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The Amazing Vertijet

Sixty-two years ago this month, the USAF/Ryan X-13 Vertijet completed history’s first vertical-to horizontal-back to vertical flight of a jet-powered Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. This event took place at Edwards Air Force Base, California with Ryan Chief Test Pilot Peter F. Girard at the controls. The X-13 Vertijet… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

The Men of Mercury

Sixty years ago this week, NASA held a press conference in Washington, D.C. to introduce the seven men selected to be Project Mercury Astronauts. They would become known as the Mercury Seven or Original Seven. Project Mercury was America’s first manned spaceflight program. The overall objective of Project Mercury was… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Final Flight: Lady Be Good

Seventy-six years ago this week, a USAAF/Consolidated B-24D Liberator and her crew vanished upon return from their first bombing mission over Italy. Known as the Lady Be Good, the hulk of the ill-fated aircraft was found sixteen years later lying deep in the Libyan desert more than 400 miles south… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, Final Flight, History

HYPER-X Scramjet Record

Fifteen years ago today, the NASA X-43A scramjet-powered flight research vehicle reached a record speed of over 4,600 mph (Mach 6.83). The historic test marked the first time in the annals of aviation that a flight-scale scramjet accelerated an aircraft in the hypersonic Mach number regime. NASA initiated a technology… Read More

Posted in Uncategorized

Grapefruit Satellite

Sixty-one years ago this week, the United States Navy Vanguard Program registered its first success with the orbiting of the Vanguard 1 satellite. The diminutive orb was the fourth man-made object to be placed in Earth orbit. The Vanguard Program was established in 1955 as part of the United States… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Emergency in Earth Orbit

Fifty-three years ago this month, the crew of Gemini VIII successfully regained control of their tumbling spacecraft following failure of an attitude control thruster. The incident marked the first life-threatening on-orbit emergency and resulting mission abort in the history of American manned spaceflight. Gemini VIII was the sixth manned mission… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Piloting the Lunar Module

Fifty years ago this month, the Apollo Lunar Module (LM) was flown by an astronaut crew in space for the first time during the Apollo 9 earth-orbital mission. This technological achievement was critical to the success of the first lunar landing mission which occurred a little over 4 months later.… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Hands-Off Landing

Forty-nine years ago this month, a USAF F-106A Delta Dart (S/N 58-0787) out of Malmstrom AFB, Montana made a wheels-up landing in a farmer’s field despite the fact that there was no pilot onboard.  The pilot, Lieutenant Gary Foust, had ejected earlier when he was unable to recover the aircraft… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Mercury Into Orbit

Fifty-seven years ago today, Project Mercury Astronaut John Herschel Glenn, Jr. became the first American to orbit the Earth. Glenn’s spacecraft name and mission call sign was Friendship 7. Mercury-Atlas 6 (MA-6) lifted-off from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 14 at 14:47:39 UTC on Tuesday, 20 February 1962. It was the… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Supersonic Escape

Sixty-four years ago this month, North American test pilot George F. Smith became the first man to survive a low altitude, high dynamic pressure ejection from an aircraft in supersonic flight. Smith ejected from his F-100A Super Sabre at 777 MPH (Mach 1.05) as the crippled aircraft passed through 6,500… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History
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