15 Things That Emphasize the Historical Impacts of the Air Force

September 18th 2022 marks the Air Force’s 75th Birthday, representing a huge milestone in the history of aviation. In commemoration of this historical moment below is a list of notable contributions from the Air Force:

1. Rocket Sled: The data collected from the Rocket Sled’s testing helped lead to
mandatory seatbelts in automobiles.


2. SAGE System: Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) System was a
computerized air defense system which in part led to art of computer programing.


3. Heated Clothing: Heated flight suits were developed as a countermeasure to the
extreme cold weather conditions pilots faced while piloting the B-17.


4. B-10 Bomber: Known as the “Super bomber” it was considered faster than most of
the fighters that existed in the world at the time.


5. X Series: A series of aircraft built to test: shape, technology, or propulsion rather
than go into production including the first aircraft to break the speed of sound.


6. Turbo Supercharger: A critical technology that allowed pilots to compress more
air into their engines allowing them to fly higher and faster.


7. Bunker Buster: The GBU-28 or “Bunker Buster” was developed to help penetrate
enemy bunkers during operation Desert Storm.


8. Space Food: Originally developed for the Mercury Program, toothpaste tube food
was developed to allow Astronauts a sustainable meal in space.


9. Stealth: Research was conducted to better understand how radar reflected off of
aircraft and RAM Coding’s that would make the aircraft less visible on radar.


10. EW Jamming Pods: Developed during the Vietnam War to combat the SA2-
Surface-to-Air missiles, Jamming Pods emit a signal that drowns out enemy air
defense systems.


11. X-15: A milestone in high-speed, hypersonic flight and an important vehicle in the
development of space flight.


12. Propeller Development: Research and testing was conducted to change wooden
to metal propellers and further develop the Variable Pitch Propeller system.


13. B-17 Autopilot: Development of a special system in the B-17 that connected the
Norden Bombsite to the Autopilot controls, allowing for better accuracy in
changing conditions.


14. AutoGyro: Using an unpowered rotor system the AutoGyro served as a major
stepping stone in the development of helicopters.