1955 ... a popular model!

... Hydrogen Bomb 101- the round thingy is a fission type atomic bomb which goes Bang and provides crazy amounts of heat and radiation to make the Hydrogen goop [blue and tan stuff] start the process of fusion which then causes a VAROOOOOM equal to about 4 million tons of TNT or 200 Hiroshima sized atom-bombs. Is that clear? There will be a quiz later.

Your B-52 Stratofortress can carry, oh - say, 4 to 5 of these.

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1953 ... more dreams of VTOL!

... efforts that started in WWII to provide supply convoys with their own air-cover continued into the Cold War. The Navy (desperate to remain relevant in a time when it was thought that any large war would be resolved by the Air Force's strategic bombers and nuclear payloads in a few days) continued to consider any crazy plan to get jets on any ship! Despite the fact that the fighter pictured has USAF markings I suspect that the 'boys in blue' would be making rude noises from the back of the briefing hall.  


1954 ... nuclear soap opera!

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... another view inside the B-52!

1960 ... big and smokey B-52

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1962 ... "right this way Senator!"

... warm and fuzzy cut-a-way of the congressional bunker underneath the Greenbriar Hotel.

1960 ... so that's what that is!

Leonid Brezhnev - leader USSR 1964-1982


... "heavy man- very heavy!"

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... Mutual Assured Deterrence! (MAD)

... Airpower- The New Doctrine!

.. when it's narrated by Walter Cronkite- you know it's serious! An interesting who's got what and how much and what about those scary missiles that are being developed. If you need me I'll be hiding under my bed!


... B-52 Stratofortress

... nose profiles of the B-52 heavy Strategic bomber. The top illustration is probably around the time of it's introduction into service in 1955. The lower illustration should be around 1960 (you can just see the nose of a 'Houndog' standoff missile hung from the wing on the right). The aluminum skin is so thin, that yes indeed, it does wrinkle. 

Guess somewhere along the way they decided to make sure everybody knew this monster belonged to the USAF and not... Luxembourg?

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... you and your Stratofortress!

... basic layout of the six crew-members (5 since the rear gunner was eliminated in 1991) for a B-52 'BUFF' [ Big Ugly Fat Fellow]


1952 ... Atomic Minutemen!

... Gramps relates his experience as a WW2 Air Raid Warden and how it's important to apply the same common sense to protection against attack with atomic weapons. Everybody feels safer and vows to volunteer for Civil Defense work.


1951 ... death dust from above!

... speculation about all sorts of atomic terrors made for great reading!
... still does!

(remainder of article here)

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1959 ... tell them 'Ike' sent you!

... one of two major entrances (the back-door?) to the Greenbriar Bunker for the sheltering of Congressmen and Senators in the event of nuclear war. Begun in 1959 and ready for occupancy in 1962 the site is now maintained as a Cold War tourist destination. 

1951 ... meanwhile: in deepest, darkest Russia!

... in a world before spy satellites or even U-2 spy planes there's lot's of room for getting the heebie-jeebies about what the other fellow might be up to! Here's some entertaining, and magazine selling, speculation about the Soviet's following up on WWII German research.

( remainder of article here)

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1953 ... ma bell says no talking!

... rather gritty style for a high-tech company- but maybe they were going for a Micky Spillane does the Cold War feel. If it ran on electricity and had anything to do with blowing up the world; Western Electric was deep into it! The mind boggles at the depth and breadth of "The Military Industrial Complex" at the height of the Cold War. For better or worse, it would have been a pathetic party if they hadn't shown up!

... here's a little documentary from 1953 from those all-American mad scientists at Western Electric/ Bell Laboratories.


1958 ... F 106-D (X)

... more keeno views of the "Sky Scorcher". This was the super-duper upgrade version of the Delta Dart. Convair was monopolizing a big chunk of the Air Force's orders and they weren't about to leave any stone un-turned. "We'll turn it into a spaceship if that's what they'll buy!"

This was the period where the biggest threat came from Soviet manned bombers. So 'climb to altitude' and fastest speed for intercepting the enemy as soon and as far out as possible was number one on the USAF menu.

...sorry about the low quality of the second image. I keep telling Boris and Natasha that if they want to keep up with the other spies they need to get a better camera! 


... the End is near!

1958 ... F-106D "SkyScorcher"

... proposed super-duper version of the Convair "Delta-Dart". 

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... "Facts About Fallout!"

... wonderfully cheesy cheap animation explaining what you should do to keep from being turned into an Atomic Zombie! Okay- grim and important facts that you need to know to keep you and your family safe in the event of Nuclear War!

1960 ... British Fallout!

"... I say old chap- you seem to be a little green around the gills! Must be that pesky radioactivity!"

1964 ... Fighting On!

... USAF film about continuing air operations in spite of radioactive fallout raining down on the airbases. Late 50's or early 60's. maybe this is why our Mom's wanted us to wash behind out ears!


1981 ... Tu - 160 "Blackjack"

... tested in 1981, and barely in service when the USSR collapsed, the "White Swan" is clearly competitive with the US B1 "Lancer". But this bomber is huge- half again as big as the B-1 !

... finally learned that the huge lettering on the side are the names of various VIPs in the development of the 'Blackjack'

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1974 ... Su-24 "Fencer"


1957 ... close is good enough!

... an F-106 "Delta Dart" test fires an AIR-2 "Genie" nuclear tipped air-to-air missile. With a warhead blast equivalent of one thousand five hundred tons of TNT it was hoped this would be a good way to stop high flying high speed Soviet bombers. Shooting down airplanes with atomic bombs may seem extreme; but when compared to the death and destruction a bomber could wreak with one hydrogen bomb - "sure-kill" was important! Since the detonations would occur at high altitude no debris would be sucked up by the fireball and fallout would be negligible. 

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1957 ... baby tooth project!

... during the 1950's children's baby teeth were collected by dentists, then analyzed for the presence of radioactive isotopes from nuclear testing. This research helped to convince experts and the government that testing in the atmosphere should be ended. LINK

1952 ... atomic progress!

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1953 ... Swedes under mountains!

... little known fact about the Cold War: Sweden (famous for it's neutrality) was the nation best prepared for nuclear war. Able to shelter it's entire population in gigantic public shelters.


1961 ... shelter cut-away!

... this type of shelter was designed to be built inside an existing basement. Notice the dropped ceiling bean with the layers of brick for shielding. The outer sides of the shelter would be well protected by subterranean soil.


1953 ... good, better ... best!

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1953 ... clunky submarines!

1953 ... chased in Korea!

1962 ... bombers of October!

... with incredible coincidence this 3 part series (scheduled months ahead of time) just happened to coincide with the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. This cover was a fold-out; shown in the wider image.

1949 ... hunting Russky subs!

... "harrumph- quite, well then!" was the response of the Britain's Royal Navy when confronted with the early Cold War's huge numbers of pesky Soviet submarines lurking all about. Still possessing considerable naval air power in the form of several large flat-tops; the Brits set about producing resourceful, and weird, fixed wing aircraft for the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) role. The ability to 'stay on station' (tread air and look and listen for a sub in a specific area) was highly valued. With it's efficient, and highly temperamental, jet-turbo-prop-counter-rotating-propellers-engine - the Fairey Gannet was just the ticket!

... ship based helicopters would later take over the role (on both sides). Recent technology makes it possible for a submarine to launch an under-surface to air missile at the annoying ASW helicopters droning overhead: wouldn't that be a rude surprise!

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1954 ... detering the enemy!


1964 ... B-70 "Valkyrie" cockpit

... one of several examples of US aerospace 'over-reach' in the early 1960's the Mach 3 bomber program produced amazing technological breakthroughs on an aircraft that would be one of the largest and most expensive ever conceived. 

... the question has to be asked: was it a 10 or 20 per cent reduction in possibility of funding that resulted from some bird-brain christening the plane with a name very closely associated with the Nazis favorite soundtrack? (oh- and here's little clip for all the Wagner fans)

1953 ... "look- in the sky!"

... despite the fact that the AVRO attempt at a 'flying-saucer' super-duper jet interceptor was such a dismal failure that it could barely get off the ground; it sure stirred up the imaginations of countless young boys and magazine publishers!

- conspiracy theorists would have to wonder; the gap between the promise of the AVRO flying saucer jet-fighter, and the spectacular (and well documented) failure, smells like a cover-up!! Coupled with the soap-opera cancellation of the AVRO Arrow, I am suspecting fleets of 'super-saucers' secretly hangered deep beneath the Canadian Rockies! Hmmm - a couple of blurry photos and some cool cut-a ways and I should be good for at least two or three shows on the Discovery Channel!

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1950 ... more "Duck And Cover"

... more of the sort of basic (air-raid on steroids) instructions for the years immediately following the development of the Soviet A-bomb [1949]. Russia, under the total dictatorship of Stalin, was seen as an aggressive threat bent on world domination. Many feared that after surviving up to 40 million casualties during WWII, and still emerging as a world superpower, Stalin would see a first strike atomic attack against the USA as a viable option. Soviet long-range bomber ability was sorely lacking but the US military and scientific community pointed out that the Russians had developed their A-bomb years before expected; and "where there was a will- there was a way!" Comprehensive radar warning systems and effective fighter planes to detect and intercept bombers, before they were over US cities, were still on the drawing boards.