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China Lake Naval Weapons Center held an airshow on April 16, 1988. At the time, China Lake was home to the VX-5 Vampires.
Traffic entering the base for the airshow was directed past this large collection of retired Navy aircraft that includes:
Since that photograph was taken, several of the historic aircraft have been taken from China Lake by air museums elsewhere.
General Dynamics F-16N Fighting Falcon 47 served as an aggressor at the Navy's Top Gun school until grounded by wing fatigue cracks.
Douglas TA-4E Skyhawk, 152102, NWC 042 was the first two-seat Skyhawk. It has a modified nose for testing missile seeker heads.
The White Whale. Douglas NA-3B (A3D-2) Skywarrior, 142630 of the NWC. It also has a modified nose for testing missile seeker heads. The nose was later replaced with a standard Skywarrior nose. It sits on celebrity row at AMARC.
McDonnell-Douglas QF-4N Phantom II, 152968, 412.
North American QF-86F Sabre, former Japan Air Self Defense Force 72-7711, NWC 891 was the base commander's personal mount. It was assembled in Japan by Mistubishi from components manufactured by North American.
John Collver takes off in North Amercian SNJ-5 Texan War Dog, N1038A has been a familiar sight on the airshow circuit for many years.
Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk, 152853, VX-5 13 was later transferred to the Israeli Air Force. Its Douglas construction number is 13499. It has returned to the United States and is now registered to Advanced Training Systems International of Mesa, Arizona as N250WL.
Vought A-7E Corsair, 159271, VX-5 03 and TA-7C Corsair, VX-5 06.
Grumman A-6E Intruder, 162190, VX-5 21 and A-6E, 154170, VX-5 25. Intruder 162190 (backgound) was built as an A-6A and later upgraded to A-6E standard. It was later transferred to VA-75 Sunday Punchers. Intruder 154170, (foreground) is now on display at the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation at MCAS Miramar.
McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18C Hornet, VX-5 34, and F/A-18C-23, 163432, VX-5 35.
Bell AH-1W Cobra, 162537, VX-5 44.
Formation of six VX-5 aircraft includes Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk, 152853, VX-5 13; Vought A-7E Corsair, 159271, VX-5 03; TA-7C Corsair, VX-5 06; Grumman A-6E Intruder, 162190, VX-5 21; McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18C Hornet, VX-5 34; and F/A-18C Hornet, 163432, VX-5 35.
McDonnell-Douglas AV-8B Harrier, 162966 of VX-5 was used to demonstrate Night Attack systems. It later crashed near NAS China Lake on September 27, 1994.
Formation of four VX-5 aircraft includes Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk, 152853, VX-5 13; Vought A-7E Corsair, 159271, VX-5 03; TA-7C Corsair, VX-5 06; and Grumman A-6E Intruder, 162190, VX-5 21.
McDonnell-Douglas FA-18A Hornet, 161528, Blue Angels #6.
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