B-21 First Flight | Contract Tankers for Fighters | F-35 Shoots Down Missile

Your insider view into the latest in aviation, defense, and geopolitics

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If you want to grow old as a pilot, you’ve got to know when to push it, and when to back off”
-Chuck Yeagar

🎙️ Listen to The Lowdown on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. We dive a bit deeper and share some “bonus” thoughts.

🎙️ TAP #84 with Kevin Latchman is available wherever you get your podcasts. Kevin was awarded the Air Force Cross by Prince William for narrowly avoiding a vehicle that unexpectedly drove across the runway on his takeoff roll in Kabul.

Lowdown: 3-1 Brevity communication for a request for the tactical ground picture in an area of interest.


✈️ The B-21 Raider, the US Air Force's next-generation stealth bomber, successfully completed its first flight, marking a significant milestone in modernizing the nation's bomber fleet. This flight demonstrates advanced capabilities in stealth and performance, setting a new standard for future military aviation.

B-21 Raider

✈️ A former Delta Air Lines pilot, Jonathan J. Dunn, has been indicted for threatening to shoot the plane's captain during a flight in August 2022, following a disagreement over diverting the flight for a passenger's medical issue. Dunn, who was part of the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, has since been removed from the program and no longer works for Delta

✈️ The US Air Force has successfully conducted its first commercial air-to-air refueling of a fighter jet. Using a contracted tanker represents a significant shift towards more flexible and cost-effective refueling operations for military aircraft. F-16’s from Osan Air Base in Korea enroute to Singapore for Command Sling exercise were the first fighters refueled. By the end of the exercise the KDC-10 will refuel F-15s and F-22s.

✈️ The cherished giant pandas from the National Zoo, have successfully arrived in China, marking a new chapter in panda conservation, thanks to FedEx's dedicated 'Panda Express' transport service. FedEx has transported 15 Pandas 10 times over the past two decades.

FedEx 777 loading up

In Partnership with Bogidope.com


🎯 The US Air Force is considering a significant transformation of the T-7 Red Hawk trainer into an F-7 light attack jet, a move that could revolutionize air combat capabilities and offer a versatile, cost-effective solution for various military operations.

🎯 Following the abrupt announcement that Colonel Tim Murphy was stepping down and retiring from his short tenure as commander, Kunsan Air Base welcomes Colonel Matthew Gaetke was named as the new leader of the 8th Fighter Wing. Col Gaetke assumed command on 8 November.

🎯 Due to unexpected operational commitments in the Middle East, the Marine Corps Command has canceled its annual ball, highlighting the evolving and demanding nature of military operations in the region.

🎯 An Israeli F-35 successfully intercepted and destroyed a cruise missile, showcasing the advanced capabilities of the F-35 in real-world missile defense scenarios.

Cruise missile just prior to being shot down by an F-35

🎯 The U.S. has launched an airstrike on an Iranian-backed militia's weapons warehouse in eastern Syria. This decisive action, involving two F-15 fighter jets, was in retaliation for increasing attacks on U.S. bases in the region.


🌎 China's military has issued a warning to the Philippines, stating that a Philippine military ship illegally entered waters near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. This escalation in maritime tensions highlights the ongoing territorial disputes in the region, with China urging the Philippines to cease its 'infringements and provocations' immediately.

🌎 Democratic mayors in major U.S. cities are increasingly voicing concerns over the Biden administration's handling of the migrant crisis. As thousands of migrants arrive from the southern border, cities like New York and Washington D.C. are struggling to provide adequate resources and shelter, highlighting a growing challenge for the administration.

🌎 President Biden is set to urge China to resume military ties with the U.S., a move aimed at reducing tensions and misunderstandings between the two powers.


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