Japan's Stealthy Military

Helicopters, it turns out, do not fly upside down. I know this by hard, albeit simulated, experience. I was on the stick of an MH-53 helicopter, a 21-ton flying monster that is one of the largest craft of its type in the world, at the Iwakuni Air Base in western Japan. My co-pilot and instructor—an officer in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF)—guided me as I lifted the copter off the ground and pointed it toward the Akinada Sea. A little spin over the water, no problem, and then my instructor asked me to turn around for home. I pulled left...

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