Five Things The Air Force Invented

Right after the World War II, the US Air Force was born out of the Army Air Corps. At that time, the country was experiencing tremendous advances in military, science and medicine technology. In honour of its 70th anniversary, USAF SECRETARY, HEATHER WILSON shares five noteworthy technologies, developed to enable and protect serviceman and women, that now improve the lives of civilians.

1. The satellite constellation behind the GPS, which the Air Force manages, enable everything from synchronized bank transactions to smartphones.

2. Commercial airliners crushing at 36,000 ft would be inconceivable if pressurized airplane cabins, which debuted with the XC-35 in 1937 at Wright Field in Ohio was not developed.

3. Drones also called remotely piloted aircraft, have fundamentally changed warfare, providing "eyes in the sky" over hostile territory. Now they aid civilian efforts in mapping, agriculture, and disaster recovery.

4. Research into advanced composites which made aircraft stronger and lighter began during World War I at McCook Field in Ohio. Today materials like carbon-fibre reinforced polymers and ceramic composites have found their way into commercial airliners and earthbound equipment like car chassis, bicycles and tennis rackets.

5. The Air Force introduced the first Fly-by-Wire Fighter, the F-16, in 1978. The same technology that gave that jets its unprecedented manoeuvrability has improved the reliability, performance and safety of commercial airliners and "drive by wire" automobiles.

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