Aero Magazine International

1961 - 1970



In the hottest years of Cold War, some American and Soviet bombers permanently remained alert in the air, already loaded with atomic weapons, to response to a surprise attack. In January 1961, an American B-52 suffered a structural failure and disintegrated in the air over the small city of Goldsboro, North Carolina. It was loaded with two Mk 39 thermonuclear bombs, 200 times more powerful than those of Hiroshima. In 2011 it was publicized that one of them almost exploded with the fall.



Well above the seas, the terrestrial orbit was also a privileged scenery of the technological dispute between the US and the USSR. Soviets took the lead in 1957 by launching the Sputnik satellite. They doubled this bet on April 12, 1961, when they put in orbit the astronaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man to reach the space. The so called “space race” would dominate public attention until mid-1970.



In the postwar, aircraft carriers were consolidated as global power projection weapons of the great powers, especially the US. Operating for months on end away from their bases, the fact of not depending on refueling is a

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