On This Date

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Sept. 4, 1957: The Lockheed C-140 Jet Star made its first flight. According to the Edwards History Office, it was designed and flown in only eight months, to test new innovations in crash safety, noise suppression and aerodynamics. The light utility transport featured two axial-flow jet engines mounted on the aft. Later production versions of the aircraft used four lightweight J60P-5 engines mounted in pairs.
 
 
 
 

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Sept. 4, 1970: A U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter made its first flight equipped with newly-designed Lycoming T55-L-11A engines.
 
 
 
 
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Sept. 5, 1984: The space shuttle Discovery ended its inaugural flight as it landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
 
 
 
 
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Sept. 6, 1943: Northrop’s experimental fighter, the XP-56 Black Bullet, was trucked to the Muroc lakebed and made its first flight, flown by company test pilot John Myers. The XP-56 was a near-tailless design with a pusher engine driving contra-rotating propellers. It was the first aircraft to be constructed entirely of magnesium.
 
 
 
 
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Sept. 6, 1978: The first production F-16 multirole fighter aircraft arrived at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., from Fort Worth, Texas.
 
 
 
 
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Sept. 7, 1956: Capt. Iven C. Kincheloe, on his last assigned X-2 flight, flew the research plane to 126,200 feet, establishing a new unofficial world altitude record and becoming the first human to fly above 100,000 feet.
 
 
 
 
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Sept. 8, 1988: The B-1B CTF completed the first automatic terrain-following flight of a B-1B Lancer bomber with the system in “hard ride” at 200 feet over mountainous terrain. This was considered the ultimate milestone for the B-1B ATF.
 
 
 
 
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Sept. 9, 1942: During World War II, a Japanese plane launched from a submarine off the Oregon coast dropped a pair of incendiary bombs in a failed attempt at igniting a massive forest fire; it was the first aerial bombing of the U.S. mainland by a foreign power.
 
 
 
 
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Sept. 10, 1813: An American naval force commanded by Oliver H. Perry defeated the British in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Afterward, Perry sent the message, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”
 
 
 
 
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Sept. 11, 1958: A. Scott Crossfield became the first X-15 pilot to test the new MC-2 pressure suit at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Crossfield was fitted for the suit then placed in the altitude chamber for a simulated flight profile.
 
 
 
 
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Sept. 11, 1962: A C-123B made four takeoffs and landings in soft sand as part of Project Rough Road Alpha at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. This was a follow-on of Project Rough Road which included C-123 aircraft and a variety of unpaved runway conditions.
 
 
 
 
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Sept. 11, 2001: Nearly 3,000 people were killed as 19 al Qaeda hijackers seized control of four jetliners, sending two of the planes into New York’s World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and the fourth into a field in western Pennsylvania.
 
 
 
 
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Sept. 11, 2002: The CV-22 Osprey resumed flight testing, following a 21-month grounding that followed the crash of a Marine MV-22 in December 2000. The tilt-rotor aircraft, one of two at the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., flew three sorties totaling over four hours of flying time.
 
 
 

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