#TDIH – September 7, 1997 – First Flight of the F-22 Raptor

The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine, all weather stealth tactical fighter aircraft developed for theUnited States Air Force (USAF). The result of the USAF’s Advanced Tactical Fighter program, the aircraft was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities including ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor and was responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems, and final assembly of the F-22, while program partner Boeing provided the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems.

The aircraft was variously designated F-22 and F/A-22 prior to formally entering service in December 2005 as the F-22A. Despite a protracted development as well as operational issues, the USAF considers the F-22 a critical component of its tactical air power, and states that the aircraft is unmatched by any known or projected fighter. The Raptor’s combination of stealth, aerodynamic performance, and situational awareness gives the aircraft unprecedented air combat capabilities.

The high cost of the aircraft, a lack of clear air-to-air missions due to delays in Russian and Chinese fighter programs, a ban on exports, and development of the more versatile and lower cost F-35 led to the end of F-22 production. A final procurement tally of 187 operational production aircraft was established in 2009 and the last F-22 was delivered to the USAF in 2012.  (Wikipedia)

(image taken at 2015 Sun ‘n Fun – Lakeland Florida)

December 29, 1939 First Flight – Consolidated B-24 Liberator

 

b-24The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was an American heavy bomber, designed by Consolidated Aircraft of San Diego, California.  While the B-17 is often thought of as the most prolific US bomber, the Liberator holds the record with more than 18,000 produced.  That number includes those built under license by the Ford Motor Company in Willow Run Michigan.

The aircraft pictured is “Diamond Lil”, a B-24A flown by the Commemorative Air Force (B-24/B-29 Squadron) in Addison, Texas.  Lil was the 18th Liberator built.

September 24, 1949 – First Flight North American T-28 Trojan

 

Trojan Horsemen at Oshkosh 2014

On September 24, 1949 the North American T-28 “Trojan” made its first flight.

Nearly 2000 Trojans were built between 1950 and 1957 and were used by the United States Air Force and United States Navy. Besides its use as a trainer, the T-28 was successfully employed as a Counter-insurgency (COIN) aircraft, primarily during the Vietnam War.

Many Trojans still fly today like the aircraft seen above flown by the Trojan Horsemen team at Oshkosh.

T-28 at 2014 Waterloo Air Show

The high undercarriage and throaty growl from the Wright R-1300 or R-1820 radial engine make them impossible to miss at air shows all over the world.

September 19, 1949 – First Flight Fairey Gannet

Fairey Gannet at AirVenture 2014 at Oshkosh

The Fairey Gannet was a British carrier-borne aircraft of the post-Second World War era developed for the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm (FAA) by the Fairey Aviation Company. It was a mid-wing monoplane with atricycle undercarriage and a crew of three, and a double turboprop engine driving two contra-rotating propellers.

Originally developed to meet the FAA’s anti-submarine warfare requirement, the Gannet was later adapted for operations as an electronic countermeasures and carrier onboard delivery aircraft. The Gannet AEW was a variant of the aircraft developed as a carrier-based airborne early warning platform.

Fairey Gannet at Oshkosh 2014

September 17, 1959 – First Powered Flight of the North American X-15

X-15 at the United States Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio

Test pilot Scott Crossfield flew the North American X-15 under its own power for the first time on September 17, 1959.

The North American X-15 was a rocket-powered aircraft operated by the United States Air Force and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as part of the X-plane series of experimental aircraft. The X-15 set speed and altitude records in the 1960s, reaching the edge of outer space and returning with valuable data used in aircraft and spacecraft design. As of 2014, the X-15 holds the official world record for the highest speed ever reached by a manned, powered aircraft. Its maximum speed was 4,520 miles per hour (7,274 km/h)

(information from Wikipedia)

During the X-15 program, 13 flights by eight pilots met the Air Force spaceflight criterion by exceeding the altitude of 50 miles (80 km), thus qualifying the pilots for astronaut status. The Air Force pilots qualified for astronaut wings immediately, while the civilian pilots were awarded NASA astronaut wings in 2005, 35 years after the last X-15 flight. The sole Navy pilot in the X-15 program never took the aircraft above the requisite 50 mile altitude.

Photo courtesy US Air Force
Photo courtesy US Air Force

 

September 15, 1991 – First Flight of the Boeing C-17 Globemaster

 The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft. It was developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas. The C-17 carries forward the name of two previous piston-engined military cargo aircraft, the Douglas C-74 Globemaster and the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II.aircraft. It was developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas. The C-17 carries forward the name of two previous piston-engined military cargo aircraft, the Douglas C-74 Globemaster and the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II.

The RCAF operates 4 of these huge aircraft.  The one above is shown lifting off at the 2011 Great Lakes International Air Show in St. Thomas Ontario.

Today In Aviation History
May 7, 1965
First Flight Canadair CL-84

Ken Mist

The Canadair CL-84 “Dynavert”, designated by the Canadian Forces as the CX-131, was a V/STOL turbine tiltwing monoplane designed and manufactured by Canadair between 1964 and 1972. Only four of these experimental aircraft were built with three entering flight testing. Two of the CL-84s crashed due to mechanical failures, but no loss of life occurred as a result of these accidents. Despite the fact that the CL-84 was very successful in the experimental and operational trials carried out between 1972 and 1974, no production contracts resulted.  The one above is located at the Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa.

File:Canadair CL-84.jpg
Wikimedia

(information from Wikipedia [[Canadair CL-84]] )

Today In Aviation History
May 6, 1941
First Flight Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

Ken Mist taken at the National Museum of the US Air Force

The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was one of the largest and heaviest fighter aircraft in history to be powered by a single piston engine. It was heavily armed with eight .50-caliber machine guns, four per wing. When fully loaded, the P-47 weighed up to eight tons, and in the fighter-bomber ground-attack roles could carry five-inch rockets or a significant bomb load of 2,500 pounds; it could carry over half the payload of the B-17 bomber on long-range missions (although the B-17 had a far greater range). The P-47, based on the powerful Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine, was to be very effective as a short-to-medium range escort fighter in high-altitude air-to-air combat and, when unleashed as a fighter-bomber, proved especially adept at ground attack in both the World War II European and Pacific Theaters.

The P-47 was one of the main United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) fighters of World War II, and served with other Allied air forces, notably those of France, Britain, and Russia. Mexican and Brazilian squadrons fighting alongside the U.S. were equipped with the P-47.

The armored cockpit was roomy inside, comfortable for the pilot, and offered good visibility. A modern-day U.S. ground-attack aircraft, the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, takes its name from the P-47.

File:P-47D-40 Thunderbolt 44-95471 side.jpg
From Wikimedia

Today In Aviation History – April 23, 1956 – First Flight Douglas C-133 Cargomaster

Ken Mist

The Douglas C-133 Cargomaster was a large cargo aircraft built between 1956 and 1961 by the Douglas Aircraft Company for use with the United States Air Force. The C-133 was the USAF’s only production turboprop-powered strategic airlifter, entering service shortly after the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, which was known as a tactical airlifter. It provided airlift services in a wide range of applications, being replaced by the C-5 Galaxy in the early 1970s.

File:C-133b-sanfrancsiscobay.jpg
USAF Photo

50 Cargomasters were built and my picture shows the one on display at the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton Ohio.