09 March 2014

Pima Air and Space Museum

MoMI appreciates content submissions* by visitors, and we are pleased to present here a selection of photos taken by a MoMI contributor during a tour of the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona, on 28 December 2011.
The Pima Air and Space Museum is located next to the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, the world's largest aircraft storage and preservation facility and home to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group.  The museum opened in May 1976 with 48 historic aircraft on display.  Since then, it has grown to comprise nearly 300 aircraft, displayed over 80 acres.  In addition to its own aircraft collection, the museum offers bus tours of the 'boneyard' of decommissioned military and commercial aircraft stored at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.  
*MoMI does not compensate contributors for submissions, and all contributors will remain anonymous, as required by the Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.  By submitting content to MoMI, contributors acknowledge their surrender of ownership and control over all intellectual property submitted.  
The entrance to the Main Hangar of the Pima Air and Space Museum.
The Main Hangar houses a variety of diverse aircraft, centred on the SR-71 Blackbird.

The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird long-range strategic reconnaissance aircraft, designed for sustained Mach 3+ flight.  The SR-71 first flew on 22 December 1964 and was introduced into service in 1966.  a total of 32 SR-71s were built, with 12 being lost in accidents.  All SR-71s were retired from service by 1998. 

Another view of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.  The SR-71 was used to conduct reconnaissance missions deep inside enemy airspace, flying at high altitudes and stealthy design to evade enemy interceptors and using its speed to outrun any ground-based missiles.  The SR-71 has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft since 1976.
A Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber.  Introduced into service on 8 May 1944, the Superfortress and its 11-man crew could carry a 20,000 pound bomb load over 3,250 miles (5,230 km).  Nearly 4,000 Superfortresses were built between 1943 and 1946, with many continuing to serve after the Second World War as bombers, reconnaissance planes, and refueling tankers until the type was retired from U.S. service in 1960.

A Vought F4U Corsair fighter.  First flying in May 1940, 12,571 Corsairs in 16 different variants were built between 1942 and 1953.  The Corsair was flown during the Second World War and served effectively in the ground attack role in the Korean War.  French forces used the Corsair in Algeria and Indo-China, and the aircraft was also flown by the Royal Air Force, Argentina, New Zealand, and El Salvador.  The Honduran Air Force was the last operator of the F4U Corsair, retiring the aircraft in 1979.

A Curtiss C-46 Commando transport aircraft.  Derived from a commercial airliner design and first flown in March 1940, 3,181 C-46s were built between 1940 and 1945.  Although retired from service with the U.S. Air Force in 1968, a number of C-46s continue to fly for private air cargo companies in rugged regions, like the Arctic.  

The Fieseler Fi103-A1 flying bomb, better known as the V-1.  As the world's first operational cruise missile, the V-1 was equipped with a pulsejet engine and launched against English targets from ski-jump style ramps in Nazi occupied northern France.  Although first flown in December 1942, technical troubles with the V-1 delayed operational deployment until 12 June 1944, when the first V-1s were fired against London.  Over 8,000 Britons were killed by V-1s between June 1944 and 29 March 1945, when the last V-1 landed in Datchworth, Hertfordshire.  

A B-24J Liberator bomber, built by the Consolidated Aircraft Company.  With the largest production run of any American aircraft during the Second World War, 18,482 Liberators were built between 1940 and 1945.  Over 6,600 'J' model Liberators were built and were flown by all branches of the U.S. military, as well as by a number of Allies.  The Liberator was retired from service soon after the end of the Second World War, with the British abandoning many in India in 1945; many of these abandoned aircraft were pressed into service by the air force of the newly-independent Republic of India in 1947 and flown until the late 1960s.

The Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress bomber, first flown in July 1935 and introduced into operational service in April 1938.  Over 12,700 B-17s were built between 1936 and 1945, of which 4,035 were of the 'G' variant.  The B-17 responded to calls for a bomber with better forward defensive armament and higher flying altitude. 

Retired from U.S. Air Force service shortly after the end of the Second World War, a number of B-17s were transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy to carry large life rafts under the fuselage, with other B-17s being modified to fight forest fires and perform in air shows. 

The Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter was the mainstay of the U.S. Army's attack helicopter fleet until replaced by the AH-64 Apache.  First flown in September 1965 and introduced into operational service in 1967, 1,116 AH-1s have been built since 1967.  The AH-1 was used by the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, the 1983 invasion of Grenada, the 1989 invasion of Panama, the 1990-91 Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Iraq, in Somalia in 1993, and in Haiti in 1994. 

The U.S. Army retired the AH-1 in 1999, transferring many to NATO allies and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service for firefighting duties. 

The Bede BD-5J Microjet, a single-seat, homebuilt jet-powered aircraft sold in kit form by the Bede Aircraft Company beginning in the early 1970s.  The BD-5J holds the record for the world's lightest jet aircraft, weighing 358.8 lb (162.7 kg).  A number of the 'J' variants have been involved in crashes.  Pima's aircraft appeared in the 1983 James Bond movie, Octopussy

A Bell UH-1 Huey helicopter in the livery of the 174th Assault Helicopter Company, Vietnam, 1966.  The Huey first flew in 1958 but became famous as the iconic helicopter of the Vietnam War.  Serving in every branch of the U.S. armed services, the UH-1 was also sold to foreign allies and commercial operators.  The 'M' model included a more powerful engine, night vision equipment, and wire-guided missiles.

The Grumman F-14A Tomcat supersonic variable-sweep wing fighter, which first flew on 21 December 1970 and entered operational service aboard the carrier U.S.S. Enterprise on 22 September 1974.  Developed in response to air combat experiences against Russian MiG fighters in the Vietnam War, the F-14 served as the U.S. Navy's primary air superiority fighter, fleet defence interceptor, and tactical reconnaissance aircraft.  After the installation of the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) system in the 1990s, the F-14 was used for precision ground-attack missions.  Over 700 Tomcats were built, with the U.S. Navy retiring the type from service on 22 September 2006.  The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force is the only current operator of the F-14, flying 44 F-14As out of an original complement of 79 Tomcats acquired in 1976 before the Iranian Revolution led to the severing of diplomatic relations with the United States.

The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft, first flown in May 1972 and introduced into U.S. service in March 1977.  The Thunderbolt is the only U.S. Air Force aircraft designed solely for close air support of ground forces, and is capable of attacking tanks and armoured vehicles with its GAU-8 Avenger 30mm rotary cannon.  The heavily armoured A-10 is designed for maximum survivability.  A total of 716 A-10s were built between 1972 and 1984.  Under the February 2014 Pentagon budget plan, the A-10 is to be phased out of service over the next five years, to be replaced by the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.       

The Republic RF-84F Thunderflash, a photographic reconnaissance version of the F-84F Thunderstreak fighter-bomber.  Of 3,428 F-84Fs built, 715 were of the RF-84F variant.

The Lockheed D-21 supersonic reconnaissance drone.  Designed in 1962 and first flown on 22 December 1964, the D-21 was designed to be launched in mid-air from the back of the Lockheed M-21 carrier aircraft and would fly a pre-programmed path deep into enemy airspace, using its single onboard high-resolution camera to photograph enemy installations below.  Once the photographic run had been completed, the camera module would be ejected for retrieval, and the drone would self-destruct.  After several technical faults, a fatal accident in 1966, and only four operational flights over the People's Republic of China, the D-21 program was cancelled in 1971.
The Martin PBM-5A Mariner amphibian, 36 of which were built between 1937 and 1949.  At over 79 feet long and with a wingspan of 118 feet, the Mariner was the largest amphibian aircraft ever built.  Serving in the Second World War and the Korean War as a long-range patrol bomber and rescue aircraft, the PBM-5A was retired from U.S. Navy service in 1958.  This specific aircraft is the last intact PBM-5A in existence.


One of three Columbia XJL-1 amphibian prototypes, designed for the US Navy during the Second World War.  When flight tests in 1947-48 uncovered numerous structural failures, the aircraft was cancelled.
A Boeing YV-14 twin-engined short take-off and landing tactical transport.  The YC-14 was designed to compete for the US Air Force's Advanced Medium STOL Transport project launched in 1972 to find a replacement for the C-130 Hercules; however, despite the successful competition of the YC-14, the cancellation of the air force project in 1979 spelled the end for both the YC-14 and its competitor, Lockheed's YC-15.
A Boeing KC-135A Stratotanker was a derivation of Boeing's Model 367-80 airliner prototype.  This aircraft is one of more than 700 KC-135As built between 1956 and 1965, with a number of the versatile aircraft being fitted out as command posts, VIP transports, and other roles.  This specific aircraft was modified by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for zero-gravity astronaut training.  Modernised versions of the KC-135A continue in service as the primary aerial refuelling aircraft for the US Air Force.

The McDonnell F-101 Voodoo fighter.  First flown on 29 September 1954 and introduced into operational service in May 1957, the Voodoo was initially designed as a long-range bomber escort for the U.S. Strategic Air Command but later developed as a nuclear-armed fighter-bomber for Tactical Air Command.  The F-101 was retired from U.S. Air Force service in 1972 and from Air National Guard service in 1982.  The Royal Canadian Air Force operated 132 F-101s transferred from the United States, between 1961 and 1984.
A Douglas A-4 Skyhawk carrier-based fighter.  A lightweight fighter, the A-4 entered U.S. Navy service in October 1956.  A total of 2,960 A-4s were built between 1954 and 1979, with the aircraft also being sold to a number of allies, including Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Kuwait.  While the A-4 was retired from U.S. Marine Corps service in 1998 and from U.S. Navy service in 2003, upgraded Skyhawks remain in service in Argentina, Brazil, Israel, and Singapore.
A Douglas TF-10B Skyknight night fighter, in the livery of Marine Night Fighter Training Squadron 20, Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, North Carolina.  Making its first flight in March 1948, the Skyknight entered operational service in 1950.  A total of 265 TF-10Bs were built and the aircraft saw extensive service in the Korean War.  The Skyknight was retired in 1970 as a trainer and electronic warfare aircraft.
Various vintage U.S. fighter aircraft parked outside the Pima Air and Space Museum.  The aircraft at centre is a Grumman F9F-2 Panther, which entered service in 1947 and was retired by the U.S. Navy in 1958.  A total of 1,382 F9F Panthers were built. 

A lineup of classic U.S. fighters.  From right to left: Grumman TF-9J Cougar; Grumman F9F-2 Panther; North American AF-1E Fury; Douglas F-6A Skyray; McDonnell F-3B Demon. 

A U.S. Navy McDonnell Douglas YF-4J Phantom II.  In late 1964, three F-4Bs were modified to test a number of improvements to the basic F-4 design.  These modified aircraft were designated the YF-4J, an d incorporated improved aerodynamics to lower take-off distances and decrease landing speeds, improved engines, upgraded radar, and enhanced ground attack capability.  The success of these changes led to a production run of over 500 aircraft built to the YF-4J standard between 1966 and 1972.

The McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle, in the livery of the U.S. Air Force's 325th Tactical Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, circa 1992.
A McDonnell Douglas F-4C Phantom II in the livery of the U.S. Air Force's 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, 433rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, circa 1967.  Designed as a fleet defense fighter for the United States Navy, the F-4C was the first version of the Phantom built for the Air Force, with construction beginning in 1962 and ending in 1966.  A total of 583 F-4Cs were built.
Retired historic fighters parked under the blue skies of Tucson, Arizona.

The Super Guppy super-transport was based on Boeing's C-97 cargo plane and 377 airliner, and built using parts from retired U.S. Air Force C-97 Stratofreighters and airline 377 Stratocruisers.  Super Guppies were used to transport rocket components, including segments of the Saturn rockets used in the Apollo Program.  This aircraft was operated by NASA until retired in 1991.
Various retired transport aircraft on display outside the Pima Air and Space Museum.

An iconic Trans World Airlines L-049 Constellation propeller-driven airliner, one of 88 (74 for airlines) built by Lockheed Martin beginning in 1945.

The Convair B-36J Peacemaker strategic bomber, designed in response to a wartime need for a heavy bomber capable of hitting targets in Germany from U.S. bases.  The B-36 first flew on 8 August 1946 and entered U.S. Air Force service in 1949 with Strategic Air Command.  A total of 384 Peacemakers were constructed between 1947 and 1954.
The B-36 Peacemaker was the largest bomber to serve in the U.S. Air Force and the last piston engine-powered bomber built by the United States.  Despite the end of the Second World War, the need for a very long-range bomber to carry atomic bombs ensured the continued development of the B-36.

With the advent of the jet engine, the propeller-driven B-36 was obsolete and was soon replaced by the jet-powered B-47 and B-52 bombers.  All of the U.S. Air Force's B-36s were retired by early 1959.

The B-36J variant was a high altitude model with strengthened landing gear, increased fuel capacity, reduced armament (tail guns only), and a reduced crew complement.  A total of 33 B-36Js were built.

The Boeing B-52G Stratofortress '0183 Valkyrie', operated by the 2nd Bombardment Wing, 596th Bomber Squadron, Barksdale Air Force Base.  This aircraft was withdrawn from service in July 1991.  The B-52G variant introduced a number of design changes, including a new 'wet' wing featuring integral fuel tanks which dramatically increased fuel capacity; a 38,000 lb increase in gross aircraft weight; a pair of 700 US gallon external fuel tanks under the wings; a shorter tail fin; and a larger nose radome. 

The B-52G entered service on 13 February 1959, and 193 of the 'G' variant were built--the most-produced version of the B-52.  Most of the B-52Gs were scrapped to comply with the 1992 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), with the last aircraft dismantled under new START requirements in December 2013.
A Lockheed F-94C Starfire in the livery of the U.S. Air Force's 354th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Oxnard Air Force Base, California, circa 1953.  A highly-modified version of the T-33 trainer, the F-94 was designed as a quick solution to meet the threat of Soviet bombers, and incorporated radar and guns.  First flown in late 1949, F-94 deliveries to the U.S. Air Force began in 1950. The 'C' variant featured a new wing and armament consisting entirely of unguided 2.75-inch rockets housed in the nose and in two wing mounted pods.

A Martin B-57E Canberra.  The B-57E model was stripped of all combat equipment and re-equipped as a dedicated aerial target towing aircraft.  A number of B-57Es were converted to bombers to replace B-57s lost during the Vietnam War. 
A Convair B-58 Hustler, the world's first supersonic bomber and the first built with a stellar inertial navigation system.  During its operational life, the B-58 set 19 speed, altitude, and payload world records.  Beset by a high accident rate during its early service life and very high operating costs, only 116 B-58s were built and they were retired in 1970, after less than a decade of service.

Various models of Soviet MiG fighters on display outside the Pima Air and Space Museum.

A MiG-17PF Fresco D, a significantly improved version of the MiG-15.  With an increased wing sweep, other aerodynamic enhancements, and a more powerful engine, the MiG-17P was the first true all-weather radar-equipped interceptor in the Soviet Union.

A diverse range of historic aircraft are parked on the dusty, sun-baked grounds the Pima Air and Space Museum.

A Shenyang J-6A Farmer in the livery of the Egyptian Air Force's 211th Fighter Bomber Brigade, Jiyanklis, Egypt, circa 2000.  This Chinese-built version of the MiG-19PF was first rolled out in 1958 and was the first supersonic production fighter built in the USSR and China.  Poor quality workmanship on the initial batch of Chinese-built J-6As caused the People's Liberation Army Air Force to refuse delivery; only in 1963 did the first J-6A enter Chinese service.  The F-6A remained in Chinese service until the late 1990s and the aircraft was also widely exported, including to North Korea, North Vietnam, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

A MiG-21PF Fishbed D in the livery of the Soviet Air Force, circa 1967.  With 11,496 MiG-21s built in the Soviet Union, India, and Czechoslovakia between 1955 and 1985, this aircraft was the most widely produced and used supersonic fighter.  Originally designed to intercept B-52 and B-58 bombers, the MiG-21F version featured better radar and slightly longer range for use as an all-weather fighter.  With no onboard gun, the MiG-21 relied entirely on missiles for air-to-air combat.

A Douglas WB-66D Destroyer, in the livery of the U.S. Air Force's 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, circa 1969.  Although superficially resembling the U.S. Navy's A-3D Skywarrior, the B-66 was built in bomber, photographic reconnaissance, weather reconnaissance, and electronic warfare versions. The WB-66 weather reconnaissance version was designed to gather weather data over battlefields.  For this task, the bomb bay was replaced with a pressurised compartment for two weather equipment operators and their equipment.  Thirty-six WB-66Ds were built between June 1957 and June 1958.

A Piasecki/Vertol CH-21C Workhorse of the U.S. Army's 93rd Transportation Company, South Vietnam, circa 1962.  First flown in 1949, the CH-21 saw service in the armed forces of the United States, Canada, France, and Germany.  During the early years of the Vietnam War, the CH-21C served as assault transport, carrying 20 troops.  Considered extremely vulnerable to ground fire, the CH-21C was eventually replaced by the UH-1 and CH-47.

A U.S. Coast Guard Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican.  The HH-3F served the Coast Guard from 1967 to 1994 as its primary long-range search and rescue helicopter.  Coast Guard Pelicans saved more than 23,000 lives during their operational service.

A Sikorsky HH-52A Seaguard helicopter in the livery of the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Houston, Texas, circa 1985.  Selected by the Coast Guard in 1962 to serve as its medium-range search and rescue helicopter, the first HH-52A Seaguards entered service in 1963.  Eventually, 99 Seaguards served in the Coast Guard, flying from both shore bases and Coast Guard icebreakers.  The HH-52A fleet was retired from service in 1989.

A Bell UH-1H Huey medevac helicopter (right); Bell OH-58A Kiowa (centre); and a Sikorsky UH-19B Chickasaw (left).

A red Bell TH-13N Sioux helicopter (left), with a yellow Sikorsky H-5G Dragonfly (centre).  The H-5 is best remembered for rescuing downed pilots during the Korean War, with the Pima Air and Space Museum's aircraft wearing the markings of the 6th Air Rescue Squadron, Goose Bay Air Base, Labrador, circa 1949.

A Sikorsky H03S-1 Dragonfly helicopter.  The R-5 Dragonfly, from which the H03S-1 was derived, was the second rotary-wing aircraft to go into full production for the U.S. Air Force and was intended for observation and rescue duties.  The prototype of the H03S-1 flew in August 1943, and the U.S. Coast Guard introduced the Dragonfly in 1946, designating it the HO3S-1G.  Nine H03S-1 Dragonfly helicopters served the U.S. Coast Guard from 1946 to 1959.

A Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV helicopter, which served in the Special Operations rescue role from 1974 to its retirement in 2008.  This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio.

A Sikorsky CH-54A Tarhe heavy-lift helicopter.  Development of the Tarhe began in 1959 and made its first flight in May 1962.  Popularly known as the Skycrane, the CH-54A served during the latter stages of the Vietnam War and was only retired in the early 1990s. 
A number of surplus CH-54As have been purchased by civilian operators for use in fighting forest fires, hauling timber, and raising antennae and electrical towers.
A U.S. Army Sikorsky CH-37B Mojave twin-engine heavy assault helicopter.  A novel design for its time, the CH-37B's engines are enclosed in the large, rounded pods on either side of the main fuselage.  The Mojave's five-blade rotor was designed to permit the helicopter to continue flying even  if one of the blades was shot off.  Deliveries to the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps began in 1956, with the helicopter remaining in production until 1960.  A total of 154 CH-37Bs served in the heavy life role until the early 1970s.
A General Dynamics BGM-109G 'Gryphon' Ground Launched Cruise Missile, designed as a mobile tactical nuclear weapon for deployment in Europe.  Virtually identical to the non-nuclear Tomahawk cruise missile, the BGM-109G was deployed in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, and Italy beginning in 1983.  The presence of these missiles provoked angry protests from citizens of these countries and, following the U.S.-Soviet signature of the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty in 1987, the BGM-109Gs were removed from service.  The last Gryphon cruise missiles were deactivated in 1991, with almost all being destroyed.  The BGM0109G's Transporter Erector Launcher vehicle is parked in the background.

A couple of U.S. Air Force passenger/VIP transport aircraft: on the left, a Lockheed VC-140B Jetstar; and, on the right, a Douglas VC-118A Liftmaster, a militarised version of the Douglas DC-6 airliner.  Over 100 VC-118s were acquired by the U.S. Air Force for passenger and cargo transportation.  The last propeller-driven aircraft to be used as the primary Presidential transport, VC-118As served as Air Force One for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.  With the introduction of the VC-137 (Boeing 707) aircraft for Presidential transportation, the VC-118 was relegated to short trips to airports too small for the VC-137s.  
A vertical/short takeoff and landing British Aerospace AV-8C Harrier in the livery of Marine Attack Squadron 513, Yuma Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona, circa 1985.  The Harrier entered service with the Royal Air Force in April 1969 and first saw combat in the 1982 Falklands War. The United States Marine Corps ordered the Harrier in 1969 with first deliveries in 1971. The AV-8C variant was an upgrade over the original AV-8A.  McDonnell Douglas built the AV-8B model for the U.S. Marine Corps and foreign customers, and it was the Marines' B-model that saw combat during the 1990 Gulf War.
Tour buses take Pima Air and Space Museum visitors around the aircraft 'boneyard' at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, the world's largest aircraft storage and disposal facility.
Lines of retired F-16 fighters, with cockpit canopies and upper fuselages wrapped in white plastic to protect from sun damage.


Dozens of salvaged military jet engines from scrapped aircraft are stored in rows in the desert.

A Grumman S-2 Tracker anti-submarine warfare aircraft.  Entering service with the U.S. Navy in February 1954, a total of 1,284 Trackers were constructed, including many for U.S. allies.  Argentina and Brazil still operate the Tracker. 
With their rotors removed and wrapped in white protective plastic, a Kamen SH-2 Seasprite helicopter (left) and a Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion on display along the tour bus route at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
A Lockheed ES-3A Shadow, a derivative of the S-3 Viking anti-submarine warfare aircraft.  Sixteen S-3s were converted to the ES-3A variant as electronic intelligence aircraft.  The ES-3A first flew on 15 May 1991.  This aircraft carries the markings of the U.S. Pacific Fleet's Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron Five (VQ-5), also known as the 'Sea Shadows'. 

A Douglas A-4 Skyhawk.

A Grumman A-6 Intruder all-weather attack aircraft.  Entering service in 1963, a total of 693 Intruders were built.  The A-6 was retired by the U.S. Marine Corps in April 1993 and by the U.S. Navy in February 1997. 

A McDonnell Douglas F/A-18B in the colours of the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron.   

A Douglas A-3 Skywarrior strategic bomber.  The A-3 entered service in 1956 and was retired in 1991, making it one of the U.S. Navy's longest serving carrier-based aircraft.  As the heaviest operational carrier-based aircraft, the A-3 was nicknamed 'The Whale', and in its later life served in the electronic warfare, tactical air reconnaissance, and aerial refueling tanker roles. 

A McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle all-weather tactical fighter, formerly of the 154th Wing, Air National Guard, based at Hickam Field, Honolulu, Hawaii.  The F-15 first flew on 27 July 1972 and entered U.S. Air Force service on 9 January 1976.  Nearly 1,200 F-15 Eagles have been built, with the aircraft also being sold to Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. 
The North American F-100 Super Sabre fighter-bomber, which first flew in 1953 and entered service in September 1954.  Between 1953 and 1959, 2,294 F-100s were built for the U.S. Air Force, Taiwan, Denmark, France, and Turkey.  While the U.S. Air National Guard retired its F-100s in 1979, Taiwan's aircraft served until 1988.  A Low Altitude Bombing System permitted the F-100 to carry and drop nuclear weapons.  The F-100 saw extensive service in Vietnam, and many surviving Super Sabres were converted to QF-100 drones for use as remotely piloted targets.

A Beechcraft UC-12B, a derivative of the Super King Air A200C built for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps for logistics support between bases.  A total of 64 UC-12Bs were ordered by the U.S. Navy between 1979 and 1982. 

A retired U.S. Air Force McDonnell F-101 Voodoo all-weather fighter.

A former U.S. Air Force Convair F-106 Delta Dartall-weather interceptor.  First flown on 26 December 1956, the F-106 entered service in June 1959 and served until retirement in 1988.  A number of F-106s were converted to unmanned drone aircraft for target practice beginning in 1986, with the final drone F-106 destroyed in 1998.  NASA also operated F-106s for test purposes until their retirement in 1998.  A total of 342 F-106s were built.

A Vought F-8 Crusader supersonic carrier-based air superiority fighter, introduced into service in March 1957.  A total of 1,219 Crusaders were built for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, the French Navy, and the Philippine Air Force.  While the U.S. Navy retired its F-8s in 1976, the French Navy operated its Crusader fleet until December 1999.

An F-16 Fighting Falcon.

A Martin B-57 Canberra tactical bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, a licence-built version of the English Electric Canberra.  The Canberra served in the U.S. Air Force between 1954 and 1983, and three WB-57F variants remain in service with NASA as high altitude atmospheric research aircraft.

A decommissioned Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II.

A Lockheed P-2 Neptune maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.  First flying in May 1945, the P-2 entered service in March 1947 and was retired from military service in 1984.  In addition to the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and CIA, the P-2 Neptune also served in the armed forces of the UK, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, France, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, and Taiwan.  The P-2 Neptune was replaced by Lockheed's P-3 Orion.

A General Dynamics/Grumman EF-111A Raven electronic warfare aircraft.  The Raven first flew on 10 March 1977 and was introduced into U.S. Air Force service in 1983.  This aircraft was formerly operated by the 27th Special Operations Wing, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico.  The U.S. Air Force retired its EF-111s in 1998.   

A Lockheed P-3 Orion anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft, formerly of Patrol Squadron VP-16 (War Eagles), based at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.  The P-3, derived from Lockheed's L-188 Electra airliner, first flew in November 1959 and was introduced into service in August 1962.  A total of 757 P-3 Orions have been built, and the aircraft remains in service with the United States and many other countries in the maritime surveillance and antisubmarine warfare role. 

A former United Airlines Boeing 727-200, serial number N7004U, built in 1963. The engines have been removed and all windows have been covered with white plastic wrap.

A former U.S. Navy TC-4C Academe, built by Grumman.  The Academe was a bombardier/navigation training aircraft first flown in 1967, and fitted with the nose radome of the Grumman A-6 Intruder, a simulated A-6 cockpit, and four crew training consoles.  A total of nine TC-4Cs were built and operated by the U.S. Navy into the late 1980s.

The Douglas TA-4J, a variant of the A-4 Skyhawk.  The TA-4J was a dedicated trainer version that lacked weapons systems and with a less powerful engine.  A total of 277 TA-4Js were built new, and many of the 241 TA-4F two-seat conversion trainer models were later converted to the TA-4J configuration.

A Lockheed T-1 SeaStar trainer, a derivative of the T-33 Shooting Star.  The SeaStar entered U.S. Navy service in May 1957 and, eventually, a total of 150 such aircraft were built.  The T-1 was retired from U.S. Navy service in the 1970s. 

A U.S. Air Force Boeing C-135K Stratolifter VIP transport.  The C-135 was, like the 707, derived from the prototype Boeing 367-80 airliner design, but was shorter and narrower than the 707.  First flown in August 1956, 803 C-135s were built between 1954 and 1965.  This aircraft was originally constructed as a KC-135A, was converted to an EC-135K around 1979 and, in 1996 reverted to the C-135K designation after being posted to VIP transport duties at Hickam Field, Honolulu, Hawaii.

A McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II twin-engine, all-weather fighter, formerly of the 20th Fighter Squadron (nicknamed 'Silver Lobos') based at Holloman Air Force Base, Alamogordo, New Mexico. 

A view of the lines of KC-135 aircraft stored at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, pending scrapping.

Decommissioned KC-135 tankers parked in the desert awaiting scrapping.

A KC-135 tanker aircraft in the midst of being cut up.

Lines of decommissioned F/A-18A fighters await scrapping at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.  Note that the aircraft are sitting on jacks, having already had their tires removed.

A Lockheed C-130 Hercules formerly of the 2nd Airlift Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, Fayetteville, North Carolina.


  1. This sickens me. Looking at these defunct instruments of war, I wonder how many people they killed around the world and also how many American children went without education and American elders went without healthcare to pay for them. MoMI should be ashamed of itself. I was considering making a sizeable financial donation to the Museum, but no more.

  2. Those comments above come from an unworldly individual without the sophistication required to appreciate the reality of 21st century world affairs (suggest keeping your donation and purchasing some deodorant with it)!

  3. Wow if aircraft and other equipment to solder's that protected you and history, to give you the ability to walk around and whine nonsense like a little spoiled brat...why dont you use that money of yours and get out of America...