The ear-piercing machine-gun-like blasts of an air hammer are a welcome sound to workers on the Northrop Grumman Corp. assembly line in El Segundo. It means they're busy churning out fuselage sections for the supersonic F/A-18 fighter jet, a fixture on U.S. Navy aircraft carriers since 1983 and still in demand worldwide. Once slated for replacement, the jet now is in high demand from the Pentagon and foreign governments looking to upgrade their arsenals. The Northrop plant has a backlog that will take at least until 2014 to finish.
BUSINESS
April 19, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
The radar-evading F-35 fighter jet, a nearly $400-billion weapons program under development for more than a decade, is facing its worst turbulence since Washington decided to buy it in 2001 - when it was billed as the most affordable, lethal and survivable military aircraft ever built for the U.S. and its allies. At a time when federal spending is under a microscope, the plan to develop and build 2,443 airplanes is hundreds of billions of dollars over budget. The F-35, known as the Joint Strike Fighter, has been delayed by glitches in its onboard computer systems, cracks in structural components and troubles with its electrical system.
NEWS
June 26, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
A Japanese fighter jet conducting training on the northern island of Hokkaido mistakenly strafed a parking lot, smashing the rear window of a car and penetrating the roof of a garage. There were no injuries, police spokesman Akihiro Ishikawa said. But the Defense Ministry apologized and suspended all Air Self-Defense Force training involving shooting.
NATIONAL
June 5, 2003 | From Times Wire Services
An Air Force fighter jet crashed in a forest, but both crew members ejected safely, authorities said. The F-15E Strike Eagle from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base struck the ground and caught fire after the fliers escaped, Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said. One crew member suffered leg and other injuries, Bizzell said. One flier's parachute snagged in a tree, leaving him about 30 feet off the ground before he was rescued, Bizzell said.
WORLD
March 23, 2014 | By Glen Johnson and Nabih Bulos
GAZIANTEP, Turkey -- Turkish fighter jets shot down a Syrian warplane Sunday in an embattled border zone, and Turkey and Syria each insisted the plane was in their airspace when it was downed. The downing was the latest border clash between onetime allies who have turned on one another because of Syria's 3-year-old civil war. Turkey has sided with the opposition in that conflict, angering the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Turkey blamed Syria for what it said was an aerial encroachment Sunday, while Syrian state television said a military official called Turkey's action “blatant aggression.” A monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said initial reports indicated the plane came down on the Syrian side of the frontier.
WORLD
March 5, 2014 | By David S. Cloud
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon is sending six additional fighter jets and an air refueling tanker to Lithuania, a move meant to reassure allies in Eastern Europe of U.S. military support when Russia's incursion in Ukraine has raised fears about Moscow's intentions. The deployment will mean ten U.S. F-15s are in Lithuania. Four had arrived in Lithuania in January as part of a regular rotation and are scheduled to leave at the end of April. The jets will participate in NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission, a 10-year-old alliance effort meant to deter Russian violations of air space over Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
BUSINESS
March 3, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan
Boeing Co., the aerospace giant that makes fighter jets, airliners and satellites, is now looking at getting into the cell phone business. The Chicago company said it has developed an ultra-secure smartphone that's marketed toward U.S. defense and security communities. Few details have been released. What is known is the Boeing Black smartphone runs off an Android operating system, contains encrypted storage for sensitive data and has a self-destruct mode. If someone tries to pop open the device, it is automatically wiped of its data and made inoperable.
WORLD
October 13, 2013 | By Laura King
CAIRO -- Flaming debris from the midair breakup of a military fighter jet Sunday rained onto a rural hamlet near Luxor, the site of some of Egypt's most celebrated ancient tombs and temples. One person was killed on the ground and two were hurt, officials said. The pilot of the Russian-made MiG-21, which was on a training flight, managed to eject and parachute to safety. Egyptian army spokesman Col. Ahmed Ali blamed a “sudden malfunction” for the crash, but gave no details. The Ahram website quoted Luxor's security director as saying that fiery wreckage plummeted onto agricultural fields and village homes, killing a farmer and some livestock and injuring two villagers.
BUSINESS
June 20, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
Few places in the aerospace industry are as revered as Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Skunk Works. For decades, employees at the secretive site have designed and built the some of the most innovative military aircraft ever built. The U-2 spy plane. The SR-71 Blackbird. The F-117 Nighthawk. This week, the shadowy weapons development facility in Palmdale silently celebrated its 70th anniversary. It should come as no surprise that the milestone came with little fanfare, considering the Skunk Works mantra is "quick, quiet and quality.
SPORTS
June 13, 2013 | Chris Erskine
Oy, camping! My backpack is the size of a Honda Fit. It has 54 pockets, 27 zippers and a functioning spleen. It weighs as much as a 9-by-12 rug with a dead Soprano rolled up inside. To shed it at the end of a long hike is the sweetest thing imaginable. We have backpacked eight miles into the wilderness, no world record but nothing to sneeze at either, eight miles straight up a broken escalator. Eight miles from the nearest bucket of ice or cheeseburger, medium rare. Me, I get too far from cheeseburgers and I start to panic a little, my breath coming in short, troubled bursts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 7, 2007 | Maeve Reston and Garrett Therolf, Times Staff Writers
Federal agents seized four F-14 Tomcat fighters in San Bernardino County on Tuesday -- three from airplane museums -- after investigators determined that the jets were not demilitarized and were improperly sold or transferred to private companies, including the producer of the TV show "JAG," authorities said.
NEWS
January 11, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
A New Jersey Air National Guard F-16 fighter jet crashed Thursday near a crowded highway in southern New Jersey. But the pilot, who was on a training mission, ejected and was only slightly injured, officials said. There was no explanation for why the plane crashed into a wooded area near the Garden State Parkway. No cars were hit. Traffic was backed up for hours after the 10:30 a.m. crash while police cleared debris that scattered on the roadway. Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col.
BUSINESS
June 11, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
European plane-maker Airbus announced the first flight of its new A350 XWB passenger jet is set for Friday, just days ahead of the Paris Air Show, the world's premier aviation showcase. Weather conditions permitting, the A350 XWB will take off from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France about 1 a.m. PDT, the company said. The Paris Air Show, set to run from June 17 to June 23, is where airlines and aircraft leasing companies go on buying sprees, announcing orders worth billions of dollars.
BUSINESS
June 10, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
An F-35 fighter jet launched a missile in mid-flight from its internal weapons bay for the first time in a test flight for the Air Force. The missile firing took place last week about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles at the Navy's Point Mugu Sea Test Range after the plane took off from Edwards Air Force Base.  It is a milestone that paves the way for targeted launches later this year. On Monday, aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp. released a video in which the F-35 ejects an AIM-120 missile that briefly falls before firing its rocket motor and bursting into flight.
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