Air Force

June 13, 2014

This week in history

Rick Griset
56th Fighter Wing historian

Luke Airmen perform maintenance on an F-84 windscreen assembly.

June 11, 1964: Last F-84 departs Luke

The F-84 program ended at Luke Air Force Base 50 years ago this week after producing 6,930 graduates.

The Republic F-84G Thunderjet brought Luke into the jet age on Feb. 1, 1951.

Luke flew two versions of the F-84 over the years. One was the straight-winged Thunderjet mentioned above, and the other was the swept-wing F-84F Thunderstreak.

Two years later, the 3600th Combat Crew Training Wing formed a demonstration team using the straight winged Thunderjet. The unofficial name for the new team was the Thunderbirds, and in 1955, they switched to the new swept-wing Thunderstreak.

Another notable fact is that in 1954, Capt. Edward Kenny, a Luke instructor pilot, won the Bendix cross country air race in an F-84.

Unfortunately, the F-84 was designed early in the jet age. Aeronautical engineers were still learning about jet aviation design. The first flight of the straight-wing version was on Feb. 28, 1946. Four years later, the swept wing F-84F took its first flight. The F-84’s design limited it to three Gs and a speed well short of Mach. It also had a nasty tendency of the wings coming off if the pilot exceeded those perimeters.

Besides design flaws, the Air Force had other issues in the early 1950s that made the F-84 dangerous to fly. With the rapid expansion due to the Korean War, the lack of master mechanics led to a low experience level in the maintenance community.

Additionally, many things that are standard operating procedures today were in their infancy. An example is the early stages of detailed preflight and post-flight pilot briefings. They were innovations in 1954.

In fact, that year Luke’s flight safety office was pleased with the base’s progress. The base had it best flying safety year since reactivation with only 63 major aircraft accidents and six fatalities, down from 101 major accidents and 11 fatalities the previous year. By 1963, the F-84s last full year at Luke, the base had 11 major accidents with four fatalities for which the F-84 accounted for two and one respectively.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
square

Luke conducts first F-35 training deployment

Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A 61st Fighter Squadron F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter taxis prior to take off April 15 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Ten F-35s from the 61st Fighter Squadron were sent to Nellis for th...
 
 

The gift of leadership

Gen. Mark Welsh III may have said it best, “Leadership is a gift. It’s given by those who follow. You have to be worthy of it.” As the people of this nation give their children up to serve in the armed forces we as leaders need to be ready to lead them as they are...
 
 

Have faith in Air Force system

Throughout our Air Force careers, we have all received extensive training covering the Air Force core values — integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. We talk about them on a daily basis in one capacity or another using them as buzz words to drive our point home or steer a...
 

 

Sidewinders fly missing-man formation

A missing-man formation flyover took place at the Air Force Academy Cemetery April 14, to honor a fallen Airman whose remains were repatriated and laid to rest. Pilots from the 311th Fighter Squadron of the 54th Fighter Group from Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, flew it. Capt. Richard Chorlins, U.S. Air Force Academy class...
 
 

Birth of a flagship

Courtesy photo An F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter taxis at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility just before its first flight March 31. This jet is one of several Lightning IIs destined for Luke Air Force Base in the near future after flight testing. Tail number 5056 is scheduled to be the 56th Fighter...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

Days of Remembrance There will be a Holocaust remembrance ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday in the Luke Air Force Base Chapel sanctuary. The Hiding Place exhibit will be on display 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 1 in the chapel annex. AFA golf tournament The 16th Annual Air...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin