Archive for the ‘Nasa Test Pilot’ Category

Plant City area high schools list names of graduating seniors

Plant City area high schools list names of graduating seniors
Joshua Scott Wadsworth. Avry Manuel Walden. Keion Baqi Walker. Martez Eddie Walker. Brittany Tyler Nicole Wallace. Shane Matthew Walls. Kali Safira Walsh. Rachel Anna Ward. Noah James Waters. Tracy Sebastian Watson, Jr. Brandon Michael Wheat …
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At Holt Arena, Pocatello
Kieron Ove (Lake City) 1:52. 106 — Quarterfinals: Mysun Mather (Capital) pin. Antony Mello (Mountain View) 2:26; Anthony Phero (Centennial) dec. Dekker Anderson (Highland) 2-0; Kaleb Maciosek (Coeur D'Alene) dec. Miguel Mares (Meridian) 8-4; Matt …
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Comments in Android Source Code Reference Android “M”
Android L may be nigh upon us, hopefully accompanied by a few new Nexus devices, but work has reportedly already begun on the version to follow. Spotted first by myce, two commit comments in the Android source code reference an “M” release.
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U15 England Development Squad List Released
Following the U15 Boys Regional Development tournament in Leeds last weekend, the initial squad for the U15 Men's National Development Program has been announced. The 26 man squad is highlighted by Leicester's Kareem Queeley, who terrorised …
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Isle of Wight firm wins £1m contract for Undercliff
Pictured at the Undercliff are, from left, IW Council cabinet member responsible for the highways PFI scheme Cllr Jon Gilbey, scheme engineer Kieron Blamey and director of John Peck Construction, John Peck. AN ISLE of Wight company has been awarded …
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s75-25823

s75-25823
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by NASA: 2Explore
S75-25823 (February 1975) — Cosmonaut Aleksei A. Leonov (left) and astronaut Thomas P. Stafford display the Apollo Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) commemorative plaque. The two commanders, of their respective crews, are in the Apollo Command Module (CM) trainer at Building 35 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC). Two plaques divided into four quarters each will be flown on the ASTP mission. The American ASTP Apollo crew will carry the four United States quarter pieces aboard Apollo; and the Soviet ASTP Soyuz 19 crew will carry the four USSR quarter sections aboard Soyuz. The eight quarter pieces will be joined together to form two complete commemorative plaques after the two spacecraft rendezvous and dock in Earth orbit. One complete plaque then will be returned to Earth by the astronauts; and the other complete plaque will be brought back by the cosmonauts. The plaque is written in both English and Russian. The Apollo crew will consist of astronauts Thomas P. Stafford, commander; Donald K. "Deke" Slayton, docking module pilot; Vance D. Brand, command module pilot. The Soyuz 19 crew will consist of cosmonauts Aleksei A. Leonov, command pilot; and Valeri N. Kubasov, flight engineer.

s79-37006
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by NASA: 2Explore
S79-37006 (29 Sept. 1979) — Astronaut John W. Young, commander of STS-1, goes through a simulation exercises in the shuttle mission simulator (SMS) in the mission simulation and training facility at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC). Young and astronaut Robert L. Crippen, prime crew pilot, are in training for the first of series of orbital test missions aboard the Columbia. Photo credit: NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration

s75-24052
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by NASA: 2Explore
S75-24052 (8-10 Feb. 1975) — A space-suited Mickey Mouse character welcomes the prime crewmen of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project mission to Florida’s Disney World near Orlando. The crewmen made a side-trip to Disney World during a three-day inspection tour of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The crewmen were at KSC to look over launch facilities and flight hardware. Receiving the jovial Disney World welcome are, left to right, cosmonaut Valeriy N. Kubasov, engineer on the Soviet crew; astronaut Donald K. Slayton, docking module pilot of the American crew; astronaut Vance D. Brand, command module pilot of the American crew; cosmonaut Aleksey A. Leonov, commander of the Soviet crew; astronaut Thomas P. Stafford, commander of the American crew; and cosmonaut Vladimir A. Shatalov, Chief of Cosmonaut Training for the USSR.

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s65-63712

s65-63712
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by NASA: 2Explore
S65-63712 (4-18 Dec. 1965) — Astronaut Frank Borman, Gemini-7 command pilot, is seen performing visual acuity tests in space. Photo credit: NASA

s65-59943
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by NASA: 2Explore
S65-59943 (8 Dec. 1965) — The Gemini-6 prime crew goes through simulated flight test activity in the white room atop Pad 19 at Cape Kennedy, Florida. Astronauts Walter M. Schirra Jr. (left), command pilot; and Thomas P. Stafford, pilot, are preparing for a two-day mission in space. NASA will attempt to rendezvous the Gemini-6 spacecraft with the Gemini-7 spacecraft. Photo credit: NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration

s75-26573
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by NASA: 2Explore
S75-26573 (14 May 1975) — The three members of the American ASTP prime crew participate in an Apollo-Soyuz Test Project press conference conducted on May 14, 1975 in the Building 2 briefing room at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. They are, left to right, Donald K. Slayton, docking module pilot; Vance D. Brand, command module pilot; and Thomas P. Stafford, commander. The astronauts discussed with the news media their recent ASTP joint training session in the Soviet Union, and the crew’s tour of the USSR’s Baikonur launch complex in Kazakhstan.

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s74-15241

s74-15241
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by NASA: 2Explore
S74-15241 (January 1974) — These three NASA astronauts are the United States flight crew for the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) mission. The prime crew members for the joint United States – Soviet Union spaceflight are, left to right, Donald K. Slayton, docking module pilot; Vance D. Brand, command module pilot; and Thomas P. Stafford, commander. The American and Soviet crews will visit one another’s spacecraft while the Soyuz and Apollo are docked in Earth orbit for a maximum of two days. The ASTP mission is designed to test equipment and techniques that will establish international crew rescue capability in space, as well as permit future cooperative scientific missions.

Pgs 20-21, Raptor (2012)
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by TORCH MAGAZINE
MYSTERY IN THE RAPTOR – Officials discuss previously unexplained events in F-22
by Amaani Lyle and Justin Oakes
American Forces Press Service/Air Combat Command Public Affairs

7/1/2012 – WASHINGTON D.C. — Following months of life support systems components testing in the F-22 Raptor, officials have "determined with confidence" the source of previously unexplained physiological incidents, the director of operations for the Air Force’s Air Combat Command said July 31 at a Pentagon news conference. Since September 2011, when the aircraft returned to flight operations, the Air Force has worked to determine why a small number of pilots have experienced symptoms such as dizziness while flying or disorientation post-flight, and to reduce the risk of those incidents. In January 2012, the Air Force created the F-22 Life Support Systems Task Force, which consists of approximately two dozen Air Combat Command specialists and hundreds of others from across the Air Force and other governmental agencies, including NASA and the Navy, as well as industry partners.

The combined medical disciplines of flight medicine, toxicology, physiology, human factors and occupational health have enabled the service to assemble "pieces of the mosaic" that reside in the cockpit, said Maj. Gen. Charles W. Lyon, who was designated by Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley in January to lead an investigative task force. The general pinpointed the upper pressure garment, oxygen delivery hoses, quick connection points and the air filter canister, that had been used for a few months in the aircraft, as contributing factors to previously unexplained physiological incidents in which some pilots complained of hypoxia-like symptoms.

"As we completed end-to-end testing in the life support systems components, we are able to piece together the contributing factors for our previously unexplained incidents," Lyon said, crediting an "integrated, collaborative approach by government and industry" in helping the Air Force develop its findings. The task force, Lyon said, leveraged the investigative efforts of numerous safety investigation boards and the Air Force’s Scientific Advisory Board to eliminate contamination as the root cause of the incidents.

Air Force officials used intensive altitude chamber and centrifuge protocols to isolate variables in the flight gear and cockpit connections, the general said. They also analyzed thousands of samples of gases, volatile and semi-volatile compounds, solids and liquids, and compared that data to occupational hazard standard levels.

"Managing risks to our F-22 force has always been pre-eminent as we work through this complex set of factors," Lyon said. "In the end, there is no ‘smoking gun.’"

The fleet, grounded for five months last year, has flown nearly 8,000 sorties totaling more than 10,000 flight hours since its last reported unexplained incident in March, Lyon said.

As a result, at the end of July, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta approved a gradual lifting of restrictions he placed on F-22 flights in May.

In a recent update to Panetta that led to the decision to roll back the restrictions, Air Force officials said the service employed thorough, in-depth analysis to eliminate contamination as a contributing factor to its most recent incident and charted a path to eliminate all significant contributing factors today and in the future.

"We left no stone unturned in the investigative process," Lyon said, adding that the service will continue to move forward with enhancements and fixes as NASA concludes an independent investigation.

The Air Force’s investigative process also involved canvassing the F-22 communities to gauge pilot, maintainer and family member confidence in the aircraft’s safety, Lyon said.

"I recently visited our F-22 bases, and I can tell you, their confidence is high," he said, noting that no hybrid high-altitude flight operations and high-maneuverability aircraft could be completely immune to such incidents. "There’s no other aircraft our pilots would rather fly in the service of our nation," he added.

Underscoring this sentiment, Air Combat Command’s top general completed F-22 Raptor pilot qualification June 27, reinforcing his personal stake in the Air Force’s efforts to identify the root cause of unexplained physiological incidents involving a small number of Raptor crews.

"As Airmen, risk is part of our lives as members of the military," said Gen. Mike Hostage, the commander of Air Combat Command. "I’m asking these Airmen to assume some risk that exceeds the norm in day-to-day training, and I have to be willing to do it myself and experience firsthand what they do."

Hostage completed his F-22 qualification training with the 325th Fighter Wing at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.

"Flying the airplane allows me to understand exactly what our Airmen are dealing with," Hostage said. "It’s an amazing airplane to fly, and I’m confident in the procedures we have in place to help enhance crew safety."

www.torch.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123321497

s75-24030
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by NASA: 2Explore
S75-24030 (8-10 Feb. 1975) — The five prime crew members of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) mission pose for a group photograph while at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for a three-day inspection tour. They are, left to right, astronaut Donald K. (Deke) Slayton, docking module pilot of the American crew; astronaut Vance D. Brand, command module pilot of the American crew; astronaut Thomas P. Stafford, commander of the American crew; cosmonaut Aleksey A. Leonov, commander of the Soviet crew; and cosmonaut Valeriy N. Kubasov, engineer of the Soviet crew. They were at KSC to look over launch facilities and flight hardware. They are standing in front of artist Robert McCall’s painting of an ASTP docking in Earth orbit.

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Jerrie Cobb Poses beside Mercury Capsule

Jerrie Cobb Poses beside Mercury Capsule
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by NASA on The Commons
Jerrie Cobb poses next to a Mercury spaceship capsule. Although she never flew in space, Cobb, along with twenty-four other women, underwent physical tests similar to those taken by the Mercury astronauts with the belief that she might become an astronaut trainee. All the women who participated in the program, known as First Lady Astronaut Trainees, were skilled pilots. Dr. Randy Lovelace, a NASA scientist who had conducted the official Mercury program physicals, administered the tests at his private clinic without official NASA sanction. Cobb passed all the training exercises, ranking in the top 2% of all astronaut candidates of both genders.

While she was sworn in as a consultant to Administrator James Webb on the issue of women in space, mounting political pressure and internal opposition lead NASA to restrict its official astronaut training program to men despite campaigning by the thirteen finalists of the FLAT program. After three years, Cobb left NASA for the jungles of the Amazon, where she has spent four decades as a solo pilot delivering food, medicine, and other aid to the indigenous people. She has received the Amelia Earhart Medal, the Harmon Trophy, the Pioneer Woman Award, the Bishop Wright Air Industry Award, and many other decorations for her tireless years of humanitarian service.

Image # : UNKNOWN2

M2-F3 Lifting Body body decals – Smithsonian Air and Space Museum – 2012-05-15
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by Tim Evanson
Decals on a Northrop M2-F3 was a heavyweight lifting body built by the Northrop Corporation in 1969 for NASA. The "M" refers to "manned" and "F" refers to "flight" version.

On display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Lifting bodies are powered aircraft whose actual form provides flight lift — compared to a conventional airplane, whose main body is not capable of getting lift, which forces it to rely on wings. The data gathered by NASA during a decade of studying lifting bodies led to the design of the Space Shuttle.

The first lifting body, the unpowered M2-F1, was built in 1963. The M2-F2 was powered. It was designed to be flown into the air by a B-52, then released. In May 1967, after 10 months of glide tests, the M2-F2 crashed spectacularly on Muroc Dry Lake (now Rogers Dry Lake) near Edwards Air Force Base. Pilot Bruce Peterson miraculously survived! (This footage was later shown at the start of every episode of the "Six Million Dollar Man" TV show.)

Northrop rebuilt the craft as the M2-F3. A middle third fin was added to provide stability control. Over time, additional features such as:

1) reaction control thruster system
2) rate command augmentation system (in which the pilot stick inputs do not directly map to control surface deflections, but rather are interpreted by a flight computer that manages the deflections; the amount of force used on the stick "rates" the same amount of force applied by the aircraft, no matter how much windspeed there is).
3) a side-arm control stick (since the aircraft now had a fly-by-wire system, the control stick was being tested to see how minute adjustments could be incorporated by a human being used the side-stick controller).

The M2-F3 reached Mach 1.613 on its next-to-last flight on December 13, 1972. It reached its highest altitude, 71,500 feet, on its last flight on December 20, 1972. NASA donated it to the Smithsonian in 1973.

US Space & Rocket Center
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by nolarobert
In October 1963, Cunningham was one of the third group of astronauts selected by NASA. On October 11, 1968, he occupied the lunar module pilot seat for the eleven-day flight of Apollo 7. Although the flight carried no lunar module, Cunningham was kept busy with the myriad system tests aboard this first launch of a manned Apollo mission. Because Schirra, Cunningham, and Eisele ran afoul of NASA management during the flight, none of them were assigned to future missions. He then worked in a management role for Skylab and left NASA in 1971. In 1977, he published The All-American Boys, a reminiscence of his astronaut days. Cunningham composed the text for the book himself without the help of a ghostwriter. He was also a major contributor and foreword-writer for the 2007 space history book In the Shadow of the Moon. In 2008, NASA awarded Cunningham the NASA Distinguished Service Medal for his Apollo 7 mission.

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jsc2010e046313

jsc2010e046313
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by NASA: 2Explore
JSC2010-E-046313 (January 2010) — An artist’s rendering shows the Orion launch abort vehicle descending back to Earth following the Pad Abort 1 flight test at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The launch abort system has completed its job and separated from the crew module 21 seconds into the flight. At 31 seconds into the flight, the drogue chutes are cut away from the crew module and main chute pilot mortars fire to deploy three small pilot parachutes. The pilot chutes immediately extract the three main parachutes. Photo credit: NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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Astronaut Edward White Ready For Gemini IV Liftoff

Astronaut Edward White Ready For Gemini IV Liftoff
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by NASA on The Commons
Astronaut Edward H. White II, pilot for NASA’s Gemini IV mission is shown in the crews ready room at Launch Complex 16, suited and ready to ride the van to Launch Complex 19 for insertion in the spacecraft. The Gemini IV flight was launched at 10:16 am EST on June 3, 1965. The objective of the Gemini IV mission was to evaluate and test the effects of four days in space on the crew, equipment, and control systems. White successfully accomplished the first U.S. spacewalk during the Gemini IV mission.

Image # : 65-H-916

s73-27707
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by NASA: 2Explore
S73-27707 (9 June 1973) — Astronaut Charles Conrad Jr., Skylab 2 commander, serves as test subject for the Lower Body Negative Pressure (MO92) Experiment, as seen in this reproduction taken from a color television transmission made by a TV camera aboard the Skylab 1/2 space station cluster in Earth orbit. Scientist-astronaut Joseph P. Kerwin, Skylab 2 science pilot, assists Conrad into the LBNP device. Kerwin served as monitor for the experiment. The purpose of the MO92 experiment is to provide information concerning the time course of cardiovascular adaptation during flight, and to provide inflight data for predicting the degree of orthostatic intolerance and impairment of physical capacity to be expected upon return to Earth environment. The data collected in support of MO92 blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, vectorcardiogram, LBNPD pressure, leg volume changes, and body weight. Photo credit: NASA

Enterprise
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by robbyb
The Enterprise was used in the development of the Space Shuttle program to test how it handled during landing. NASA (or anyone) had ever built a rocker/glider, so no one had a clue if it would work. The Enterprise, named after the Start Trek flagship, was piloted by astronauts from Mercury missions and released from a Boing 747.

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Apollo Block I FDAI 8-Ball

Apollo Block I FDAI 8-Ball
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by jurvetson
I have been back in the office this week, and there are still about 7000 Africa photos I have not seen yet. But meanwhile, there are a bunch of new space artifacts to distract me… =)

I have been looking for this for a while to fill out the command module instrument panel.

Heritage Description:
Apollo Early Block I Training-Used Command Module Flight Director Attitude Indicator (FDAI).

This FDAI or "8 Ball" was used to define the relative position of the spacecraft in three-dimensional space. Originally designed to be three different panel instruments, the astronauts, many of whom were pilots, lobbied for an all-in-one device similar to the "artificial horizon" indicator in airplanes.

The metal tag on the side indicates that this was "MFG BY HONEYWELL FOR NAA /S & ID". (This was the Space and Information Systems Division of North American Aviation.) The manufacturer part number is shown as "DJG204E3" and the manufacture date as "Jul 23, 1964". Printed on the same side is the text: "Caution For Training Use Only". A handwritten pencil note reads: "Pitch Out – 6-22-69? LQS". Two red inspector stamps and the number "C29-2A52" are present.”

Built in 1964, the Apollo 1 astronauts may have trained with this FDAI before the tragic pad fire.

Update: just learned that the Space1 fellow below was the consigner of this artifact. "about that FDAI: Based on its markings, it must have been used in training. I had acquired it from an auction of Charlie Bell’s estate on April 29, 2000. (Charlie Bell was a NASA engineer at KSC.) Charlie Bell had lots of varied items, literally acres of test equipment, tools, ground support equipment, launch vehicle components (including a damaged Atlas missile on its carrier, several H-1 and J-2 engines), and many mostly unsorted Apollo artifacts, including some flown items. He got all of his stuff from NASA sales."

Skylab 4 Crew Training at KSC
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by NASA: 2Explore
S73-34094 (6 Aug. 1973) — The Skylab 4 crewmen, fully suited, are seated inside their Command Module, which has been undergoing high altitude chamber test runs at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) after being considered as a possible rescue vehicle, if needed, for the Skylab 3 crewmen. Facing the camera is scientist-astronaut Edward G. Gibson, science pilot. Astronauts Gerald P. Carr, right, commander, and William R. Pogue, pilot, are also pictured. Photo credit: NASA

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glamorous glennis close

glamorous glennis close
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by zen
Back in October 14, 1947, flying this Bell XS-1 #1, Capt. Charles ‘Chuck’ Yeager, USAF, became the first pilot to fly faster than sound. Later designated as the X-l, it reached Mach 1.06, 700 mph, at an altitude of 43,000 feet, over the Mojave Desert near Muroc Dry Lake, California. The flight demonstrated that aircraft could be designed to fly faster than sound, and the human concept of a ‘sound barrier" fell apart despite many who believed it couldn’t be surpassed.

The XS-1 #1, serial 46-062, named Glamorous Glennis by Captain Yeager in honor of his wife now resides at the National Air and Space Museum. The XS-1 #2 (46-063) was flight-tested by NACA (rebranded NASA) and later was modified as the X-1[ Mach 24" research airplane.

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Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Space exhibit panorama (misc)

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Space exhibit panorama (misc)
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by Chris Devers
Uploaded by Eye-Fi.

Capital Airlines Lockheed Constellation
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by james_gordon_losangeles
The Lockheed Constellation (Connie) was a propeller-driven airliner powered by four 18-cylinder radial Wright R-3350 engines. It was built by Lockheed between 1943 and 1958 at its Burbank, California, facility. A total of 856 aircraft were produced in numerous models, all distinguished by a triple-tail design and dolphin-shaped fuselage. The Constellation was used as a civilian airliner and as a U.S. military air transport, seeing service in the Berlin Airlift. It was the presidential aircraft for U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Design and development
Initial design studies
Since 1937 Lockheed had been working on the L-044 Excalibur, a four-engine pressurized airliner. In 1939 Trans World Airlines, at the instigation of major stockholder Howard Hughes, requested a 40-passenger transcontinental airliner with 3,500 mi (5,630 km) range—well beyond the capabilities of the Excalibur design. TWA’s requirements led to the L-049 Constellation, designed by Lockheed engineers including Kelly Johnson and Hall Hibbard. Willis Hawkins, another Lockheed engineer, maintains that the Excalibur program was purely a cover for the Constellation.

Development of the Constellation
The Constellation’s wing design was close to that of the P-38 Lightning, differing mostly in scale. The distinctive triple tail kept the aircraft’s overall height low enough to fit in existing hangars, while new features included hydraulically boosted controls and a thermal de-icing system used on wing and tail leading edges. The aircraft had a top speed of over 340 mph (550 km/h), faster than that of a Japanese Zero fighter, a cruise speed of 300 mph (480 km/h), and a service ceiling of 24,000 ft (7,300 m).

According to Anthony Sampson in Empires of the Sky, the intricate design may have been undertaken by Lockheed, but the concept, shape, capabilities, appearance and ethos of the Constellation were driven by Hughes’ intercession during the design process.

Operational history
World War II
With the onset of World War II, the TWA aircraft entering production were converted to an order for C-69 Constellation military transport aircraft, with 202 aircraft intended for the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). The first prototype (civil registration NX25600) flew on January 9, 1943, a short ferry hop from Burbank to Muroc Field for testing. Edmund T. Eddie Allen, on loan from Boeing, flew left seat, with Lockheed’s own Milo Burcham as copilot. Rudy Thoren and Kelly Johnson were also on board.

Lockheed proposed the model L-249 as a long range bomber. It received the military designation XB-30 but the aircraft was not developed. A plan for a very long-range troop transport, the C-69B (L-349, ordered by Pan Am in 1940 as the L-149), was canceled. A single C-69C (L-549), a 43-seat VIP transport, was built in 1945 at the Lockheed-Burbank plant.

The C-69 was mostly used as a high-speed, long-distance troop transport during the war. A total of 22 C-69s were completed before the end of hostilities, but not all of these entered military service. The USAAF cancelled the remainder of the order in 1945.

Postwar use
After World War II the Constellation came into its own as a popular, fast, civilian airliner. Aircraft already in production for the USAAF as C-69 transports were finished as civilian airliners, with TWA receiving the first on 1 October 1945. TWA’s first transatlantic proving flight departed Washington, DC, on December 3, 1945, arriving in Paris on December 4 via Gander and Shannon.

Trans World Airlines transatlantic service started on February 6, 1946 with a New York-Paris flight in a Constellation. On June 17, 1947 Pan American World Airways opened the first ever regularly scheduled round-the-world service with their L-749 Clipper America. The famous flight Pan Am 1 operated until 1982.

As the first pressurized airliner in widespread use, the Constellation helped to usher in affordable and comfortable air travel. Operators of Constellations included TWA, Eastern Air Lines, Pan American World Airways, Air France, BOAC, KLM, Qantas, Lufthansa, Iberia Airlines, Panair do Brasil, TAP Portugal, Trans-Canada Air Lines (later renamed Air Canada), Aer Lingus, VARIG, Cubana de Aviación and Línea Aeropostal Venezolana.

Initial difficulties
The Constellation had three accidents in the first 10 months of service, temporarily curtailing its career as a passenger airliner:

On June 18, 1946, an engine of a Pan American Constellation caught fire and fell off. The flight crew made an emergency landing with no loss of life. The same aircraft made a return flight across America in 11½ hours for repairs using only three engines.
On July 11, a Transcontinental and Western Air aircraft fell victim to an in-flight fire, crashing in a field and taking the lives of five of the six on board.
The accidents prompted the suspension of the Constellation’s airworthiness certificate until Lockheed could modify the design. This was dramatized in the motion picture The Aviator (2004) during the scene where Howard Hughes (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) surveys numerous grounded TWA Constellations.

The Constellation proved prone to engine failures, earning the nickname World’s Finest Trimotor in some circles.

Records
Sleek and powerful, Constellations set a number of records. On April 17, 1944, the second production C-69, piloted by Howard Hughes and TWA president Jack Frye, flew from Burbank, California, to Washington, D.C., in 6 hours and 57 minutes (c. 2,300 mi/3,701 km at an average 330.9 mph/532.5 km/h). On the return trip, the aircraft stopped at Wright Field to give Orville Wright his last flight, more than 40 years after his historic first flight. He commented that the Constellation’s wingspan was longer than the distance of his first flight.

On September 29, 1957, an L-1649A Starliner flew from Los Angeles to London in 18 hours and 32 minutes (about 5,420 mi/8,723 km at 292.4 mph/470.6 km/h). The L-1649A holds the record for the longest-duration, non-stop passenger flight. During TWA’s inaugural London-to-San Francisco flight on October 1–2, 1957, the aircraft stayed aloft for 23 hours and 19 minutes (about 5,350 mi/8,610 km at 229.4 mph/369.2 km/h).

Obsolescence
The advent of jet airliners, with the de Havilland Comet, Boeing 707, Douglas DC-8 and Convair 880, rendered the piston-engined Constellation obsolete. The first routes lost to jets were the long overseas routes, but Constellations continued to fly domestic routes. The last scheduled passenger flight in the 48 states was made by a TWA L749 on May 11, 1967, from Philadelphia to Kansas City, Missouri. However, Constellations remained in freight service for years to come, and were used on backup sections of Eastern Airlines’ shuttle service between New York, Washington, and Boston until 1968. An Eastern Constellation to date still holds the record for a New York to Washington flight from lift off to touch-down in just over 30 minutes. The record was set prior to speed restriction by the FAA below 10,000 ft.

One of the reasons for the elegant appearance of the aircraft was the fuselage shape—a continuously variable profile with no two bulkheads the same shape. Unfortunately, this construction is very expensive and was replaced by the mostly tube shape of modern airliners. The tube is more resistant to pressurization changes and cheaper to build.

With the shutdown of Constellation production, Lockheed elected not to develop a first-generation jetliner, instead sticking to its lucrative military business and production of the modest turboprop-powered Lockheed L-188 Electra airliner. Lockheed would not build a large civil passenger aircraft again until its L-1011 Tristar debuted in 1972. While a technological marvel, the L-1011 was a commercial failure, and Lockheed left the commercial airliner business permanently in 1983.

Military
President Dwight D. Eisenhower flew in two Constellations, named Columbine II and Columbine III.
Two Constellations, the VC-121E Columbine III (s/n 53-7885), used as Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidential aircraft, and an EC-121 Warning Star (s/n 53-555) are fully restored and on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. Columbine III was retired to the Museum in 1966, and is displayed in the Museum’s Presidential gallery. The interior of the aircraft is open to the public. The EC-121 Warning Star is on display in the Museum’s Modern Flight Gallery.

C-121A serial number 48-0613 (Bataan) is on display at Planes of Fame in Valle, Arizona. This Constellation is in flying condition. According to the Museum’s website, this aircraft was used as a personal transport by General Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War, and later by other Army general officers until 1966, when it was retired and transferred to the U.S. space agency NASA. After its acquisition by Planes of Fame, it was restored to its original configuration with a VIP interior.
C-121C is on display at the National Air and Space Museum, Udvar-Hazy Center located at Dulles Airport in Virginia and this aircraft flew as an Air Force C-121C and is painted in the colors of the Air National Guard.
EC-121A serial number 48-0614, markings 7167th Special Air Missions Squadron, Wiesbaden Air Base, Germany, 1951 – One of Dwight D. Eisenhower personal transports – displayed in outdoor exhibit at Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona.
EC-121D Warning Star is on display at the Aerospace Museum of California at the former McClellan Air Force Base in North Highlands, California. This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
EC-121T, serial number 52-3425, is on display at the Peterson Air and Space Museum at Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Previously assigned to the 966th AEWCS at McCoy AFB, Florida and then the 79th AEWCS at Homestead AFB, Florida, it was the last operational EC-121 and was deployed by the 79th AEWCS to NAS Keflavik, Iceland. It was delivered to Peterson AFB in October 1978.

N4257U on display at the Combat Air Museum in Topeka, Ks.
EC-121T serial number 53-0554, with markings from the 79th Airborne Warning and Control Squadron, Homestead AFB, Florida, 1974 is displayed in the outdoor exhibit at Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona.
RC-121D serial number 52-3418 (N4257U c/n 4336 federal registration) was delivered to the Air Force in October 1954. Then it was redesignated EC-121D 1962, converted to EC-121T but the upper radome was not removed. Reassigned to USAF Reserves at Homestead AFB, Florida by July 1974, it was retired and flown to Davis Monthan AFB for storage on April 7, 1976. Reassigned to the Combat Air Museum, Topeka, Kansas, on March 1981 as N4257U, the RC-121D was ferried to Topeka, Kansas, on June 1981 with Frank Lang in command.
IN315, an Indian Navy L1049G (former Air India L1049E VT-DHM ‘Rani of Ellora’) Super Constellation is on display at the Naval Aviation Museum at Dabolim in Goa, India.

Specifications (L-1049G Super Constellation)
General characteristics
Crew: 5 flight crew, varying cabin crew
Capacity: typically 62–95 passengers (109 in high-density configuration)
Length: 116 ft 2 in (35.42 m)
Wingspan: 126 ft 2 in (38.47 m)
Height: 24 ft 9 in (7.54 m)
Wing area: 1,654 ft2 (153.7 m2)
Empty weight: 79,700 lb (36,150 kg)
Useful load: 65,300 lb (29,620 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 137,500 lb (62,370 kg)
Powerplant: 4 × Wright R-3350-DA3 Turbo Compound 18-cylinder supercharged radial engines, 3,250 hp (2,424 kW) each

Performance
Maximum speed: 377 mph (327 kn, 607 km/h)
Cruise speed: 340 mph (295 kn, 547 km/h) at 22,600 ft (6,890 m)
Stall speed: 100 mph (87 kn, 160 km/h)
Range: 5,400 mi (4,700 nmi, 8,700 km)
Service ceiling: 24,000 ft (7,620 m)
Rate of climb: 1,620 ft/min (8.23 m/s)
Wing loading: 87.7 lb/ft2 (428 kg/m2)
Power/mass: 0.094 hp/lb (155 W/kg)

Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom
Nasa Test Pilot

Image by cindy47452
"If we die, we want people to accept it. We are in a risky business and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life." – Gus Grissom, after the Gemini 3 mission, March 1965

Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom (April 3, 1926 – January 27, 1967) was a United States Air Force pilot and one of the original Mercury 7 NASA astronauts. A native of Mitchell, Indiana, he was the second American to fly in space. He was killed during a training exercise and test for the Apollo One mission on January 27, 1967 at Launch Complex 34, Cape Kennedy, along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee. Grissom was a posthumous recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

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