As of this date – Aerotech News & Review


November 6, 1980: The Solar Challenger made its first flight. The Solar Challenger was a solar powered electric aircraft designed by Paul MacCready’s AeroVironment. The aircraft was designed as an improvement on the Gossamer Penguin, which in turn was a solar-powered variant of the human-powered Gossamer Albatross. It was powered entirely by the photovoltaic cells of its wing and stabilizer, without even spare batteries, and was the first craft of its type capable of flying long distances. In 1981, he successfully completed a 163 mile demonstration flight between France and England.

November 6, 1986: The first off-field flight test of the B-1B automatic terrain tracking system has taken place. The B-1B is designed to fly in automatic terrain following mode 200 feet above the ground, in all weather conditions and at night. The B-1B incorporates several ATF modes. One mode, known as “difficult driving,” closely follows the contours of the terrain and is intended for use in high risk environments. “Soft ride” does not come close to the contour of the ground as closely, providing a smoother ride.

November 7, 1956: The F-101A’s first ejection seat ejection test was performed on the runway at high speed, at a speed of Mach 0.78. The ejection seat was designed and built by Weber Aircraft.

November 7, 1963: Limited evaluations of the performance management and tank release of the UH-1B Huey with 60 gallon external tanks have begun. This was one of six qualitative follow-up tests conducted on the attack helicopter for the military during this period.

November 7, 2000: The X-35A made its first in-flight refueling. During its 10th flight, the JSF demonstrator completed four refueling operations from a KC-135 at 23,000 feet and verified its compatibility with the flowfield wake and the tanker’s refueling boom.

November 8, 1951: The Air Force performed qualitative handling tests on the Bell X-5 (s / n 838) and delivered it to NACA for their research program. The Bell X-5 was the first aircraft capable of modifying the sweep of its wings in flight. It was inspired by the untested wartime P.1101 design of the German company Messerschmitt. Unlike the German design, which could only have its wing arrow angle adjusted to the ground, Bell engineers designed a system of electric motors to adjust the arrow in flight. Two X-5s were built (serial numbers 50-1838 and 50-1839). The first was completed on February 15, 1951 and the two planes made their first flights on June 20 and December 10, 1951. Almost 200 flights were performed at speeds up to Mach 0.9 and at altitudes of 40,000 feet. An aircraft was lost on October 14, 1953, when it failed to recover from a 60-degree spin back. Air Force Captain Ray Popson died in the crash at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The X-5 has successfully demonstrated the benefit of a swing-wing design for airplanes intended to fly at a wide range of speeds. Despite the X-5’s stability issues, the concept was developed for an exterior rather than an interior hinge, and was subsequently implemented successfully in aircraft such as the General Dynamics F-111 and the Grumman F-14. Tomcat, the Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-23 and MiG -27, the Sukhoi Su-17/20/22 and Su-24, the Tupolev Tu-22M and Tu-160, the Panavia Tornado and the Rockwell B-1 Lancer.

November 9, 1946: The Lockheed XR60-1 Constitution made its maiden flight, a 45-minute flight between Lockheed Air Terminal in Burbank, California, and Muroc Army Airfield. Joe Towle and Tony LeVier flew the plane. Commissioned by the Navy, the XR60-1 was a very large two-stage transport powered by four 3,000 horsepower Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial engines. The Constitution was a joint development of the Lockheed Company, the US Navy and Pan American Airways. The Navy’s interest in the aircraft stems from the potential of the type to carry a large amount of military cargo overseas. Pan Am envisioned the use of the aircraft as a commercial airliner. The XR6O-1 was of marginal use to the Navy. Although both aircraft made numerous transcontinental and transoceanic flights, they lacked power and did not meet performance requirements. As a result, Pan Am’s plans to use the Constitution as an airliner did not materialize. The Navy withdrew both XR6O-1 aircraft in 1953 after unsuccessful attempts to get commercial airlines to purchase them. Lockheed later tried to sell the industry on several concept airliners that were essentially a repackaging of the basic Constitution design, but there were no takers.

November 9, 1951: The second Bell X-5 aircraft (s / n 839) has arrived at Edwards. To learn more about the X-5, visit -in -plane travel /

November 9, 1961: Major Robert M. White capped off an eventful year by bringing the X-15 to Mach 6.04 (4093 mph), exceeding its design speed of 93 mph. He thus became the first human to exceed Mach 4, Mach 5 and Mach 6, and to fly above 200,000 feet. During flight, the heat at the leading edges of the X-15’s wing reached 1,147 degrees Fahrenheit. Left to right: Col. Chuck Yeager, White and Brig. General Irving Branch.

Some of the 58,307 names carved into “the wall” of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC appear to vanish into a vanishing point toward the Washington Monument as the sun rises on July 22, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by the Sgt. Ken Scar)

November 10, 1982: The newly completed Vietnam Veterans Memorial was opened to its first visitors in Washington, DC, three days before its inauguration.

November 10, 1988: The US Air Force publicly unveils the F-117 Nighthawk when Assistant Secretary of Defense J. Daniel Howard posted a grainy photograph at a Pentagon press conference. After the announcement, pilots could fly the F-117 during the day. In April 1990, two F-117 planes were flown to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, arriving during the day and on public display to a crowd of tens of thousands.

November 11, 1918: The fighting of the First World War ended when the Allies and Germany signed an armistice in the forest of Compiègne. The day later became known as Armistice Day and is now known in the United States as Veterans Day.

November 11, 1921: The remains of an unidentified US serviceman were buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery in a ceremony chaired by President Warren G. Harding.

November 11, 1947: Captain Chuck Yeager became the first man to exceed 900 mph while piloting the Bell X-1 at Mach 1.35. Although this is an undated photo of Captain Yeager, Edwards’ history office said it was known he was giving a press conference in Los Angeles, California at the time. .

November 11, 1956: The Convair B-58 Hustler made its maiden flight. The Hustler, designed and produced by the American aircraft manufacturer Convair, was the first operational bomber capable of flying at Mach 2. The B-58 was developed in the 1950s for the Strategic Air Command of the US Air Force. To achieve the desired high speeds, Convair adapted the delta wing used by contemporary fighters such as the Convair F-102. The bomber was powered by four General Electric J79 engines in nacelles under the wings. It did not have a bomb bay: it carried a single nuclear weapon and fuel in a bomb / fuel pod combination under the fuselage. Later, four external cargo points were added, allowing it to carry up to five weapons. The B-58 entered service in March 1960 and flew for a decade with two SAC bomb squadrons: the 43rd Bombardment Wing and the 305th Bombardment Wing. It was considered difficult to fly, placing a heavy workload on its three-man crews. Designed to replace the Boeing B-47 Stratojet subsonic strategic bomber, the B-58 became famous for its sonic boom heard on the ground by the public as it passed overhead in supersonic flight.

November 11, 1964: A crew flew a Lockheed C-141A nonstop from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., To the East Coast and back. The excursion, covering 6,535 miles, was conducted to assess the APN-151 Loran C.

November 11, 1966: Gemini 12 took off for a four-day mission with astronauts James A. Lovell and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. on board; it was the 10th and final flight in NASA’s Gemini program.

November 11, 1972: The US military handed over its base at Long Binh to the South Vietnamese, symbolizing the end of direct US military involvement in the Vietnam War.

November 12, 1942: The WWII Naval Battle of Guadalcanal has begun. The Allies ended up winning a major victory over the Japanese forces.

November 12, 1981: Space Shuttle Columbia launches STS-2 mission, the first reuse of a manned orbital space vehicle. Joe H. Engle was the Commanding Officer and Richard H. Truly was the Pilot. During the flight, the astronauts tested the robotic arm of the shuttle, commonly known as the Canadarm. In the early planning stages of the Space Shuttle program, STS-2 was intended to be a mission to revitalize the aging space station Skylab. However, such a mission was hampered by delays in the development of the shuttle and the deterioration of Skylab’s orbit. Skylab was finally desorbed on July 11, 1979, two years before the launch of STS-2. The mission was originally scheduled to last five days, but the flight was cut short when one of the three fuel cells that produced electricity and drinking water broke down. Columbia landed at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Nov. 14.

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