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The Most Awestriking, Devastating Military Planes Ever

Combat military planes, also called warplanes. are operated by the army to destroy enemy forces. Fighter aircraft, bomber aircraft, attack aircraft, electronic war aircraft, maritime patrol aircraft and multi-role combat aircraft are broad categories of warplanes. In this article we look at some of the most devastating military aircraft of all time.

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1. Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15 Eagle

This multi-role fighter aircraft entered the military service in 1976 and overtime became a classic American warplane having a great combat record. The Boeing F-15 Eagle is still in service as of 2018 and is operated by the United States, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar, South Korea and Singapore.The aircraft can accommodate 1 or 2 crew members and can travel at a speed of 3017 kilometers per hour/1,875 miles per hour.

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The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle series was made to replace the McDonnell F-4 Phantom II series that was used during the Vietnam War, by being designed with advanced technologies and would advance to have an superior kill-to-loss record. Model Variants of this superior aircraft series include the F-15A, F-15B, F-15C, F-15D, F-15E, F-15SA, TF-15A, F-15J and so on. Standard armor for the F-15 Eagle series includes internal cannon used in close-combat, laser guided bombs for ground attack, missiles and drop bombs.

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2. Focke-Wulf Fw 190 (Wurger)

This single-seat fighter-bomber aircraft is considered the greatest German warplane of the 2nd World War. It was created in 1941 by Fock-Wulf Nazi Germany. 20,000 planes of this type were produced, but this plane is no longer in service. It was operated by Nazi Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, France, Romania, Turkey, Imperial Japan, Spain and Yugoslavia. The Fw 190 accommodated 1 crew member and had a maximum speed of 685 kilometers per hour/26 miles per hour.

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The standard armament was made up of MG 131 2x13mmm machine guns located in the engine cowling, and MG 151 2x20mm cannons situated in wing roots. Optional armament included cannons in the outboard wings, under wing bombs, cannon firing via the propeller hub and under wing air rockets. In spite of the short operational period, Fw 190 warplanes left a lasting impression on onlookers during and after the second world war.

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3. Grumman F6F Hellcat

The historic Grumman F6F Hellcat carrier-borne fighter bomb aircraft was designed to succeed the F4F Wildcat series used by the US Navy in World War II in the Pacific region. This Hellcat series originated in the United States in 1943 and 12,272 planes were made before the series went out of service. These planes were operated by United States, United Kingdom, Argentina, Uruguay, France and South Vietnam. They accommodated 1 crew member and had a maximum speed of 611 kilometers per hour/380 miles per hour.

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Standard armament for the F6F-3 and F6F-5 was 6×0.5 caliber M2 machine guns or 2x20mm cannons and 4×0.5 caliber machine guns. Optional armor included rockets in the under wing, drop bombs and torpedo center-line. The F6F Hellcats were known to make aces of pilots who flew them thanks to the fine build, and had landing gears that retracted backwards.

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4. McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II

The F-4 Phantom II is a multi-role carrier-based strike fighter plane that was created in 1960. It is regarded by many as one of the greatest fighter aircraft in history and was used largely during the Vietnam war era. This series is still in active service as of 2018. United States, Australia, Germany, Iran, Japan, United Kingdom, Egypt, Greece, Israel and Turkey have operated the F-4 Phantom II series. The F-4 aircraft can accommodate 2 crew members and flies at a maximum speed of 2370 kilometers per hour/1,473 miles per hour.

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Standard armament is 1x20mm M61 rotary cannon while optional munitions include missiles, laser-guided bombs, dumb bombs, cluster bombs and external fuel tanks. The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II was among the finest warplanes of the 20th century that served in war times and went on to become an all-round service plane in USAF, USN and USMC.

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5. Messerschmitt Bf 109

Nazi Germany used the outstanding Messerschmitt Bf 109 in the time leading to and during the second World War. The fighter plane came into existence in 1937, but is currently out-of-service. A total of 35,500 fighter planes of this type were produced. Germany, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Slovakia, Cezchoslovakia, Kingdom of Italy, Romania, Israel, Yugoslavia, Spain and Switzerland operated the Bf 109 German planes.

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The fighter aircraft was designed to accommodate one crew member and fly at a maximum speed of 578 kilometers per hour/ 359 miles per hour. Armament included a cannon in the propeller hub, machine guns situated in the engine cowlings or the wings, 2 cannons in the under-wings, drop bombs and aerial rockets. The Messerschmitt grew into a symbol of pride for the rising German country, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. These planes were used during the Spanish Civil War, the Battle of Britain, the East and West Front, North African Campaign as well as invasion of Europe proper.

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6. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (Fresco)

The Soviet Union was the origin of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 bomber jet which was a huge improvement from the MiG-15 series. The MiG-17 series came into being in1952 and is no longer in use. Operators of this machine apart from the Soviet Union were Cuba, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Congo, Madagascar, China, Mali, Albania, North Vietnam, Russia, Syria, and Sudan. Only 1 person could ride the plane at a go and it traveled at a speed of 1145 kilometers per hour/711 miles per hour.

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Ammunitions included 1x37mm, 2x23mm or 3x23mm cannons; 2x 550pound bombs; rocket pods; and radar-guided missiles. Compared to the MiG-15, the MiG-17 had longer wings, a larger tail, and lengthened horizontal surfaces to help it overcome poor high-speed control. However, the enhanced power plant of these fighters was a very thirsty engine setup that needed more fuel usage when running on full force, therefore the MiG-17 planes were usually fitted with 2 drop tanks in the under wing.

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Conclusion

During the war era, the soldiers used fighter planes to increase their chances of subduing the enemy forces. Other historic warplane that are worth mentioning include the North American P-51 Mustang, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, Sopwith Camel, and Supermarine Spitfire.

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Itchy Hand Leads to $30,000 Lottery Prize

Kevin Wells

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A woman from South Carolina won $30,000 in the lottery, thanks to an old superstition about itchy palms.

The woman, from the Midlands, told officials from the South Carolina Education Lottery that she stopped at the Walmart Fuel Station on Pinewood Road in Sumter because her hand was itching a lot. According to the superstition, an itchy palm means good luck is coming, especially with money.

Believing in this, she bought a $2 “20X The Cash” scratch-off ticket. She scratched the ticket in her car and discovered she had won $30,000.

Now, the woman is deciding what to do with her winnings. “I don’t have any plans for it yet,” she said.

Superstitions about itchy palms aren’t new. There have been other times in history when people believed these kinds of signs led to good luck. For example, in many cultures, an itchy right palm means you will receive money, while an itchy left palm means you will lose money. While it might just be a fun belief, sometimes it seems to pay off, like it did for this South Carolina woman.

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Tired Deer Rescued from Beach

Renee Yates

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A very tired roe deer was rescued from Cleethorpes beach, according to a wildlife group.

Emergency services were called on Monday evening by people worried the deer was stuck in the mud.

Volunteers from Cleethorpes Wildlife Rescue (CWR) found the scared deer with its face in a fence near the water’s edge. They used a deer net to catch the animal, which was then treated by a vet and later released in a safer place, CWR said.

Earlier, the deer had been seen swimming in the estuary, which is usually normal, CWR explained on Facebook. However, they later got reports – not confirmed – that the deer had been chased by dogs on the beach.

Volunteers watched the deer and saw that its condition was getting worse. They quickly planned a rescue and were able to capture the deer in just a few seconds with good teamwork.

The deer was taken to Medivet in Swanland, East Yorkshire. After treatment, the deer became much more alert, and its condition improved a lot on the way back to Cleethorpes, CWR said.

The wildlife group thanked the volunteers, vets, and emergency services who helped with the successful rescue.

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Chicago Teen Earns Doctorate at 17

Kelly Taylor

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By age 14, Dorothy Jean Tillman had already earned her associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Despite these remarkable accomplishments, she confided to her mother, Jimalita Tillman, “I think I want to pursue a doctorate.”

Her mother was initially taken aback. It was the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, and Dorothy was busy with her newly launched STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) camp startup, seeking funding for the organization. “I was just like, ‘why?’ I thought you were done,” Jimalita recounted to CNN.

Dorothy’s goal was to make a positive impact on young people’s mental health, and with that explanation, her mother fully supported her.

Two years later, Dorothy, at 17, successfully defended her dissertation. Now 18, she graduated from Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions on May 8, officially becoming Dr. Dorothy Jean Tillman.

Seeing her daughter’s accomplishments has been a humbling experience for Jimalita. “I knew what it took for her to go through that. She had to sacrifice a lot. A lot of her fears and going through different things during the pandemic,” she said. “She emerged as a leader without fear, showing them how to navigate online schooling.”

Dorothy’s academic prowess was evident from a young age. By 7, she was doing high school work and soon began taking college-level exams to earn credits toward higher education.

Reflecting on her journey, Dorothy said, “It was always a very hard thing to kind of stomach mentally being so young. When you get out of college, you’re thinking, ‘what do I do next?’ Now I am able to sit in the comfortability of being a teenager and being OK with the fact that I don’t have to figure out what comes next.”

At Arizona State University, she studied integrated behavioral health. Her dissertation examined the stigma preventing university students from seeking mental health treatment.

In addition to her academic pursuits, Dorothy runs the Dorothy Jeanius STEAM Leadership Institute. This program encourages hundreds of underserved young people in Chicago and internationally, in countries like Ghana and South Africa, to explore STEAM careers. The institute offers guest speakers and open discussions in each STEAM field. “We just want to provide them with all the resources possible and the best foundation to be able to start walking on that pathway to their dreams,” she explained.

Despite her extraordinary achievements, Dorothy remains a typical teenager, enjoying time with family and friends. She credits her mother as her biggest supporter. “I definitely couldn’t have gotten this far without her; she’s the best teammate, the best supporter,” she said.

Another significant influence is her grandmother, former Chicago alderwoman Dorothy Tillman, who worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement.

After completing her degree at ASU, Dorothy aims to expand her camps and integrate her studies on behavioral health into her work. She envisions franchising the camps to reach more children and plans to engage more with youth in Africa.

“I’ve been focusing on my studies a lot and I don’t go nearly as much as I should,” Dorothy remarked. “Now I’m glad to have the time for things like that.”

Dorothy emphasizes the importance of a supportive family in her success. “It’s teamwork that makes the dream work,” she said. “It is a village that builds the land. It’s having those people there with you that is going to, you know, uphold you at the end of the day.”

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106-Year-Old Texan Sets Record as World’s Oldest Skydiver

Renee Yates

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At 106 years old, Alfred “Al” Blaschke from Georgetown, Texas, has reclaimed the title of the world’s oldest skydiver. This remarkable feat was achieved when he jumped out of an airplane at 9,000 feet last November. Blaschke, who initially set the record at 103, continues to prove that age is just a number.

Blaschke’s latest skydive was not just for thrill; it was a powerful message about overcoming doubts. “If you think you can’t, you’re just underestimating yourself,” he said, encouraging people to step beyond their comfort zones.

This achievement was covered by the Guinness World Records, which tracks over 40,000 world records. Blaschke’s record had been briefly surpassed by Dorothy Hoffner of Chicago, who made her skydive at 104. Unfortunately, Hoffner passed away before her record could be officially recognized.

On November 27, 2023, Blaschke embarked on his third tandem skydive. He and his instructor leaped from 9,000 feet above Fentress, Texas, and parachuted safely to the ground, greeted by his family, journalists, and officials.

Blaschke’s journey into skydiving began at the age of 100, and he broke his first record at 103 to celebrate his twin grandsons’ college graduation. He was inspired to take up skydiving not just for fun but to mark significant life events in a truly memorable way.

The record was previously held by Rut Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson of Sweden, who skydived at 103 years and 259 days old in 2022. Motivated by Larsson’s feat, Blaschke was determined to reclaim his title.

Now 107, Blaschke has lived a full life, from his early years in a farming family in Janesville, Wisconsin, to a 40-year career in the tool-and-die industry where he built aircraft parts during World War II. He moved to Texas in 2004 with his wife, Eleanor, who passed away in 2010.

Skydiving for Blaschke is more than just a sport; it’s a way to celebrate milestones and make every moment count. As he put it, each dive has to be for “something extra special.”

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Twin Hero Receives Royal Award for Bravery

Kevin Wells

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Three years ago, an ordinary vacation in Mexico turned into a scene from a movie when a crocodile attacked two sisters while swimming in a river. Georgia and Melissa, twins who were enjoying their time in the water, suddenly found themselves in a terrifying situation. Georgia reached safety, but as Melissa was being helped onto the bank, the crocodile struck again, pulling her underwater.

In a brave and daring move, Georgia, who is now 31 years old, didn’t hesitate. She jumped back into the water, not once but twice, to fight off the massive reptile and save her sister. This incredible act of courage has earned Georgia the King’s Gallantry Medal, a prestigious award given by King Charles III. This medal is a tribute to civilians who risk their own lives to save others.

Georgia shared with the UK’s PA Media news agency that receiving this award brings a “silver lining” to their horrifying experience. She said it somewhat eases the trauma they went through.

Melissa’s ordeal was severe. She suffered from multiple injuries including a complicated wrist fracture, deep puncture wounds to her stomach, and bites on her leg, foot, and glutes. She had to undergo emergency surgery and was even placed in a medically induced coma to fight off a life-threatening infection known as sepsis. Thankfully, she fully recovered after a tough battle in the hospital.

Now, with the nightmare behind them, Georgia and Melissa are channeling their experience into something positive. They are planning to swim 13 kilometers in the Thames Marathon this August. Their goal is to raise money for PTSD UK and Compañeros En Salud, a charity in Mexico that helps provide medical training and aid to communities in need.

Reflecting on the incident, Georgia admits that it sometimes feels like a distant, unreal memory. “It sounds like something out of a horror movie,” she says. But for them, it’s a part of their life story, a dramatic chapter in their personal tapestry.

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