First Naval Air Intercept Radar 1941

Beginning on 01 August 1941 a specially modified Lockheed Electra XJO-3 had an AI-10 microwave radar installed for airborne testing. The radar was developed by Radiation Laboratory from MIT and flight tests were made out of Boston Airport. The radar included a PPI (Plan Position Indicator) for display and during testing aircraft were detected at [...]

Video Thursday: Navy Airships And Aircraft

Today is Video Thursday and we’ll take a look at the Navy’s airship history and the aircraft that accompanied them. This first clip shows rare footage of the Vought UO-1 observation airplane hooking onto the USS Los Angeles, ZR-3. You may notice that some of the naval personnel here are actors, not real Navy, and [...]

Skyraiders Shoot Down Chinese Attackers 1954

On 26 July 1954, two Skyraiders (AD-4s) from Air Group Five and USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) shot down two LA-7 aircraft of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force off Hainan Island. The Skyraiders were attacked by the Chinese pilots, while they were searching for survivors from the shoot down of a Cathay Pacific Skymaster airliner. [...]

Naval Aircraft Instrument Panels In 1916!

On 22 July 1916 the Director of Naval Aeronautics mandated the following thirteen (13 – guess they weren’t afraid of bad luck) instruments to be installed on naval aircraft. Notice that the terminology has changed over the years. Air speed meter (airspeed indicator), incidence indicator (?, something to do with the pitch of the aircraft), [...]

Video Thursday Salute To The Space Program

Shuttle Atlantis has now landed back on American soil and for the present future no Americans will return to space from our homeland. Mission control is shutting down and laying off 900 workers. The future is in question, but hopefully our heritage and legacy will force us to return to space where the future of [...]

First Moon Landing 1969!

On 20 July 1969 one of the most amazing events in the history of mankind happened, when Americans Neil Armstrong and “Buzz” Aldrin landed on the moon! At 3:06 PM, Central Time, Eagle (lunar module’s name) began her descent from 50,000 feet altitude (nine miles above the lunar surface) and the LM (lunar module) windows  [...]

First Regulus Missile Launched From A Submarine 1953

On 15 July 1953, the USS Tunny SS-282 would become the first submarine to launch a Regulus cruise missile. The Regulus cruise missile development began in 1947  and it was built by the Chance Vought Aircraft company.  The unmanned turbojet powered Regulus system was capable of delivering a thermonuclear warhead, either the 3000 pound (40-50 [...]

Patriots Point's Grumman Wildcat F4F-3A

Oh Mother, dear Mother, take down that blue star; Replace it with one that is Gold. Your son is a Wildcat pilot, He’ll never be thirty years old. (WW 2 Author unknown) Pulled from the bottom of Lake Michigan in 1988, the Wildcat on display in Hangar Bay One of the USS Yorktown is one [...]

Cold War Shootdown 1955

On 22 June 1955 a P2V Neptune from Navy Patrol Squadron Nine (VP-9) was flying a routine maritime patrol in the Bering Strait. The aircraft was at 8000 feet altitude and 40 miles west of  Saint Lawrence Island. Suddenly the P2V was attacked by two Soviet MIG -15 fighters and the plane commander  Lieutenant Fischer [...]

PBY's Fly Non-stop 3,292 Miles In 1937

Twelve PBY-1 Catalina aircraft from Patrol Squadron 3 (VP-3) flew 3,292 miles nonstop from San Diego, California, to Coco Solo in the Canal Zone on 21 June 1937. Under the command of Lieutenant Robert Morse, the Catalinas were in the air for 27 hours and 58 minutes. PBYs had been just been accepted by the [...]