from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Explosion of a bomb or shell in the atmosphere.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The explosion of a bomb or similar weapon in the air rather than on the ground.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an explosion in the atmosphere
Sorry, no etymologies found.
My only real comment is the observation that this would be an ideal place for a 10-megaton airburst … this week only, while all the idiots are in one place.
She swung her sword and created an airburst that sent her flying across.
Once when we'd gone on maneuvers with the armored cav, Battery B's 155's blew the tread off one of their tanks with an airburst.
A ground-burst nuclear weapon would spread blast damage and fire over a smaller area than an airburst nuclear bomb released from a high-rise office building.
The alternative to a high-level airburst is a low-level one.
Optimally, an airburst N-bomb would have little fallout nor would it destroy structures, equipment or vehicles, but its neutrons would kill the humans either outside or within buildings or tanks.
The payoff for equipping cruise missiles (or nuclear bombs) with GPS is clear when one estimates the civilian casualties from a lower-yield, airburst attack.
One day it will be KABOOM and an airburst nuke pulse is gonna disable everything, and the FCC will be chiseling search warrants onto stone tablets.
John Pike, a defence analyst with Washington DC think tank GlobalSecurity.org, said: ‘This airburst shell gives the close-combat capability of a grenade launcher, combined with the ability of indirect fire weapons to hit stuff on the other side of the wall.’
For example, about 65 million years ago, a very large asteroid is thought to have hit the Earth in the southern Gulf of Mexico, wiping out the dinosaurs, and, in 1907, a very small airburst of a comet over Siberia flattened a forest over an area equal in size to New York City.