Take off on a thrilling flight across America. This epic series offers rare glimpses of our nation's most treasured landmarks, all seen from breathtaking heights. From busy cityscapes to quiet landscapes, we capture the history and the pageantry of our amazing country, which is as diverse as the people who occupy it.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Aerial America - Aerial ramming - Netflix
Aerial ramming or air ramming is the ramming of one aircraft with another. It is a last-ditch tactic in air combat, sometimes used when all else has failed. Long before the invention of aircraft, ramming tactics in naval warfare and ground warfare were common. The first aerial ramming was performed by Pyotr Nesterov in 1914 during the First World War. In the early stages of World War II the tactic was employed by Soviet pilots who called it taran, the Russian word for “battering ram”. A ramming pilot could use the weight of the aircraft as a ram or he could try to make the enemy lose control of his plane using the propeller or wing to damage the enemy's tail or a wing. Ramming took place when a pilot ran out of ammunition yet was still intent on destroying an enemy, or when the plane had already been damaged beyond saving. Most rammings occurred when the attacker's aircraft was economically, strategically or tactically less valuable than the enemy's, such as pilots flying obsolescent aircraft against superior ones, or one man risking his life to kill multiple men. Defending forces resorted to ramming more often than the attackers. A ramming attack was not considered suicidal in the same manner as kamikaze attacks—the ramming pilot stood a chance of surviving, though it was very risky. Sometimes the ramming aircraft itself could survive to make a controlled landing, though most were lost due to combat damage or the pilot bailing out. Ramming was used in air warfare in the first half of the 20th century, in both World Wars and in the interwar period. With jet aircraft, as air combat speeds increased, ramming became disused—the probability of successfully executing (and surviving) a ramming attack approached impossibility. However, the tactic is still possible and cannot be dismissed in modern warfare.
Aerial America - Cold War - Netflix
In the 1960 U-2 incident, Soviet pilot Igor Mentyukov was scrambled with orders to ram the intruding Lockheed U-2, using his unarmed Sukhoi Su-9 which had been modified for higher altitude flight. In 1996, Mentyukov claimed that contact with his aircraft's slipstream downed Gary Powers; however, Sergei Khrushchev asserted in 2000 that Mentyukov failed even to gain visual contact. During the CIA's Project Dark Gene Captain Gennadii N. Eliseev made the first successful jet to jet ramming attack against an RF-4C aircraft piloted by IIAF Major Shokouhnia and backseater USAF Colonel John Saunders over Soviet airspace. He struck the RF-4C's tail assembly with his wing.