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  • 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 in Two: Dyna-Soar

    The Dyna-Soar program (System 464L), initiated on  October 10, 1957, took three separate, but related studies on manned, hypersonic weapons and reconnaissance systems (Hywards (SR-131), Bomi/Brass Bell (SR-12) and Robo (SR-126)) and merged them into a single, three-phased program. The research conducted, knowledge gained and the technological
  • 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
  • History in Two: Project MERCURY

    Project MERCURY was established in October 1958 with the following objectives: Place a manned spacecraft in orbital flight around the earth. Investigate man’s performance capabilities and his ability to function in the environment of space. Recover the man and the spacecraft safely.On  April 6, 1959, officials announced that seven pilots form the
  • 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.
  • History in Two: The Lunar Landing Research Vehicle

    This month marks the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing in 1969. Over a decade prior to this, and nearly four years before President Kennedy’s famous speech, ARDC’s Ballistic Missile Division began research on high thrust space vehicles capable of lunar flights. In January 1957, the ARDC (Air Research and Development Center) invited the N.A.C.A (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) to collaborate on future space plans and projects. With the decision to use civilians for space flight, NASA was formed in July 1958 and began operations in October to carryout the flights to the moon. Among the many undertakings for landing on the moon, a Lunar Landing Research Vehicle project was begun, even before NASA had selected the strategy to use a Lunar Module.
  • Woman’s visit to Arnold brings back memories of her family, childhood

    Touching an X-15 model in the A&E Lobby at Arnold Air Force Base, Annette Freres became emotional as she imagined her father doing the same decades earlier as an engineer working at Arnold.Freres recently had the opportunity to visit Arnold AFB, along with her daughter Michelle and high school friend Bob Hyde.Though she’s currently a resident of
  • Hostile Airspace: Serbian IADS during Allied Force

    This edition of the AFMC History in Two series talks about Serbian IADS during Operation ALLIED FORCE, focused on the 78-day air operation known as Operation NOBLE ANVIL.
  • Special Study: Operation ALLIED FORCE

    One of the most successful campaigns in the history of air power was Operation Allied Force (OAF). Perhaps the goal was not victory alone, for that is not really what most of the air power proponents meant, but rather that someday air power “alone” would form the tip of the spear. However, it is a case that requires some explanation–the outcome of a combination of political and military factors.
  • 75th Anniversary of the P-80

    History in Two articles provide a quick overview of historical milestones in AFMC and the Air Force. The first edition focuses on the 75th Anniversary of the P-80.
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