HomeVisitMuseum ExhibitsFact Sheets

Fact Sheet Alphabetical List

Fact Sheet Search

  • Northrop Grumman Defense Support Program Satellite

    Note: This satellite is currently on display in the Missile Gallery and will be moved to the Space Gallery at a later date.Early Warning SatelliteDefense Support Program (DSP) satellites have provided the U.S. Air Force with early warning of ballistic missile launches and nuclear detonations for more than 40 years. The DSP satellite’s infrared
  • North American X-15A-2

    Hypersonic Research AircraftThe X-15 is a famous and significant part of aviation history. Its purpose was to fly high and fast, testing the machine and subjecting pilots to conditions that future astronauts would face. It made the first manned flights to the edges of space and was the world’s first piloted aircraft to reach hypersonic speeds, or
  • Northrop Tacit Blue

    Built in the early 1980s in great secrecy, the revolutionary Tacit Blue aircraft tested advanced radar sensors and new ideas in stealth technology.Tacit Blue proved that a stealthy aircraft could have curved surfaces -- unlike the faceted surfaces of the F-117 Nighthawk -- which greatly influenced later aircraft like the B-2. Tacit Blue’s design
  • Northrop X-4 Bantam

    During World War II, engineers in the U.S. and UK studied semi-tailless aircraft, and the German Luftwaffe fielded the semi-tailless Me 163 (one of which is on display in the museum’s World War II Gallery). After the war ended, Northrop built two X-4s to test if this configuration could perform at transonic (near-supersonic) speeds better than
  • North American T-6D Mosquito

    During the Korean War, airborne forward air controllers (FACs) chose the T-6 as the best available aircraft because it could operate from small, rough airstrips and was easy to maintain. More importantly, the T-6 was faster and more rugged than the light liaison aircraft they initially flew. Even though this World War II trainer was not designed to
  • North American B-45C Tornado

    The B-45 achieved many "firsts." It was the first American four-engine jet bomber to fly; the first American production jet bomber; the first jet bomber capable of carrying an atomic bomb; and the first multi-jet reconnaissance aircraft to refuel in mid-air.Design of the Tornado began during World War II, and the B-45 made its first flight in March
  • Northrop A-17A

    The A-17 series was a direct descendent of the pace setting Northrop "Gamma," made famous by the aerial explorer Lincoln Ellsworth. It replaced the Curtiss A-8 and A-12 Shrike and was the last of the pre-World War II single-engine attack aircraft ordered into production by the Army Air Corps.Caught in the pre-WWII doctrine that emphasized air
  • Northrop-McDonnell Douglas YF-23A Black Widow II

    The YF-23A competed in the late 1980s/early 1990s against the YF-22A in the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program.During the late 1970s, a new generation of Soviet fighters and Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) prompted the US Air Force to find a replacement for the F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter. In 1986, the USAF awarded demonstration
  • North American XB-70 Valkyrie

    The futuristic XB-70A was originally conceived in the 1950s as a high-altitude, nuclear strike bomber that could fly at Mach 3 (three times the speed of sound) -- any potential enemy would have been unable to defend against such a bomber.By the early 1960s, however, new Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) threatened the survivability of high-speed,
  • NASA/Boeing X-36

    In the mid-1990s, NASA and the Boeing (then McDonnell Douglas) “Phantom Works” built two unmanned X-36 Tailless Fighter Agility Research Aircraft to develop technology for a maneuverable, tailless fighter. The X-36s were about a quarter of the size of a potential future fighter.Though two were built, only the museum’s X-36 actually flew. The first
RSS

Featured Links

Picture of B-17 Memphis Belle
Plan Your Visit
E-newsletter Sign-up
Explore Museum Exhibits
Browse Photos
Visit Press Room
Become a Volunteer
Air Force Museum Foundation

Connect