On This Date

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June 19, 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson visited Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to tour the flight line and view a display of aerospace vehicles. Air Force Secretary Eugene M. Zuckert, the FAA Chief, and an entourage of 14 California congressmen accompanied the president. The visit lasted approximately 64 minutes.
 
 
 
 

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June 19, 2002: The Space Shuttle Endeavour landed on the main runway at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., following a successful 14-day mission (STS-111) to support the International Space Station. The landing took place following two weather wave-offs at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida earlier in the day.
 
 
 
 
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June 20, 1951: The X-5 made its maiden flight, piloted by Bell test pilot Jean E. “Skip” Ziegler at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The X-5 was the first aircraft capable of changing the sweep of it swings in flight.
 
 
 
 
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June 21, 1940: The Muroc Bombing and Gunnery Range (later renamed Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.) was officially activated, although it had been in continuous use since September 1933. At that time, the Army facility was concentrated on the eastern shore of the lakebed. It consisted solely of a wooden building, several tents, and a wooden water tower. It was manned by a detachment of approximately 20 men from March Field, Calif.
 
 
 
 
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June 21, 1942: An Imperial Japanese submarine fired shells at Fort Stevens on the Oregon coast, causing little damage. In the bottom photograph, American servicemen inspecting a shell crater after the attack.
 
 
 
 
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June 21, 2004: Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., provided tracking services to the Scaled Composites Inc.’s SpaceShipOne as the aerospace vehicle made its first flight beyond the atmosphere. The futuristic vehicle was air-launched from its White Knight mother ship. The air vehicles took off and landed at Mojave Airport.
 
 
 
 
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June 22, 1947: Capt. Glen W. Edwards was appointed chief test pilot of the XB-46 and arrived at Muroc from Wright Field, Ohio, to familiarize himself with the jet bomber. Edwards would subsequently become the namesake of Edwards Air Force Base following his death in the crash of a YB-49 flying wing one year later, on June 5, 1948.
 
 
 
 
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June 22, 1990: The first assembled airframe of the Northrop/McDonnell Douglas YF-23A “Black Widow” was rolled out from the Combined Test Force’s hangar at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The YF-23A was a radical departure from all previous fighter designs, with a broad fuselage tapered into a pair of uncommonly large trapezoid-shaped wings.
 
 
 
 
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June 23, 1955: The first of a series of 30 firing tests of the XLR71-NA-1 rocket engine for the Navajo cruise missile took place at the Rocket Engine Test Station at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The engine achieved approximately 243,000 pounds of thrust on the stand. The Edwards History Office provided this photo which was captured during liftoff of a Navajo cruise missile at Cape Canaveral, Fla., in April 1957.
 
 
 
 
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June 23, 1961: Maj. Robert M. White became the first person to exceed Mach 5 when he flew the X-15 to a speed of Mach 5.27 (3,603 mph) at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
 
 
 
 
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June 23, 1969: The final flight in the XV-6A Carry-On Technology Program was flown at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The XV-6A was the Air Force designation of the Hawker Siddeley Aviation P.1127 Kestrel, a single seat vectored-thrust strike-reconnaissance fighter later acquired as the AV-8 Harrier.
 
 
 
 
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June 23, 1997: A 445th Flight Test Squadron team at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., conducted the first successful flight of a model of the LoFLYTE Neural Network Waverider remotely piloted vehicle. The program, managed by NASA, was to design a hypersonic (Mach 5 plus) low observable aircraft capable of riding its own shock wave in the manner of the XB-70.
 
 
 
 
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June 24, 1947: The Air Materiel Command commander at Wright Field, Ohio, was officially directed by HQ U.S. Army Air Forces to take over responsibility for conduct of the X-1 transonic flight research program. This meant that, instead of a Bell test pilot, it would be an AMC test pilot who would make the initial assault on Mach 1. Capt. Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager had already been selected as project officer for this effort.
 
 
 
 
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June 24, 1968: A test team conducted the first limited performance evaluation flight with a C-130A fitted with four-blade Hamilton Standard propellers at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
 
 
 
 
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June 24, 1968: A joint test team from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and the Naval Air Test Center began the first phase of the A-7D Stability and Control Military Preliminary Evaluation. The evaluations were conducted at the Vought Aeronautics Division of LTM at Naval Air Station Dallas and at Carswell AFB, Texas
 
 
 
 
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June 25, 1946: The Northrop YB-35 Flying Wing made its first flight with company pilot Max Stanley flying the giant aircraft from Hawthorne to Muroc Dry Lake. The new bomber was powered by four large air-cooled radial engines, each driving a pair of coaxial counter-rotating pusher propellers.
 
 
 
 
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June 25, 1950: North Korea, with assistance from China and the Soviet Union, crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea starting the Korean War. The United Nations Security Council authorized the formation of the United Nations Command and the dispatch of forces to Korea to repel what was recognized as a North Korean invasion. Twenty-one countries of the United Nations eventually contributed to the UN force, with the United States providing around 90 percent of the military personnel. Clockwise from top: U.S. Marines retreating during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir; U.N. landing at Incheon; Korean refugees in front of an American M-26 tank; U.S. Marines, led by 1st Lt. Baldomero Lopez, landing at Incheon; and an American F-86 Sabre fighter jet.
 
 
 
 
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June 25, 1964: At Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., the X-15A-2 made its first post-modification free flight, piloted by Robert Rushworth.
 
 
 
 
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June 26, 1954: Personnel of the NACA High Speed Flight Station moved from their old South Base site into their new and much larger facility on Main Base at the north end of “Contractor’s Row.” This subsequently evolved into the present NASA Armstrong complex. The vacated hangar space (Bldg 182) was taken over by Convair Aircraft.
 
 
 
 
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June 26, 1962: The RS-70 crew escape capsule for the XB-70 was successfully ejected from a modified pod carried by a B-58 at 20,000 feet. This marked the first time an escape capsule was flight tested before the plane for which it was intended was flown. The rocket-powered capsule was ejected downward from an inverted position.
 
 
 

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