On This Date

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Aug. 14, 1960: Cayuga Production Company began shooting an episode of The Twilight Zone on Rogers Dry Lake. The segment was titled “King Nine Will Not Return.” Lakebed temperatures reached well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit as the crew filmed scenes of a B-25 supposedly wrecked in the North African desert.

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Aug. 15, 1944: During World War II, Allied forces landed in southern France in Operation Dragoon.

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Aug. 15, 1945: In a pre-recorded radio address, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced that his country had accepted terms of surrender for ending World War II.

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Aug. 16, 1948: The XF-89 Scorpion made its first flight, flown by Northrop test pilot Fred C. Bretcher. The twin-engine night fighter was selected by the Air Force after a fly-off with the XF-87 and the Navy’s Douglas XF3D-1 Skynight because of its potential for development.

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Aug. 16, 1969: Civilian racing pilot Darryl G. Greenamyer established an absolute world air speed record for piston engine aircraft of 483.041 mph. He flew a modified Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat over the three-kilometer course, breaking the previous record established by Germany in 1939.

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Aug. 16, 1970: A Lockheed C-5A completed an unrefueled flight of 20 hours and 29 minutes. The lengthy flight, which began and ended at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., covered much of the perimeter of the continental United States.

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Aug. 17, 1974: Teledyne Ryan’s YQM-98A Compass Cope R-Tern remotely piloted vehicle made its first flight. It was an unmanned vehicle with a single jet engine mounted on a dorsal pod that was capable of long-range photographic reconnaissance and electronic surveillance missions at high altitudes.

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Aug. 18, 1951: The 1951 Bendix Transcontinental Trophy Race was launched from the main ramp at Edwards Air Force Base Calif. This was the first all-jet bomber and fighter air race in aviation history. Three B-45s, three F-84s and two F-86s took off for a 1,900 mile nonstop flight to the finish line in Detroit, Mich. Col. Keith Compton won the trophy in an F-86 Sabre jet.

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Aug. 18, 1955: Static rocket motor Test Stand 1-4 was activated at the Experimental Rocket Engine Test Station, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. This made three stands with a total of five test positions for use, all operated from one control station.

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Aug. 19, 1950: A B-29 carrying the Bel X-1 #6062, the first supersonic aircraft, departed for Logan International Airport in Boston. Following display at an Air Force Association convention, Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg formally presented the aircraft to the secretary of the Smithsonian Institute on Aug. 29, 1950.

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Aug. 19, 1960: An Air Force Flight Test Center unit, the 6594 Test Wing, Operating Location #1, at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., took part in the first aerial recovery of an object from space when a film capsule from the Discoverer XIV satellite was caught in mid-air by a Hawaii-based C 119. Operating under heavy security at Edwards, the team had worked out the techniques for the aerial recovery of satellite components by means of a snare to catch the descending parachute.

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Aug. 20, 1947: Navy Cmdr. Turner Caldwell broke the world speed record which Col. Albert Boyd had established a month earlier. Caldwell flew the Douglas D-558-I Skystreak to a new world speed record of 640.66 mph.

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Aug. 20, 1955: The world’s first official supersonic speed record was set by Col. Horace A. Hanes, Director of Flight Test, over the Mojave Desert. Hanes flew an F-100C Super Sabre at an average speed of 822.135 mph at 40,000 ft. He was subsequently awarded the Thompson Trophy for the feat, the third Air Force Flight Test Center pilot to win the prestigious award.

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Aug. 21, 1953: Marine Corps Maj. Marion E. Carl flew the D-558-II Skyrocket to a new unofficial world altitude record, reaching 83,235 feet. This was the peak altitude achieved by the D-558-II. All rocket plane records were classed “unofficial” because they were air launched.

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Aug. 21, 1969: The first LTV A-7D Corsair II arrived at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., for Category II testing from the contractor’s facility in Dallas, Texas.

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