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FLORIDA AIR MUSEUM. IMAGES AND COMMENTS FROM MY VISIT ON NOVEMBER 14, 2007. A NEW AVIATION MUSEUM – LAKELAND, FLORIDA.

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florida air museum

FLORIDA AIR MUSEUM

IMAGES AND COMMENTS FROM MY VISIT ON NOVEMBER 14, 2007

slide3
THE CONVAIR SEA DART F2Y-1 WAS ORDERED IN 1951 BY US NAVY WHO WERE LOOKING FOR A SUPERSONIC FIGHTER THAT WAS NOT EXPECTED TO BE CARRIER CAPABLE. NACA WAS INTERESTED IN REPLACING FLOATS WITH HYDROSKIS. TWO PROTOTYPES WERE ORDERED AND TESTED THROUGH MOST OF 1957. THE AIRCRAFT LIFTED OFF AT ABOUT 120 MPH AND REQUIRED A MILE TO REACH THAT SPEED. EVEN WITH SHOCK ABSORBING STRUTS, ANY SPEED ABOVE ABOUT 60 CAUSED EXCESSIVE POUNDING ON AIRFRAME AND PILOT. SPAN 33’ – 8” AND WING AREA 563 SQUARE FEET.
slide4
THE FLORIDA AIR MUSEUM IS PRIMARILY ABOUT HOME BUILTS, BUT IT HAS PLENTY MORE TO OFFER, SUCH AS A GOOD PRESENTATION OF HOWARD HUGHES CONTRIBUTIONS TO AVIATION.
slide5
A GRAT DEAL OF AVIATION RELATED DETAIL OF HOWARD HUGHES LIFE AND HIS CONTRIBUTION TO AVIATION IS AVAILABLE – MORE THAN CAN BE RECOUNTED.
slide8
AT THE OTHER END OF THE COMPLEXITY SPECTRUM WERE MANY EXAMPLES OF EXQUISITE CRAFTSMANSHIP. THIS ONE, THE UPPER WING OF A STEEN SKYBOLT PRIOR TO BEING COVERED WITH FABRIC.
slide9
ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLE WAS THIS REPLICA OF THE “LITTLE ROCKET”. ORIGINALLY BUILT BY COMMAND-AIRE TO COMPETE IN THE 5541 MILE ALL AMERICAN FLYING DERBY, USING THE 90 HP 4 CYLINDER AMERICAN CIRRUS ENGINE REQUIRED BY THE RACE. WITH A MAX WEIGHT OF 1150 LB, AND A WINGSPAN OF 23.5 FEET, THE ORIGINAL HAD A TOP SPEED OF CLOSE TO 200 MPH. THE DISPLAY AIRCRAFT IS S/N 2, BUILT BY JOE ARALDI BETWEEN 1982 AND 1989 IN TRIBUTE TO HIS FRIEND, BERT VOLLMECKE WHO HAD DESIGNED THE ORIGINAL. S/N 2 USED A DE HAVILLAND GYPSY (FROM WHICH THE CIRRUS WAS LICENSED) OF 95 HP.
slide10
YET ANOTHER WAS THIS CHIEF OSHKOSH – ORIGINALLY DESIGNED BY STEVE WITTMAN, IT WAS RESTORED TO FLYING CONDITION BY HIM AND ED SAURENMAN, AN AERO ENGINEER, IN 1937. IT USED A MENASCO C4S 150 HP ENGINE AND A 13 FOOT WINGSPAN. IN 1937 IT WON THREE FIRSTS AND ONE SECOND PLACE WITH A TOP SPEED OF 245 MPH. THE NEXT YEAR IT REACHED 256 MPH BEFORE CRASHING. IT WAS REBUILT AGAIN AND FLEW IN 1947 AS THE FAMOUS “BUSTER” WINNING MANY POST WAR RACES.
slide11
YET ANOTHER TYPE OF HOME BUILT KIT PLANE IS THE BD-5. WHILE FREQUENTLY CONTROVERSIAL, THERE CAN BE NO ARGUMENT THAT JIM BEDE DESIGNED IMAGINATIVE, FASCINATING AIRCRAFT. HAD HE BEEN BETTER AT BUSINESS, HIS NAME MIGHT HAVE HAD THE SAME LUSTER AS BURT RUTAN’S. THE BD-5 WAS POWERED BY A 750 CC THREE CYLINDER HONDA ENGINE, WEIGHED UP TO 913 LB AND HAD A WINGSPAN OF 21.5 FEET AND A MAX SPEED OF 230 MPH. IN ITS JET POWERED VERSION, IT COULD CRUISE AT OVER 300 MPH.
slide12
UNUSUAL ASPECTS OF HIS DESIGN INCLUDED THE PUSHER PROP AND, FOR SUCH A SMALL AIRCRAFT, THE RETRACTABLE GEAR .
slide13
FROM THE WRIGHT FLYER, AIRCRAFT ENGINES HAVE BEEN PURPOSE DESIGNED. THIS ONE WAS OFFERED IN 1911 BY THE DETROIT AIRPLANE COMPANY, PRODUCED 20 TO 30 HP AND COST $250. IT IS FASCINATING THAT THE BASIC ARCHITECTURE IS STILL IN USE TODAY – HORIZONTALLY OPPOSED, AIR COOLED CYLINDERS WITH A SPLIT CRANK CASE. ONE INTERESTING CHANGE IS THAT THE EXHAUST VALVES APPEAR TO BE PULL ROD, RATHER THAN PUSHROD OPERATED, AND THE LIGHT BROWN COMPONENTS MAY BE INDUCTION TUBES SUGGESTIVE OF A 2-STROKE DESIGN.
slide14
ROTARY ENGINE ARCHITECTURES WERE QUITE COMMON IN FRANCE DURING THE EARLY 1900s – NAMES LIKE GNOME AND LE RHONE ARE WELL KNOWN, BUT THIS IS A CLERGET. THE FIRST OF THIS TYPE, BUILT IN 1911 HAD 7 CYLINDERS AND PRODUCED 80 HP. BY 1913, THE 9 CYLINDER VERSION PRODUCED 110 HP, AND TWO YEARS LATER, THE 9B WAS UP TO 130 HP.
slide15
GYROSCOPIC FORCE WAS THE MAIN PROBLEM WITH THE ROTARY ENGINE ARCHITECTURE. BECAUSE THE CRANKSHAFT WAS BOLTED TO THE AIRPLANE AND THE PROP WAS MOUNTED ON THE ROTATING CYLINDERS, THE LARGE ROTATING MASS CAUSED A SIGNIFICANT PITCH CHANGE WHEN THE AIRPLANE WAS ROLLED, AND VISA VERSA. AN INGENIOUS PARTIAL SOLUTION WAS DEVELOPED BY A SUBSIDIARY OF SIEMENS IN 1914. IN THIS ARCHITECTURE, THE CYLINDERS ROTATED ONE WAY WHILE THE CRANKSHAFT AND PRO ROTATED THE OTHER. THUS THE ROTATING SPEED OF EACH PORTION WAS CUT IN HALF, AND THE CONTRA-ROTATION SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED THE GYRO FORCES ON THE AIRCRAFT. THIS 1917 VERSION HAD 11 CYLINDERS AND PRODCED 160 HP, HOWEVER THE NEXT VERSION OF THIS ENGINE REACHED 240 HP. 80 SUCH ENGINES WERE BUILT AND USED BY THE GERMAN AIRFORCE DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR.
slide16
RADILA ENGINES PROVIDED MANY ADVANTAGES OVER THEIR ROTARY COUSINS, AND BECAME THE DOMINANT ARCHITECTURE AFTER WWI. HERE IS A WRIGHT CYCLONE R-1820 PROVIDING 1525 HP AT 2800 RPM. VAST NUMBERS WERE MADE AND POWERED THE C47/DC3 AMONG MANY OTHER AIRCRAFT.
slide17
ONE KEY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WRIGHT AND PRATT & WHITNEY RADIAL ENGINES IS THE TYPE OF COOLING FINS. WRIGHT DEVELOPED STAMPED ALUMINUM FINS WHICH WERE PUSHED OVER THE CYLINDER BARREL, AND WERE ABLE TO CONTINUE CASTING THEIR CYLINDER HEAD FINS.
slide19
2000 HP WAS OBTAINED FROM THE R-2800 WITH 1 HP FOR EACH 1.4 CUBIC INCH OF DISPLACEMENT. IN 1939, WHEN THE R-2800 WAS INTRODUCED, NO OTHER AIR-COOLED ENGINE CAME CLOSE TO THIS FIGURE, AND EVEN LIQUID-COOLED ONES BARELY MATCHED IT. BY THE END OF THE WAR THE OUTPUT HAD BEEN INCREASED TO 2400 HP, WHICH IS 0.857 HP PER CUBIC INCH. BY LATE IN THE WAR, LIQUID COOLED ENGINES DID PRODUCE MUCH GREATER SPECIFIC POWER e.g. THE BRITISH 24 CYLINDER NAPIER SABRE II HAD A DISPLACEMENT OF 2238 CUBIC INCHES, YET WAS ABLE TO PRODUCE 2850 HP (1.27) AT 3800 RPM, OR 3040 HP (1.36) AT 4000 RPM UNDER WHAT WAS CALLED WAR EMERGENCY POWER.
slide20
THIS MUSEUM HAD SEVERAL ITEMS WHICH WERE ENTIRELY NEW TO ME. ONE OF THESE WAS THE GUIBERSON RADIAL DIESEL ENGINE. ALTHOUGH CERTIFICATED FOR AIRCRAFT IN 1940, THE DALLAS COMPANY HAD TO MAKE TANK ENGINES DURING THE WAR, AND THEY WERE NEVER ABLE TO GENERATE ANY AVIATION BUSINESS AFTER THE WAR. 1020 CUBIC INCHES MADE 310 HP AT 2150 RPM. THE ENGINE WEIGHED 653 LB.
slide21
THE HUGHES XF-11 USED CONTRA ROTATING PROPS. THIS WAS THE PRATT & WHITNEY GEARBOX THAT SPLIT THE OUTPUT BETWEEN THE TWO SHAFTS. THE SINGLE SHAFT ON THE LEFT WAS DRIVEN BY…
slide22
…THE HUGE PRATT & WHITNEY R-4360 WASP MAJOR – 4 ROWS OF 7 CYLINDERS EACH PRODUCING UP TO 3880 HP IN 1943. EIGHT OF THESE AWESOME MILLS WERE INSTALLED ON THE SPRUCE GOOSE. IMAGINE KEEPING TRACK OF THE CHT ON 216 CYLINDERS. BY COMPARISON TO THE R-2800 WHICH EVENTUALLY REACHED 0.857 HP PER CUBIC INCH, THE R-4360 PRODUCED 0.89 HP PER CUBIC INCH.
slide23
ALTHOUGH NOT IN THE MUSEAUM, THE LYCOMING XR-7755 WAS THE LARGEST PISTON AIRCRAFT ENGINE EVER BUILT IN THE FREE WORLD. FROM 7,755 CUBIC INCHES (BORE OF 6.375", STROKE OF 6.75") AND 7,050 LBS IT GAVE 5,000 HORSEPOWER UNDER TEST IN 1944; 7,000 HORSEPOWER WAS THE DEVELOPMENT TARGET OR 0.90 HP PER CUBIC INCH. NINE LIQUID COOLED INLINE FOUR CYLINDER ENGINES ABOUT A COMMON CRANKSHAFT. THESE ENGINES WERE DEVELOPED FOR THE B-36, HOWEVER POLITICAL PRESSURE RESULTED IN THE PRATT & WHITNEY R-4366 BEING USED INSTEAD.
slide24
THIS MUSEUM COVERS A WIDE SWATH OF HISTORY – FROM THE EARLIEST AIRCRAFT ENGINES TO SPACE POWER PLANTS. THIS UNUSUAL BOOSTER, CALLED LITTLE JOE, WAS USED DURING THE MERCURY PROGRAM TO JETTISON THE CREW CAPSULE IN THE EVENT OF A MAIN BOOSTER EMERGENCY.
slide25
THE OTHER BOOSTER ON DISPLAY IS A THOR ROCKET ENGINE. BUILT BY THE ROCKETDYNE DIVISION OF NORTH AMERICAN AVIATION IN THE 1950s, IT PRODUCED 135,000 LB OF THRUST AND POWERED THE THOR IRBM 1650 MILES.
slide26
NOTICE THE RIBBED DESIGN OF THE NOZZLE – LIQUID HYDROGEN IS EXTREMELY COLD, SO IT IS USED AS A NOZZLE COOLANT, BEING PUMPED UP FROM THE EXHAUST END OF THE NOZZLE TOWARD THE HOTTER THROAT SECTION. THIS TYPE OF NOZZLE DESIGN IS STILL IN USE TODAY.
slide27
THIS DISPLAY SHOWS HOW THE REGENERATIVE NOZZLE COOLING IS USED IN THE SPACE SHUTTLE MAIN ENGINE. IT ALSO SHOWS HOW COMPLEX A ROCKET ENGINE IS – BOTH HYDROGEN AND OXYGEN SUPPLIES HAVE TWO STAGES OF CRYOGENIC PUMPS. THE TECHNOLOGY REQUIRD TO MAN-RATAE THESE ENGINES IS AWESOME.
slide28
SOMEWHAT UNUSUAL IN AVIATION MUSEUMS, IS RECOGNITION OF THE ROLE THAT WOMEN HAVE PLAYED IN AVIATION.
slide29
RUTH LAW HAD ONE OF THE LONGEST EARLY CAREERS – SHE SOLOED IN 1912, BOUGHT HER FIRST AIRCRAFT FROM ORVILLE WRIGHT, BECAME THE FIRST FEMALE TO FLY AT NIGHT, AND WAS THE FIRST WOMAN AUTHORIZED TO WEAR A UNIFORM IN WWI. SHE WAS DENIED COMBAT, AND INSTEAD RAISED MONEY FOR THE RED CROSS BY DOING FLYING EXHIBITIONS. FOLLOWING THE WAR, SHE FORMED RUTH LAW’S FLYING CIRCUS, RACING AGAINST CARS, FLYING THROUGH FIREWORKS AND SETTING ALTITUDE AND DISTANCE RECORDS
slide30
BESSIE COLEMAN WAS THE FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN TO GET A PILOT’S LICENSE. UNABLE TO OBTAIN TRAINING IN THE US, SHE WENT TO FRANCE AND OBTAINED THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL PILOT’S LICENSE FROM THE FEDERATION AERONAUTIQUE INTERNATIONALE IN 1921. IN 1926, DURING A PRACTICE FLIGHT IN HER CURTIS JENNY WITH HER MECHANIC AND PUBLICITY AGENT DOING THE FLYING, THE AIRCRAFT NOSED DOWN, AND BESSIE, WHO HAD NOT SECURED HER HARNESS, WAS THRON OWN OUT AND KILLED ON IMPACT WITH THE GROUND. SHE WAS RECOGNIZED A 1995 US POSTAGE STAMP, AND EACH YEAR, AFRICAN-AMERICAN PILOTS FLY OVER HER GRAVE IN CHICAGO TO DROP FLOWERS IN HER MEMORY.
slide31
FIVE MONTHS AFTER LINDBERG’S HISTORIC FLIGHT, RUTH ELDER DEPARTED ROOSEVELT FIELD FOR PARIS. SHE WAS PILOTING A STINSON DETROITER WHICH SHE NAMED AMERICAN GIRL. NINE HOURS LATER, ONLY 300 MILES SHORT OF THE DESTINATION, BAD WEATHER AND A LEAKING OIL LINE FORCED HER AND HER CO-PILOT TO DITCH IN THE ATLANTIC WHERE THEY WERE RESCUED BY A DUTCH OIL TANKER. AS HER PLANE WAS BEING HOISTED ON BOARD, IT BURST INTO FLAME AND WAS TOTALLY DESTROYED, ALONG WITH ALL OF THE AIRMAIL THEY HAD BEEN CARRYING. THEY WERE STILL HONORED WITH A NEW YORK TICKER TAPE PARADE FOR HAVING FLOWN MORE THAN 2600 MILES.
slide32
AMELIA EARHART LEARNED TO FLY IN 1920 AND BOUGHT HER FIRST AIRCRAFT THE NEXT YEAR. SHE HELPED ORGANAIZE THE 99S IN 1929 AND BECAME THEIR FIRST PRESIDENT. IN 1932 SHE BECAME THE FORST WOMAN TO CROSS THE ATLANTIC SOLO. IN ADDITION TO SETTING MANY OTHER FEMALE FIRSTS, SHE EARNED MANY MEDALS, HONORAY MEMBERSHIPS AND THE HARMON TROPHY AS AMERICA’S OUTSTANDING AIRWOMAN. IN MARCH 1937 SHE SET A NEW RECORD FROM OAKLAND TO HONOLULU IN 15 HOURS IN HER LOCKHEED TWIN. ON JUNE 1,THAT SAME YEAR, SHE DEPARTED MIAMI FOR CALIFORNIA, GOING THE LONG WAY AROUND. SHE HAD REACHED NEW GUINEA BY JUNE 29, BUT NEVER MADE IT TO HER NEXT STOP. THE SEARCH FOR HER, USING NINE NAVAL SHIPS AND 66 AIRCRAFT, PROVED FUTILE AND WAS ABANDONED ON JULY 18. HER FATE HAS NEVER BEEN DETERMINED.
slide33
GERALDYN “JERRIE” COBB HAD HER FIRST FLIGHT AT AGE 12, AND HER COMMERCIAL AND INSTRUCTOR RATINGS BY THE TIME SHE TURNED 21. SHE GAINED RESPECT AND MANY HOURS FERRYING ALL TYPES OF AIRVRAFT ALL OVER THE WORLD. SHE WAS SELECTED TO UNDERGO THE SAME TRAINING AS THE MEN WHO BECAME THE MERCURY 7 ASTRONAUTS. AFTER PASSING ALL OF THE PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS, SHE WAS DEVASTATED WHEN DENIED HER OPPORTUNITY TO GO INTO SPACE DUE TO HER GENDER. SHE CONTINUED SETTING AVIATION SPEED, ALTITUDE AND DISTANCE RECORDS. SHE NOW LIVES IN FLORIDA.
slide34
BETTY SKELTON (FRANKMAN) WAS BORN IN 1926, SOLOED A TAYLORCARFT AT AGE 12, THEN LEGALLY AT AGE 16, GAINED HER COMMERCIAL RATING AT 18 AND HER INSTRUCTOR RATING AT 19. SHE BOUGHT A 1929 GREAT LAKES T21A BIPLANE AND STARTED HER PROFESSIONAL AIRSHOW CAREER, BECOMING KNOW FOR HER INVERTED RIBBON CUT AT 10’ AGL. BETWEEN 1948 AND 1959 SHE WON THREE INTERNATIONAL AEROBATICS COMPETITIONS, AND SET THE WORLD LIGHT PLANE ALITUDE RECORDS IN A PIPER CUB IN 1949 AND AGAIN IN 1951. LIKE JERRIE COBB, SHE WAS ALSO SELECTED FOR ASTRONAUT TRAINING, AND THEN DENIED THE OPPORTUNITY FOR SPACE FLIGHT BECAUSE OF HER GENDER.
slide35
IN 1929, THE CLEVELAND NATIONAL AIR RACES INCLUDED A WOMEN’S TRANSCONTINENTAL RACE FROM SANTA MONICA TO CLEVELAND. IT WAS BILLED AS THE POWDER PUFF DERBY. NO NAVIGATIONAL AIDS WERE PERMITTED, THE PILOTS BEING RESTRICTED TO USING ROADMAPS. OF THE 20 WOMEN WHO ENTERED, 14 COMPLETED IT, INCLUDING AMELIA EARHART, RUTH ELDER, AND LOUISE THADEN WHO WON IT. IN 1936, WOMEN COMPETED WITH THE MALE PILOTS, AND LOUISE THADEN WON THAT RACE AS WELL. FOLLOWING THE POWDER PUFF DERBY, WHEN THE CONTESTANTS WERE CHATTING, THE IDEA OF A FLYING CLUB FOR WOMEN AROSE. IN NOVEMBER 1929, 26 OF THE MOST INVOLVED WOMEN PILOTS HELD THEIR FIRST MEETING. THEY AGREED THAT THEY WOULD NAME THEIR CLUB FOR THE NUMBER OF CHARTER MEMBERS WHOSE APPLICATIONS WERE RECEIVED BY THE DEADLINE, AND THAT IS HOW THE 99S GOT THEIR NAME.
slide36
ONE OF ONLY TWO VTOL PROP DRIVEN FIGHTERS EVER BUILT, THE LOCKHEED XFV-1 HAD SOME VERY UNUSUAL NUMBERS. A MAX GROSS WEIGHT OF 16,221 LB, A PAYLOAD OF 408 LB, A RATE OF CLIMB AT TAKE OFF IN COMBAT CONDITIONS OF 11,340 FPM AND AN ULTIMATE LOAD FACTOR OF 11.25.
slide37
FERTILE MYRTLE WAS THE B-29 USED BY NACA AND LATER NASA TO AIR-DROP THE FAMOUS SERIES OF X AIRCRAFT, STARTING WITH THE BELL X-1 IN WHICH CHUCK YEAGER FIRST EXCEEDED THE SPEED OF SOUND. NOTICE THE SIGNATURES JUST BEHIND THE NOSE ART…
slide38
PAUL TIBBETS AND SCOTT CROSSFIELD’S NAMES ARE EASILY DISCERNABLE, BUT WHAT WAS BOB’S LAST NAME?
slide39
LOOKING VERY MUCH LIKE A BELL P-39 AIRACOBRA, THE P-63 KINGCOPBRA WAS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT AIRCRAFT. THE WAY TO IDENTIFY THEM QUICKLY IS THE 3-BLADED PROP OF THE P-39 VERSUS THE 4-BLADED PROP OF THE KINGCOBRA. BIGGER AND FASTER THAN THE 39, THE 63 COULD HIT 410 MPH AT 25,000’. NEARLY 3300 WERE BUILT, BUT NONE SAW COMBAT SERVICE WITH THE US FORCES. MOST WERE BOUGHT BY THE RUSSIANS AND THE FREE FRENCH.
slide40
DALE AND ALAN KLAPMEIER DESIGNED AND PRODUCED KITS FOR A FEW VIGGENS – I SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED BUILDING ONE AND WAS IN DISCUSSION WITH DALE AND ALAN WHEN THEY TERMINATED THE PROGRAM IN FAVOR OF THEIR NOW VERY SUCCESSFUL CIRRUS DESIGN COMPANY.
slide41
THIS WESTLAND LYSANDER WAS ACTUALLY BUILT BY THE NATIONAL STEEL CAR COMPANY IN CANADA. AFTER THE WAR, A CANADIAN FARMER BOUGHT IT FOR $100. THE ORIGINAL LYSANDER FIRST FLEW IN 1936. DESIGNED AS GROUND SUPPORT COMBAT, IT WAS WITHDRAWM FROM ROLES IN WHICH IT WOULD BE EXPOSED TO ENEMY FIGHTERS AGAINST WHICH IT WAS NO MATCH. INSTEAD IT DID YEOMAN WORK AS A CLOAK AND DAGGER AIRCRAFT FERRYING MORE THAN 800 AGENTS INTO & OUT OF ENEMY-HELD EUROPE. A TOTAL OF 1786 LYSANDERS WERE BUILT IN ENGLAND &CANADA.
slide42
THE HAWKER TEMPEST II WAS POWERED BY TWO DIFFERENT ENGINES – THE V, POWERED BY THE SABRE II ENGINE FIRST FLEW IN SEPTEMBER 1942. THE BRISTOL 2520 HP CENTAURUS V POWERED TEMPEST II FLEW IN JUNE 1943. THE ABRE II POWERED VERSION WENT INTO SERVICE IN 1944. BECAUSE OF ITS HIGH SPEED, IT WAS USED TO BRING DOWN APPROXIMATELY 1/3 OF THE 1771 GERMAN V-1 BUZZ BOMBS LAUNCHED AGAINST LONDON. 450 TEMPESTS WERE BUILT, AND THEY REMAINED IN RAF SSERVICE UNTIL 1951.
slide43
NOT MUCH IS NEEDED TO INTRODUCE THE NOW-OUT-OF-US-SERVICE F-14. THE ONLY COUNTRY STILL FLYING (OR TRYING TO) THE F-14 IS IRAN. THIS ONE SERVED ON THE USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT.
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