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  • FLASHBACK: Triplesonic Interceptors: The F-103, F-108 & YF-12A

    "Speed is life," is a phrase used by fighter pilots and it was never more prevalent than in the late 1950’s when post-war technology was advancing at a rapid pace. The technological advancements in aviation allowed aircraft to go from piston driven fighters to rocket-powered vehicles capable of flying at Mach 3 in just 10 years.In 1949, the Air
  • FLASHBACK: Back to the Future: The Resurgence of the Flying Wing in the 21st Century

    The highly anticipated B-21 Raider—named in honor of the legendary “Doolittle Raiders” who bombed Tokyo, Japan in April 1942—under development by Northrop Grumman, will be the first Air Force bomber manufactured in the twenty-first century. The concept of the “flying wing,” however, is over 100 years old, originating in the early 1900s. First, on
  • FLASHBACK: Gliders...from Wright Field to the Netherlands

    “I’ll tell you straight out. If you’ve got to go into combat, don’t go by glider. Walk, crawl, parachute, swim, float – anything! But don’t go by glider.”[1]Walter Cronkite, American war correspondentGlider training had become a requisite for Luftwaffe flight training post-World War I and by 1935, in direct violation of the Treaty of Versailles of
  • Flashback: Hypersonic Flight to the Edge of Space

    While most of the country was focused on the race to space, a unique test program was just getting underway at Edwards Air Force Base in the high desert of California. This vehicle was like no other, built to withstand the temperatures of hypersonic flight as well as flight to the edge of space, the X-15 paved the way for many future of manned,
  • History of Aircraft Track Landing Gear

    *(Extracted from historical study No. 135: Case History of Track Landing Gear) The design of landing gear is closely related to an aircraft’s mission. In the 1940’s it was thought that heavy bombardment aircraft, if using conventional systems, would require thick, expensive runways. Track landing gear systems appeared to be a solution to this
  • 50 years after the Eagle landed: The man who kept Apollo on track

    This edition of the Air Force Materiel Command History Office 'Flashbacks' series highlights the expertise of one Air Force officer and how his managerial skills impacted the success of the Apollo mission and NASA work following the monumental launch.
  • Science at War: Early Guided Missiles

    “Science at War: Early Guided Missiles,” takes the reader into the experimenting and science of the early guided missiles, from just prior to World War I and its beginnings here in Dayton, Ohio, through World War II and guidance technology in glide bombs. Flashbacks are short, informative readings that “flash” back to a period of time within the history of the Air Force utilizing primary source documents held in the AFMC History Office archives.
  • FLASHBACK: “Battle of Kansas” and the Birth of the Superfortress

    Flashbacks are short, informative reading that “flashback” to a period of time within the history of Air Force Materiel Command utilizing primary source document(s) held within the HQ AFMC/HO’s archives. This introductory issue of AFMC Flashbacks, "Battle of Kansas” and Birth of the Superfortress,” takes the reader back to bringing the Boeing B-29 Superfortress from the factory to the warfighter and the issues suffered during that period. These issues came to a crucial junction in March 1944 when General Hap Arnold visited the plant in Kansas to witness first-hand the production at the Boeing plant due to missed deadlines. Following this trip, he then sent a memo back here to Dayton to Major General Walter Frank, Commander Air Service Command, expressing the importance of the B-29 as the “number one priority” and the “importance of meeting the schedule.” Once on schedule and delivered to the warfighter, the Superfortress became a deciding factor in the Pacific Theater.
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