Can You Get More Than 11 Right on This Air Force Quiz?

By: Ian Fortey

Can You Get More Than 11 Right on This Air Force Quiz?
Image: DanielBendjy / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

The United States has the largest Air Force in the world and, as you might expect, conducts missions to every corner of the globe. From early combat in the First World War (even before the Air Force officially existed) to the incredible combat that was seen in the Second World War and numerous conflicts since then, the Air Force has been tasked with not just keeping the skies safe but providing invaluable support that keeps every other branch of the military safe as well as civilians on the ground.

In 72 plus years of Air Force history, a lot has happened. Incredible aircraft have been developed to push the envelope of what it means to operate in the skies above our heads. Some experimental aircraft have been developed that can travel at speeds of thousands of miles per hour. They can carry massive amounts of gear, weaponry and personnel and have done so for humanitarian missions as well as during wartime. There's a lot to know about the history of the Air Force; you'd have to be a veritable expert even to hope to ace this quiz. So try your best and let's see if you've got the right stuff.

Air Force in the sky In what year did the United States Air Force start tracking Santa Claus?
1949
1952
1955
It was Christmas Eve in 1955 when newspaper ads across the country provided children with a phone number they could call if they wanted an update on Santa's location. The number was for the U.S. Air Defense Command and, to this day, they track Santa every Christmas.
1963

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U.S. Minot Base Which Air Force base used to hold the majority of the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal?
Shaw
Altus
Kirtland
Minot
During the 1960s and 1970s, Minot Air Force base in North Dakota was home to an extensive array of nuclear arms including bombers and ICBMs. During that time, had it been its own country, North Dakota would have been the third-strongest nuclear power on Earth.

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Air Force One Air Force One is the designation for any plane that is transporting the President. What is the tail code of the plane most often used for that job when not designated Air Force One?
27000
28000
There are two aircraft that have been modified to serve as transport for the President, and either one is Air Force One when the President is on it. When he's not, the first is known by its tail number, 28000. The other one is 29000.
33000
1600X

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Aeronautical Division What Air Force precursor was formed in 1907?
Aeronautical Division
The U.S. Army Signal Corps created the Aeronautical Division in August of 1907. This later became the US. Army Air Force and then, by the time 1947 rolled around, the Air Force became its own division of the Armed Services.
Flight Academy
Wing Service
Air Command

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Starfighter A USAF F-104 Starfighter was supposed to help open an airport in 1959 but did a very bad job. Where was it?
Ottawa
The Starfighter was meant to do a flyby to celebrate the opening of the Ottawa International Airport's new terminal back in 1959. Unfortunately, the resulting sonic boom shattered every window in the place, and it was an entire year before they could actually open it again.
Edinburgh
Seattle
Madrid

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Jimmy Stewart airforce Actor Jimmy Stewart was in the Air Force. What rank did he achieve?
Brigadier General
Jimmy Stewart tried to join the Army but was turned down at first. Later, he did join the Air Force and earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses. He had reached the rank of colonel by the end of the war, and when he retired in the Reserve, he was a Brigadier general.
Colonel
Captain
First Lieutenant

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CIA What other government agency was formed on the same day as the Air Force?
DOD
USDA
Secret Service
CIA
Both the United States Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency both came into being on the 18th of September back in 1947. Of course, the Air Force had existed as a division of the Army for many years prior to that.

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Fighter jets The Lockheed AQM-60 Kingfisher was canceled by the Air Force. Why?
It didn't work.
It worked too well.
The AQM-60 Kingfisher was designed to test military defenses back in the late 1950s. The problem with the project was that it was so good at evading defenses it was embarrassing the military and making every other piece of technology look bad. It just worked too well.
It was grossly overbudget.
It was loaded with Communist spy equipment.

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Captain Marvel airforce Which Marvel movie did the Air Force consult on?
"The Avengers"
"The Incredible Hulk"
"Guardians of the Galaxy"
"Captain Marvel"
"Captain Marvel" was not made specifically as a recruiting tool for the U.S. Air Force, but it was made in conjunction with them as Captain Marvel herself was an Air Force pilot. The USAF helped develop the character so she could be depicted in that role as accurately as possible.

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Chuck Yeager Do you know the name of the Airman who first broke the sound barrier?
Buzz Aldrin
Chuck Yeager
It was 1947 when Captain Chuck Yeager got into his Bell X-1 aircraft and made history by flying at Mach 1 at an altitude of 45,000 feet. That was just the first of several records Yeager would break during his incredible career.
Carol Norris
Thomas Selfridge

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Fort Myers Where did the Signal Corps test its first airplane back in 1908?
Fort Myer
it was August 20, 1908, when the U.S. Army Signal Corps began testing its very first airplane at Fort Myer, Virginia. This was the first step in the Aeronautical Division's mission to handle all matters relating to "military ballooning, air machines and all kindred subjects."
Fort Bragg
Fort Minot
Fort Rucker

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Condor Cluster The Air Force built a supercomputer out of Playstation 3s. What was it called?
The Cage
Ragestation
Condor Cluster
Condor Cluster was the name of the Air Force Research Lab's supercomputer that was assembled from 1760 Playstation 3s. The computer was made to analyze satellite imagery. It was actually one of the most powerful computers in the world.
Brigade XV

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Doomsday Plane What's the nickname of the National Airborn Operations Center?
Vulture
Flying Fortress
Doomsday Plane
Known as Doomsday Planes, the National Airborne Operations Centers are a fleet of Boeing aircraft that are designed to remain in flight for up to a week at a time in the event of a catastrophe like a nuclear war. It costs over $150,000 an hour to operate one.
The Brick

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Fighter plane What does the name "ace" signify?
Just a good pilot
Any fighter pilot
A pilot who has shot down 5 enemies
Ace seems like a random nickname for any pilot, but it specifically denotes a pilot who has shot down 5 enemy pilots. A pilot who has shot down 15 enemies would be considered a Triple Ace.
A pilot who has completed certain speed tests

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Squadron What was the name of the first assembled group of aviators back in 1913?
1st Provisional Aero Squadron
Aviators were training in both Palm Beach, Florida and Augusta, Georgia back in 1913 when they were all taken to Galveston, Texas. The assembled aviators were called the 1st Provisional Aero Squadron.
Aeronautical Maneuvering Team Alpha
Alpha Squadron
2nd Aero Division Augusta

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Chuck Norris What celebrity martial artist got his start in the Air Force?
Steven Seagal
Jet Li
Jean Claude Van Damme
Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris, whose real name is actually Carol, was a member of the Air Force as an Air Policeman. The strain of that job saw him focus his efforts instead on a different career path — martial arts.

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Micronesia The Air Force has been involved in the world's longest-running humanitarian airlift. What country do they go to?
Micronesia
In 1952, the Air Force started a Christmas tradition of airlifting Christmas presents to the people on the islands of Micronesia. It's actually the longest-running mission in the Department of Defense's history and over 800,000 pounds of supplies have been dropped.
Tuvalu
Marshall Islands
Nauru

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USA vs USSR What massive country only confronted the U.S. once during an air battle in 1944?
China
USSR
Although the U.S. and the USSR were involved in the Cold War for years, there was only one direct confrontation between the two nations, and that took place in 1944 in the air over Serbia. The Air Force was the only branch of the U.S. Armed Forces involved in the conflict.
Canada
Australia

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F-35 F-35 pilots need special helmets. What do they cost?
$25,000
$135,000
$325,000
$400,000
Every helmet for an F-35 pilot is a substantial investment in technology. Officially known as the F-35 Gen III helmet, they cost about $400,000 apiece thanks to the advanced display system that basically lets a pilot see what the plane sees.

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Army parade Music and military have often gone together. How many bands does the Air Force have?
1
3
6
The Air Force actually has 6 different bands consisting of about 184 active members. These including the "Singing Searagants," "The Concert Band," the jazz band called "Airmen of Note," a rock band called "Max Impact" and both a string band and a brass band.
8

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Georgia coast What did the Air Force lose off the coast of Georgia in 1958?
A B-17 bomber
A brigadier general's dog
An experimental jet fighter
A 7,6000-pound nuclear bomb
A Mark 15 nuclear bomb was considered a lightweight weapon at 7,600 pounds. The Air Force lost one in the waters off of Tybee Island near Savannah, Georgia, and it was never recovered. So ... that's terrifying.

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Cargo plane A B-52 is a bomber and an F-35 is a fighter. What does the C in an Air Force craft name stand for?
Camouflage
Cargo
A craft like the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a cargo and transport craft. Anything with a C starting its name is designated for cargo/transport, which means it's either transporting people or machinery to a destination.
Cluster
Chase

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Capitol Hill How many Presidents have served as airmen?
1
2
Two former Presidents served their country in the Air Force. The first was Ronald Reagan, who actually served when the Air Force was part of the Army. The second was George W. Bush, who was a member of the Air Force Reserve.
3
4

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Air force planes How many aircraft does the Air Force operate?
4,567
5,013
5,369
Based on 2017 statistics, the USAF was operating 5,369 aircraft. To pull that off, they need over 300,000 active-duty airmen as well as about 142,000 civilian personnel and 69,000 reserve airmen.
7.122

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Fighter pilot The mission of the Air Force is to fly, fight and win in air, space and where else?
Cyberspace
The Air Force obviously fights in the air, and part of their mission also sees them covering defense from space, but the third location in which their mission is set to take place is in cyberspace.
Beyond
Everywhere
In between

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Aircraft and moon Project A119 was an Air Force plan to detonate a nuclear weapon where?
In a hurricane
In a volcano
The sun
The moon
In 1958, the Air Force had planned to conduct Project A119, which would see them blow up a nuclear weapon on the moon. It was meant to be visible to the naked eye and serve as a morale booster for citizens. The idea that people may have actually hated the idea stopped them from doing it.

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Airman at base What's the official song of the U.S. Air Force?
"The U.S. Air Force"
"The U.S. Air Force" is the name of the official song of the U.S. Air Force. The line "into the wild blue yonder" is actually a ling from the song. It's been their official song since the 1940s.
"The Air Force Hymn"
"Into the Wild Blue Yonder"
"Up, Up and Away"

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Air Force Pilot takeoff Not everyone in the Air Force can be a pilot. What percentage of them are pilots?
4%
Obviously, the first thing that comes to mind when most people think about the Air Force is flying planes, but piots only make up 4% of the entire Air Force. It takes a lot of support and other people to make the Air Force work.
10%
12%
21%

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F-22A The F-22A is highly adept at evading enemy detection. How often does its radar change frequency?
100 times per minute
500 times per minute
100 times per second
1000 times per second
The F-22 uses something called AN/APG-77 AESA radar, which is capable of changing frequency and incredible 1,000 times every second. That ensures enemy forces are pretty much unable to detect it at all.

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SR-71 This jet had no evasive maneuvers at all; it just outflew everything. What was it?
Mirage 2000
J-10
F-22 Raptor
SR-71
The SR-71 was able to reach speeds over Mach 3, and in fact topped out around 2,192 miles per hour. As such, if someone attacked one, the pilot had no evasive maneuvers; they were simply ordered to fly faster. No SR-71 was ever shot down.

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Aleppo In what country did Air Force One take evasive maneuvers against enemy fighters?
Lebanon
Syria
In 1974, President Nixon was traveling to Syria when two fighters approached Air Force One. The pilot took the plane into a dive to evade the jets as no one had informed him that the Syrian fighters were an official escort that had been pre-arranged.
Russia
Iran

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C-5 Which of these is the Air Force's largest plane?
B-17
C-17
C-5
The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy has been in operation since 1969 and is an absolute beast on wings. It's 22 feet across, 300 feet long and (without any cargo in it at all) weighs an incredible 380,000 pounds.
B-18

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Henry Arnold What unusual rank did Henry Arnold achieve in the Air Force?
Commodore
Five-star general
Henry Arnold is the only officer to ever achieve the rank of 5-star general in the Air force as the rank was later changed to General of the Air Force. Arnold was also a 5-star general in the Army as well.
Four-star general
Air Marshal

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Hurricane Hunters Do you know the nickname of the 53rd weather reconnaissance squadron?
Hurricane Hunters
Hurricane Hunters is the nickname of the 53rd weather recon squad. Their job is to fly into tropical storms and hurricanes to gather data, and they're the only squad that has that incredibly crazy-sounding job.
Storm Chasers
Wind Runners
Lightning Riders

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Airwoman How many Air Force officers are women?
5%
7%
16%
21%
Based on data from 2017, about 21% of officers in the Air Force were women. 19.5% of enlisted were women, and 26% of cadets were women. Back in 1950, 2.7% of officers were women.

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