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.


 
 

 

Fly, fight & win! Luke plays unique role in AF mission

The mission of the Air Force is to fly, fight and win. The Air Force’s “motto,” as it was originally called, was adopted October 2010. Capt. Gregroy Bollrud of Hurlburt Field Florida, wrote, “It succinctly captures what our Air Force has been renowned for ever since its creation in 1947. Also, the specific choice of...
 
 

Wingman for life

“I look after my wingman. He looks after me. We work together. We fight together.” — Col. Gabby Gabriski, WWII ace Having a wingman has been an essential part of combat flying since the beginning. A wingman is able to watch your “6,” provide support and can offer a different perspective on a situation. These...
 

 
141119-F-HT977-165

Chiefs announced

Senior master sergeants selected for promotion to chief master sergeant at Luke Air Force Base posed in front of the static F-16 Fighting Falcon in front of the wing headquarters building. They are, from left, Kelbey Norton, 56...
 
 

Enlisted promotion system changes continue

WASHINGTON — This January, changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System will continue with adjustments to the scoring model for promotions to technical sergeant and below, all designed to help ensure job performance is the most important factor when evaluating and identifying Airmen for promotion. The current WAPS enlisted performance report calculation model for technical...
 
 

News Briefs November 21, 2014

Kachina Gate closure The Kachina Gate will be closed to inbound traffic Dec. 8 through 19 for gas valve repair. Outbound traffic will not be affected. For more information, call 623-856-7051. Kids cooking class Kids Kamp Cooking Class is 4 to 6 p.m. for ages 8 to 12 and 7 to 9 p.m. for ages...
 




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