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Wright Field Photo  
User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 2667 times:

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Photo © Gary Chambers

Mr Chambers photo above showed up in the db today. Very interesting pix, a lot of aviation history in one pix. Lets see:

In the upper left hand corner is a piece of Huffman Prairie where the Wright Brothers did a lot of experimentation.

The Boeing 299 crashed on this airfield (I believe it was using the runway to the left) and damned near took the B-17 (and all descendent Boeing 4 engine jobs) with it.

The Accelerated Runway is visible. It's the wide taxiway that intersects the runway at the top of the triangle. Not very evident in the photo but this runway has an extremely steep downhill grade. It was used during WWII to test takeoff techniques for heavily loaded B-17s & B-24s. Would have been very similiar to a toboggan ride if you ask me.

One of the Air Forces earliest nuclear reactors is just to the right of the far end of the accelerated runway. I don't recall now what they did there but it was probably something cool, and hey, it was the fifties -- everybody had to have a reactor right?  Smile

The Avionics Test Tower is in the upper right corner though not terribly easy to see. A lot of the early development and test work on the early smart bombs was done in the tower. Back in the 80s there used to be a fair number of armored vehicles out on the airfield getting "lased" (and probably from other areas of the spectrum too) from the tower.

The Static Test Hangar is about dead center in the pix. Was built specifically for the B-36. They towed a B-36 in, flipped it end over end, and laid it down inverted for testing with bags of shot.

Like I said lots of cool stuff in this pix, some visible, some not, and some... uh some we probably haven't heard about yet.....

4 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineF4wso From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 974 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (10 years 9 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2495 times:

Thanks for adding the detail about my image. I wish the airplane window had better optical qualities. I thought this slide was interesting since it showed the museum before the addition of the new cold war gallery and missile silo.
Cottage Grove, MN

Seeking an honest week's pay for an honest day's work
User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 9 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2486 times:

I was stationed in area A in the early 80s and did some volunteer work at the Museum. Wandered around area B quite a bit looking for the unusual and usually found it! I think people forget that Wright Field was THE U.S. test center prior to the late forties...


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11454 posts, RR: 72
Reply 3, posted (10 years 9 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2483 times:
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I trained there on the vertical wind tunnel when I went to an army school. That place has all kinds of interesting stuff. Great detail on your description.

Do they not still do a good bit of flight test work there, in terms of non-flying work?

Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 9 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2477 times:

Quoting DL021 (Reply 3):
Do they not still do a good bit of flight test work there, in terms of non-flying work?

I don't know about flight test, but the various system program offices (SPO) all used to be there. I just took a look at the wright-patt web site and it looks like they the call SPOs Systems Groups now. So I expect AFMC (HQ bldg just off the top of pix) still has it's engineering muscle in area B.

On a lighter note, the Page Manor Air Force housing area (affectionately known by many residents as Pig Manure  Smile) is in the lower right corner of the pix.

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