From AK-47 to Flying Car!


By Debbie Gregory.

Kalashnikov Concern is the largest arms manufacturer in Russia, and produces a wide range civilian and military weapons, including the AK-47 assault rifle, which became a staple of fighting forces around the world.

Kalashnikov Concern has also channeled its ingenuity to unusual military-grade technology, which now includes a flying car!

The slender metal vehicle, which is more like a hovercycle than a car, bears a close resemblance to the speeder bikes from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. It also resembles the Kitty Hawk Flyer, a prototype hovercraft funded by Google co-founder Larry Page.

As seen in a promotional video released last month, the unnamed vehicle is fully electric, powered by batteries located underneath the driver, which are linked to sixteen rotors. The car is controlled using two joysticks situated in front of the driving seat.

The vehicle is still in very early stages of development, with a rough and exposed appearance, although the video also appears to show the design plans that are in place for the hovering car.

Obviously, the prototype is far from battle-ready, lacking both armor and weaponry, which will necessitate design tweaks to accommodate for the additional weight.

The U.S. military has been working on its own hoverbike with Malloy Aeronautics, which they showed off in a successful flight demo earlier this year. The Malloy Hoverbike is a single seater turbo-fan powered quadrocopter developed in 2006 by Chris Malloy, and has been contracted by an American engineering firm to produce such bikes for the United States Department of Defense.

Either way, it seems possible we’ll see the first few of these skeletal hovercycles skimming above land in the near future.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

U.S. Troops See the Latest Installment in the Star Wars Franchise


By Debbie Gregory.

Just because you’re serving overseas doesn’t mean you can’t have access to first-rate entertainment.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” headed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, where troops were able to see the movie just a few days after its U.S. release.

The list of locations where the movie was screened was not made available for force protection reasons. But local commanders were able to get the word out through normal channels.

This latest installment in the Star Wars franchise was directed, co-produced, and co-written by J. J. Abrams. It is set approximately 30 years after Return of the Jedi, and follows Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron’s fight with the Resistance, led by veterans of the Rebel Alliance, against Kylo Ren and the First Order, descended from the Galactic Empire.

The first film in the series, Star Wars (later subtitled Episode IV: A New Hope), was released on May 25, 1977 by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. It was followed by the similarly successful sequels The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). These three films constitute the original Star Wars trilogy. A prequel trilogy was later released between 1999 and 2005, which received a more mixed reaction from critics and fans, compared to the original trilogy. All six films were nominated for or won Academy Awards, and were commercial successes

The screenings were part of AAFES’ longstanding policy of bringing first-run movies to troops deployed overseas.

“Providing service members with first-class entertainment plays a key role in maintaining the morale of our deployed forces,” said Trinidad Saucedo, AAFES’ senior vice president of services, food and fuel, in a statement.

Ken Caldwell, senior vice president of North American sales and distribution for The Walt Disney Studios, released a statement saying, “Our men and women in uniform represent the best and bravest, and it’s an honor to do something special as a thank you for their service.”

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.