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  • Flying the President

    Providing fast, safe, and reliable air transportation for the President of the United States is an important US Air Force mission. The President’s ability to travel all over the world at short notice is critical to projecting America’s diplomatic, military, and economic power.“Perfection is Our

  • FB-111A Sit-in Cockpit

    This crew escape module successfully ejected from an FB-111A that crashed near Pease AFB, New Hampshire, following a mechanical failure in January 1981. The General Dynamics FB-111A Aardvark was a supersonic all-weather strategic nuclear bomber used by the U.S. Air Force’s Strategic Air Command. 

  • Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II

    The A-10 was 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 World War II. The A-10 is very maneuverable at low speeds and low altitudes to ensure accurate weapon delivery, and it

  • 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.  String of bombs on

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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