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  • Fighter Escort: “Little Friends”

    During the first half of the strategic bombing campaign, the USAAF lacked fighters that could escort its heavy bombers on strikes against targets in Germany.  As a result, heavy bomber crews took devastating losses that threatened the continuation of the campaign.  By early 1944, improvements to the P-47 and P-38, and the introduction of droppable
  • Fifteenth Air Force—Strategic Bombing from Italy

    In September 1943, the USAAF formed the Fifteenth Air Force, uniting its Mediterranean heavy bomber forces together at bases in southern Italy.  The USAAF could now mount major strategic raids in southern and eastern Europe, creating even more pressure on the Luftwaffe defense.  (Additional pictures coming soon)String of bombs on the way to hit the
  • Fairchild C-82 Packet

    Note: Visitors are permitted to walk in this aircraft.Airlift experience during World War II demonstrated the need for a large-capacity cargo aircraft that could be loaded from ground level, and Fairchild designed the C-82 Packet to meet the U.S. Army Air Forces’ requirements. The prototype first flew in September 1944, and deliveries began in late
  • Fairchild C-119J Flying Boxcar

    Satellite CatcherThis C-119J Flying Boxcar made the world’s first mid-air recovery of an object returning from space. In August 1960, it caught the Discoverer XIV satellite using recovery gear lowered from the open rear door. This mechanism snagged the satellite’s parachute, and a winch slowly reeled the film capsule into the aircraft. “Satellite
  • Fairchild XSM-73 Bull Goose

    The Fairchild XSM-73 Bull Goose was a pilotless decoy missile designed in the 1950s to simulate the radar signatures of large bombers. If several ground-launched, intercontinental-range SM-73 decoys saturated and confused enemy defenses, the real bombers had a better chance of getting through to their targets. The Bull Goose carried electronic
  • Form for Dropped Messages

    Note: This item is currently in storage.This standardized form for dropped messages was used by aircraft observers to quickly report enemy ground movement to friendly troops and waiting intelligence officers. The hand-written report was dropped on Oct. 5, 1918, by pilot Lt. William C. Thomas and observer Lt. Justin P. Follette of the 12th Aero
  • Fisher P-75A Eagle

    The Fisher Body Division of General Motors developed the P-75 Eagle to fill an urgent need for an interceptor early in World War II. The original P-75 design incorporated the most powerful inline engine available and components from other aircraft as a way to expedite production.Flight tests in late 1943 revealed unsatisfactory performance with the
  • Fairchild Model 24-C8F (UC-61J)

    The Model 24 was a civilian aircraft first produced in 1932. Model 24s were built with a variety of in-line or radial air-cooled engines and different passenger-carrying capacities. During World War II more than 1,000 Model 24s were produced for the military under the designation UC-61, but many civilian models flew for the Civil Air Patrol. U.S.
  • Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II

    The A-10 is the first U.S. Air Force aircraft designed specifically for close air support of ground forces. It is named for the famous P-47 Thunderbolt, a fighter often used in a close air support role during the latter part of World War II. The A-10 is very maneuverable at low speeds and low altitudes to ensure accurate weapons delivery, and
  • Franklin O-805-2

    Note: This item is currently in storage.The Franklin O-805-2, a 12-cylinder, 450 hp engine with opposed cylinders, was built near the end of World War II by Aircooled Motors to be used on the Interstate Aircraft and Engineering Group's XBQ-5 prototype. The aircraft would have been a radio-controlled, twin-engine, mid-wing monoplane with provisions
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