On September 18th, while Edwards Air Force Base personnel were on the ground going about their work evaluating new military aircraft and systems, a quartet of WWII-vintage warbirds circled overhead, preparing to land. The B-25J Mitchell, TBM-3E Avenger, FG-1D Corsair and P-51D Mustang from the Texas Flying Legends Museum in Houston, Texas, were arriving! A C-12 Huron from the 419th Flight Test Squadron escorted them to the hallowed air field, once known as Muroc, where many of America’s most important aerospace innovations first took flight. Indeed, the warbirds are here to pay tribute to one of these important milestones. They will take part in the celebrations surrounding the 70th Anniversary of Supersonic Flight. The legendary Chuck Yeager was the first man to officially break the sound barrier in level flight on October 14th, 1947, coaxing his Bell X-1 rocket plane to Mach 1.06 high over Muroc that day.
The 412th Test Wing will host the 70th Anniversary of Supersonic Flight celebrations (#70SSF). They will pay tribute to the team of Air Force and NASA test pilots and engineers who made supersonic flight a reality 70 years ago. Four major events are scheduled for October 13th/14th, 2017 at Edwards Air Force Base. For more information please click HERE.
As a sidetone, the 412th Test Wing’s origins date back to November 29th, 1943, when the 412th Fighter Group activated at Muroc Army Air Field, California. They were testing America’s first jet fighter, the Bell P-59 Airacomet at a site on the north shore of Rogers Dry Lakebed, about six miles away from the training base at Muroc.
Nowadays the 412th Test Wing plans, conducts, analyzes, and reports on all flight and ground testing of aircraft, weapons systems, software and components as well as modeling and simulation for the U.S. Air Force. There are three core components for this mission: flying operations, maintenance and engineering. Through a maintenance group of over 2,000 people and an operations group of 3,000, the test wing maintains and flies an average of 90 aircraft with upwards of 30 different aircraft designs and performs over 7,400 missions (over 1,900 test missions) on an annual basis.