On This Date

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July 10, 1950: The test operations branch completed the fighter evaluation program on the McDonnell F-88 Voodoo (top), the Lockheed XF-90 (left) and the North American YF-93 (right) aircraft. None were selected for production.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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July 10, 1968: The high drag phase of the McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II Category Stability and Control evaluation was completed. The loading consisted of 10 M-117 general purposed retarded bombs and six LAU-3A rocket launchers.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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July 11, 1979: The abandoned U.S. space station Skylab made a spectacular return to Earth, burning up in the atmosphere and showering debris over the Indian Ocean and Australia.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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July 12, 1997: A Northrop Grumman crew launched a BQM-74 Chukar RPM from South Base at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to test its new JATO unit. The jet propelled drone was designed as a high-speed aerial target, and had also been used as a decoy over hostile territory.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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July 13, 2007: the YAL-1A modified Boeing 747-400F, known as the Airborne Laser, demonstrated an engagement sequence using a beacon from the target aircraft and completing a four-day sequence of back-to-back successful missions. The mission used the NC-135E “Big Crow” test aircraft as the target.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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July 14, 1950: A North American F-86 Sabre began the Inflight Refueling test with a Boeing KB-29F Superfortress tanker. The project’s objective was to demonstrate equipment suitability and operating techniques for in-flight refueling by a ‘flying boom’ method.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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July 14, 2005: An FA-22 Raptor flown by the 411th Flight Test Squadron made its first Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM, drop at supersonic speed. The 1,000 pound GBU-32 Separation Test Vehicle separated successfully, marking a significant increase in the Raptor’s operational capabilities.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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July 15, 1952: NACA announced that, in 1951, its Douglas D-558-II Skyrocket research plane had reached an altitude of 79,000 feet and a speed of approximately 1,500 mph during a secret test conducted at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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July 16, 2004: An F/A-22 Raptor completed 10 days of electromagnetic compatibility assessments at the Benefield Anechoic Facility, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The test measured the amount of electromagnetic interference on the aircraft’s communications system.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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July 17, 1962: Maj. Robert M. White became the nation’s first ‘winged’ astronaut after he flew the North American X-15 Number 3 to an altitude of 314,750 feet (58.7 miles). This was an absolute world altitude record for aircraft launched from a carrier airplane, and the first time a manned aircraft had been flown in space (above 50 miles).
 
 
 
 
 
 
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July 17, 1965: The North American XB-70 Valkyrie No. 2 arrived at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., following its maiden flight from Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, Calif.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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July 17, 1989: The Northrop B-2 Spirit made its first flight, a two-hour sortie from Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, Calif., to Edwards AFB. Northrop test pilot Bruce Hinds and Col Richard S. Couch, the B-2 Combined Test Force director, flew the “stealth” bomber. This marked the first time that a flying wing aircraft had flown over the Mojave Desert in nearly four decades.
 
 
 

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