On This Date

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July 31, 1963: The Northrop YF-5A Freedom Fighter made its first flight, piloted by Hank Chouteau.
 
 
 
 

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Aug. 1, 1907: The U.S. Army Signal Corps established an aeronautical division, the forerunner of the U.S. Air Force. In this photograph, rhe Wright Military Flyer arrives at Fort Myer, Va., aboard a wagon, attracting the attention of children and adults.
 
 
 
 
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Aug. 1, 1912: The U.S. Marine Corps’ first pilot, 1st Lt. Alfred A. Cunningham, went on his first solo flight as he took off in a Burgess/Curtis Hydroplane from Marblehead Harbor in Massachusetts.
 
 
 
 
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Aug. 1, 1957: The United States and Canada announced they had agreed to create the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD). This is the 25-ton North blast door in the Cheyenne Mountain nuclear bunker — the main entrance to another blast door (background) beyond which the side tunnel branches into access tunnels to the main chambers.
 
 
 
 
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Aug. 2, 2006: A c-5 Galaxy taxied across a series of ramps laid out on Rogers Dry Lakebed as part of its Reliability Enhancement and Re-Enginging Program. The taxi runs tested the structural integrity and movement of the aircraft’s new engines and pylons under rough conditions.
 
 
 
 
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Aug. 3, 1973: The Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., accepted the first Northrop F-5E for formal Air Force developmental test and evaluation.
 
 
 
 
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Aug. 3, 1982: The A-10 CTF conducted the first flight of the single-seat, night-attack program to determine if the cockpit of a single-seat aircraft could be optimized for the night mission. The two-seat YB-10B prototype trainer was used, with a safety observer in the rear cockpit.
 
 
 
 
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Aug. 4, 1954: The BAC Lightning, made its maiden flight at RAF Boscomb Down in England. The aircraft was a British fighter that served as an interceptor during the 1960s, 1970s and into the late 1980s. The Lightning was designed, developed, and manufactured by English Electric, which was later absorbed by the newly-formed British Aircraft Corporation. Later the type was marketed as the BAC Lightning. It was operated by the Royal Air Force, the Kuwait Air Force and the Royal Saudi Air Force.
 
 
 
 
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Aug. 5, 1975: NASA test pilot John Manke flew the Martin Marietta X-24B from 60,000 feet to an unpowered landing on the main runway for the first time, following an unpowered descent from 57,050 feet. This demonstrated that a shuttle-like vehicle could safely be landed on a designated runway following a mission in space.
 
 
 
 
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Aug. 5, 2010: AeroVironment’s Global Observer Aircraft 1001 took off from runway 04L at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and climbed to an altitude of 4,000 feet where it performed a series of maneuvers before landing successfully one hour later.
 
 
 
 
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Aug. 6, 1947: Capt. Chuck Yeager completed his, and the Air Force’s, first unpowered glide flight in the Bell X-1.
 
 
 
 
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Aug. 6, 1977: The evaluation of the Boeing YC-14 AMST transport was completed and the two test aircraft were placed in flyable storage.
 
 
 
 
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Aug. 6, 1980: A B-1 CTF crew completed an 11-hour sortie in B-1 Number 4. This was the longest non-stop flight ever logged by a B-1.
 
 
 
 
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Aug. 6, 2001: Following a final sortie at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., by the Lockheed-Martin X-35B, the Joint Strike Fighter X-32/X-35 concept demonstration flight test program came to a close.
 
 
 
 
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Aug. 6, 2003: At Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., a B-2 Bomber conducted an airborne release of 80 inert Joint Direct Attack Munitions as part of a weapon separations test. The test program objective was to integrate the Smart Bomb Release Assembly into the B-2.
 
 
 
 
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Aug. 7, 1951: A world speed record of Mach 1.88 was set by the Navy’s D 558 II Skyrocket piloted by Douglas test pilot William B. “Bill” Bridgeman at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
 
 
 
 
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Aug. 7, 2003: The Air Force’s Automatic Air Collision Avoidance System put two F-16s into automated maneuvers to avoid collision during a test flight. Maj. James Less, and Swedish Air Force Maj. Richard Ljungberg flew the Variable Stability In-Flight Simulator Test Aircraft (VISTA/F-16) while Maj. Scott Wierzbankowski flew a standard F-16 during the test.
 
 
 

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