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Posted 1/21/2009 Printable Fact Sheet
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Aerial Camera
DAYTON, Ohio -- This camera, manufactured for the USAF by Boston University in 1951, is the largest aerial camera ever built. The camera is on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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This camera, manufactured for the U.S. Air Force by Boston University in 1951, is the largest aerial camera ever built. Initially, it was installed in an RB-36D. Later it was used in a C-97 aircraft flying along the air corridor through communist East Germany to Berlin, but a 10,000-foot altitude restriction imposed by the communists made the camera less useful than at a higher altitude. It was also used on reconnaissance missions along the borders of Eastern European nations. The camera made an 18-by-36-inch negative and was so powerful that a photo interpreter could detect a golf ball from an altitude of 45,000 feet. Dr. James Baker of Harvard University designed the camera.

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