One of six Lockheed VC-140B JetStars used to transport the President of the United States that the USAF bought in 1961. The VIP Jetstars were were known to occasionally be called "Air Force One Half." This aircraft, retired in 1987, carried Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan a number of times.
The first of two prototype Mach Three bombers. First flown 21.09.64. Max weight 542,000 lbs. Reached 77,000 feet. Retired 04.02.69 and flown to W-P AFB. Now exhibited indoors. The second example was lost in a mid-air collision.
As part of SAC Operation Power Flight, this B-52 became the first jet to circle the world non-stop (along with 53-0397 & 398) named 'Lucky Lady III', in a dramatic display of air power intended to strike fear into any potential enemy. On 16.1.57 they left Castle AFB, flying 24,325 miles and landing at March AFB 45hrs later, after four KC-97 refuellings. Joined 95 BW in 1959 when they re-equipped from B-36s and named 'City of El Paso'. B-52Bs were withdrawn in 1966; 394 was scrapped at WP AFB in 1984
A Romanian Ju88 in which a young pilot defected to Cyprus in 7.43, being intercepted by four Hurricanes over Limassol. Given RAF serial HK959 and flown to Alexandria then handed over to the USAAF and ferried by air via Acension to Wright Field in 10.43. Placed on display in Luftwaffe colours, which were later changed to those shown here, before being restored to Romanian AF livery; now inside the USAFM
This is the unique FICON (FIghter CONveyor) modification of the prototype Thunderflash, designed to operate as a parasite fighter from a mother-ship B-36 (in fact GRB-36F) using a trapeze mechanism. Whilst technically successful, the operation was very challenging even for experienced pilots with several near disasters while unhooking or recovering. After a number of RF-84Ks were trialled by SAC in 1955-56, the project was dropped. The aircraft is now displayed indoors in the 91st SRS markings carried in the mid-1950s
Ex-USAF 62-5924. Long before the V-22 Osprey came along, extensive tests were conducted with five examples of this tilt-wing design, with a first conventional flight in 9.64 and vertical take-off with transition to normal flight and back for vertical landing in 1.65. Excessive vibration and noise from the cross-linked drive shaft and wing flexing were major problems, but the concept showed promise. A joint USAF/Army/Navy project, the USN withdrew and interest faded, the last LTV XC-142A flying into the USAFM in 1970
Hayes Aircraft Corp. converted 136 surplus B-50Ds to KB-50 tankers, deliveries of the improved jet-assisted KB-50J version beginning in 1958. Replaced by KC-135s in the mid-60s, a few were still available in 1965 for use in SE Asia for emergency refuelling of fighters over hostile territory. Framed by WB-50D 0-90310, this one was soon after painted with fake serial 0-80114 and was moved to the Air Park at McDill AFB, FL in 1996
In my distant recollection, the sound of this awesome turboprop lifter was as distinctive and inspiring as that of the mighty Antonov 22. This Cargomaster, one of 50 built primarily to carry intercontinental ballistic missiles, arrived at the USAFM in March 1971 when the fleet had to be retired due to fatigue and was repainted in the white-top MATS scheme in 1986
With an impressive backdrop, here is the third prototype of Northrop's N-156F design for a simple and affordable Military Assistance Program export fighter, first flying on 31.7.63. A total of 799 were built, followed by 1166 of the more capable F-5E Tiger II. Now displayed in phoney camouflage as 64-13332 to represent a 'Shoksi Tiger' of the 4503rd TFS, which combat tested the type in Vietnam in the mid-60s
Civilian registered as NL63004 after WWII and advertised as a 6-seat executive conversion in 1952. Acquired by the USAFM in 1961 and nowadays displayed indoors, painted to represent 43-21475 "Little Joe"
North American's B-45 was the first jet bomber for the USAF, serving SAC from 1950 till 1959, but quickly superseded in the nuclear role during the early 50s by the B-47 Stratojet. A total of 143 were built, most 'C' models being completed as RB-45C reconnaissance aircraft, although this example was used latterly by Pratt & Whitney for engine testing, being flown to the Museum in 1971. Now housed inside in the marks of 47th BW (Light), which based B-45s at RAF Sculthorpe from 1952-58
Used as a test bed at Wright-Patterson AFB under the designation JB-47E in the 1960s, this was the first USAF aircraft with a fly-by-wire control system. Added to the Museum in 1969 and displayed until 2003, latterly inside, when replaced by RB-47H 53-4299. Now stored outside the Museum's Restoration Hangar