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  • Published
  • By Ty Greenlees
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

DAYTON, Ohio – The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will continue to provide unique opportunities for visitors to get an up-close look inside different aircraft from the collection each month on select days.

Visitors have a chance to look inside two of the Air Force’s premier interceptor jets from the 1950s on Saturday, Apr. 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Cold War Gallery. Cockpits of the North American F-86D Sabre and Lockheed F-94C Starfire will be open with subject matter experts and aircraft trivia available.

These two jets represent an era when the Air Force preferred to arm jets with interception radar controlled missile systems and no guns.

An intelligence warning in 1948 prompted the U.S. Air Force to hurriedly develop an all-weather interceptor. From the basic airframe of its F-86A, North American incorporated two unprecedented concepts into the F-86D. First, a sophisticated electronic system replaced the second crewmember carried by other interceptors of the time. Second, the F-86D became the first production single-seat fighter in which air-to-air missiles replaced the classic gun armament.

The F-94 Starfire series all-weather interceptors were developed from the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star. The prototype F-94 first flew on July 1, 1949. Improvements in the F-94C included a higher thrust engine, a redesigned wing, a sweptback horizontal stabilizer, upgraded fire-control and navigation systems, and mid-wing rocket pods. Twenty-four rockets were carried in the nose in a ring around the radome, with an additional 24 in the wing pods, if installed. The F-94C carried no guns. Starfires were employed in the air defense of the continental United States in the 1950s.


NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-3286.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, contact Lisa Riley at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1283.