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.


 
 

 
Airman 1st Class James Hensley

Luke cuts ribbon on F-35 Academic Training Center

Airman 1st Class James Hensley Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, cuts the ceremonial ribbon Oct. 9 marking the completion of the academic training center building at Luke Air Force Base. The buildin...
 
 
Forino_J

U.S., Singapore partnership standout

Lt. Col. John Forino Aug. 9 marked the 49th anniversary of Singapore’s independence. The 425th Fighter Squadron is an operational squadron comprised of elite U.S. Air Force and Republic of Singapore air force personnel design...
 
 
shirts-graphicbw

‘Guts’ required to enforce standards

A few years ago, a fellow senior NCO requested I talk to her subordinate about her appearance, specifically pertaining to her hair. Naturally, I asked about what the issue was and why she couldn’t have a discussion with her o...
 

 
141008-F-HT977-008

Airmen get new ‘Community Commons’

Renovations on Bldg. 700, which houses the Health and Wellness Center, will take place April 2015 through spring 2016 at Luke Air Force Base. Subway and the barbershop will remain open during construction. Other amenities, such...
 
 

News Briefs October 17, 2014

Keep good mental health Calling all Airmen! Sleep disturbances such as insomnia and nightmares can affect people personally and professionally. Reaching out to a medical provider is a step in the right direction to good health. Courtesy of the 56th Medical Group Haunted house The 56th Mission Support Group is featuring Operation: Haunted Block House...
 
 

THUNDERBOLT OF THE WEEK

Jessica Behrens 56th Medical Support Squadron Pharmacist Hometown: Seneca, Missouri Years in service: Three Family: Husband, Chris; daughter, Katelyn, 2; son, Levi, 5 months Education: Bachelor’s degree from University of Arkansas and doctor of pharmacy from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska Previous assignments: Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida; Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma; Spring...
 




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