Thursday, September 13th, 2018, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Niagara Aerospace Museum. (Directions) Dr. James Hansen will present “Apollo 11: The Most Dangerous Mission in History?” Dr. Hansen is the author of the book, First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong. During his presentation, Dr. Hansen will also relate his experience in the making …
On 7 September 1956 at Edwards Air Force Base, California, test pilot Captain Iven Carl Kincheloe, Jr., U.S. Air Force, flew the Bell X-2 rocketplane, serial number 46-674, to a speed of Mach 1.7 and an altitude of 126,200 feet (38,465 meters). He was the first pilot to fly above 100,000 feet (30,480 meters) and was called “The First of the Spacemen”.
Read more about this story at the excellent This Day in Aviation website.
August 28th, 2018, is the 110th anniversary of the U.S. Military accepting its first powered aircraft, Baldwin Dirigible SC-1, for Signal Corps #1. It was made in Hammondsport, NY, by the Baldwin Airship Company, and powered by a 20 hp Curtiss engine made in Hammondsport as well. The acceptance flights for the Army were flown by Thomas Baldwin and Glenn Curtiss.
Read more at Then & Now.
Photo credit: National Museum of the Air Force
On August 27, 1962, an Atlas-Agena B booster launched the Mariner 2 spacecraft on the first successful interplanetary mission in history. 110 days later, Mariner 2 passed within 21,000 miles of Venus, sending back a wealth of scientific data from seven different instruments. Mariner was propelled to Venus by a Bell Aerospace Agena rocket engine built right here in Western New York. Come see an actual Agena engine in person at the Niagara Aerospace Museum.
On August 23, 1954, the C-130 prototype, designated YC-130, made its first flight from the Lockheed Air Terminal in Burbank, California. While the two prototypes were made in California, every production C-130 has been manufactured in Marrietta, Georgia, at the facility erected by Bell Aircraft to build B-29s during World War II. The 328th Airlift Squadron at the Niagara Falls Airport, located just across the runway from the museum, flew the C-130 for 46 years, from 1971 to 2017, before converting to the KC-135 Stratotanker.
Read more at This Day in Aviation.
We had a great time meeting people and sharing the story of WNY aviation and aerospace at the Geneseo Air Show at the National Warplane Museum on July 14 & 15. See more photos and video here.
On this day in 1942 the Curtiss-Wright Corporation delivered the first C–46 Commando to the Army Air Force. The C-46 becomes famous for its use in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater, flying supplies over Himalaya Mountains, “the Hump”. The largest twin-engine aircraft in the world at time, over 3,000 C-46s were build in the Curtiss-Wright plant on Cayuga Road at the Buffalo Airport.
On this day in 1935 Lawrence Dale Bell founded the Bell Aircraft Corporation in Buffalo, New York, one of America’s most accomplished aircraft companies. In addition to manufacturing over 12,000 P-39 and P-63 fighters during World War II, Bell built the P-59, America’s first jet, and the X-1, the first aircraft to break the sound barrier.
On this day in 1943 1st Lieutenant Charles Blakesly Hall, United States Army Air Corps, 99th Fighter Squadron, becomes the first member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen to shoot down an enemy aircraft. Hall shot down the Focke-Wulf Fw-190, the most capable German fighter aircraft at the time, flying a Curtiss-Wright P-40L Warhawk made in Buffalo at the site of what is now the Buffalo International Airport. Almost 14,000 P-40s were made in Buffalo during World War II.
See more on this story at the excellent This Day in Aviation website.
First un-powered flight of the Bell X-2, June 27, 1952. Read more about this flight at This Day in Aviation.