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China Lake NAWS is home to a variety of vintage aircraft. The U.S. Naval Museum of Armament & Technology has assembled a very interesting collection with some types not found elsewhere. The Weapons Survivability Laboratory (WSL) evaluates the damage done to airframes by different types of weapons.
The second prototype Douglas XF4D-1 Skyray, BuNo 124587 and the second (of only two) Grumman F11F-1F Super Tiger, 138647 flank a Polaris missile at the entrance to the U.S. Naval Museum of Armament & Technology.
(Please note: the Goleta Air & Space Museum is not directly affiliated with the U.S. Naval Museum of Armament & Technology. I cannot arrange access to the museum or get you onto China Lake NAWS. Visit the U.S. Naval Museum of Armament & Technology web site for information about visiting the museum.)
Douglas XF4D-1, 124587 is the second prototype of the Skyray. It was delivered with an interim 5,000-pound thrust J35-A-17 turbojet until the intended 7,000-pound thrust XJ40-WE-6 became available. That was followed by an 11,600-pound thrust afterburning XJ40-WE-8. Production models of the Skyray were equipped with J57 turbojets. XF4D-1, 124587 was used as an engine testbed by General Electric, testing the J79 and CJ805-3 engine intended for the Convair 880.
Piloted by Navy Lt-Cdr James F. Verdin, XF4D-1, 124587 set a new world's air speed record of 752.944 mph over a three-kilometer course above the Salton Sea in California on October 3, 1953, breaking a record speed of 735.70 mph set by Michael J. Lithgow in a Supermarine Swift F Mk4 just nine days earlier at Castel Idris, Libya. Lt-Cdr Verdin's record was beaten twenty-six days later by Frank Everest in a North American YF-100A at the Salton Sea in southern California. Everest's speed record was just 2.20 mph faster than Verdin's.
Link to the Air-Navy Naval Aviation Library page about the XF4D-1.
Outright Records web site list of air speed records.
XF4D-1, 124587 was unpainted and sat among a large collection of retired airplanes on April 16, 1988. The McDonnell-Douglas F-4B, 149414 directly behind the skyray was later converted to a QF-4B target drone.
History of the XF4D-1 on Air-Navy.com.
Aviation Enthusiast Corner's list of F-6 (F4D) Skyrays on display.
F11F-1F, 138647 is the only surviving Super Tiger. Two F11F-1F Super Tigers were constructed with 15,000-lb thrust General Electric YJ79-GE-3A engines in place of the 10,500-lb thrust Westinghouse J65-W-18 that equipped the standard F11F-1 Tiger. Grumman test pilot John Norris achieved a speed of Mach 2.04 in 138647 on May 2, 1957. Piloted by Lt-Cdr George Watkins, 138647 set an altitude record of 76,831 feet over Edwards AFB on April 16, 1958.
Aviation Enthusiast Corner's list of F11F Tigers on display.
Much of the museum's aircraft collection is stored, awaiting the construction of a larger museum building.
McDonnell-Douglas QF-4N Phantom II, 150468 was built as an F-4B-13-MC.
Aviation Enthusiast Corner's list of F-4 Phantom IIs on display.
North American QF-86F Sabre was assembled by Mitsubishi and operated by the Japan Air Self Defense Force before being transferred to the U.S. Navy for conversion to a target drone. It carried JASDF serial 62-7479 and its U.S. Air Force serial was 55-3916.
Aviation Enthusiast Corner's list of F-86 Sabres on display.
Boeing B-29 Superfortress, 44-70102 Here's Hoping
Last completed of seven General Dynamics/Grumman F-111Bs, 152715 is the most complete of three remaining airframes.
Joe Baugher has a short history of the F-111B on his web site.
More information about the F-111B is available on F-111.net
Aviation Enthusiast Corner's list of F-111 Aardvarks on display.
Another F-111B fuselage hulk can be found in a scrapyard near the Mojave Airport. This photo was taken on September 5, 2002
Grumman F-111B desk model
North American RA-5C Vigilante, 156640
Aviation Enthusiast Corner's list of RA-5C Vigilantes on display.
Vought A-7C Corsair, 156797
Aviation Enthusiast Corner's list of A-7 Corsairs on display.
Lockheed DC-130A Hercules, 570461 has been grounded at China Lake.
Aviation Enthusiast Corner's list of C-130 Hercules on display.
Douglas NTA-4F Skyhawk, 152102 was the first two-seat Skyhawk. It was built as the first TA-4E.
Douglas NTA-4F Skyhawk, 152102 was on static display at the 1988 China Lake NWC Airshow.
Aviation Enthusiast Corner's list of A-4 Skyhawks on display
Vought DF-8L Crusader, 145528 served as an airborne drone director for QF-4B Phantom II target drone tests in the early 1970s.
Aviation Enthusiast Corner's list of F-8 Crusaders on display.
Vought A-7E Corsair, 160722 was once in the possession of the United States Aviation Museum at the Inyokern Airport.
Vought TA-7C Corsair, 156765 was also once in the possession of the United States Aviation Museum at Inyokern.
A Grumman A-6E Intruder and the first F/A-18A in white with blue trim are parked near the active flightline at Armitage Airfield.
Grumman A-6E Intruder, 152936 was built as an A-6A.
Aviation Enthusiast Corner's list of A-6 Intruders on display.
The first McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18A Hornet, 160775. The airplane is identified as an F-18A above the Bureau of aeronautics number. It first flew in November 1978.
Aviation Enthusiast Corner's list of F/A-18 Hornets on display.
There is a large collection of vintage aircraft at the Weapons Survivability Lab, where they shoot weapons at airplanes to evaluate the damage.
Douglas A4D-2 Skyhawk, 142120 The Blue Tail Flies stands beside the road leading to the Weapons Survivability Lab.
Link to the Weapons Survivability Lab web page.
Boeing-Bell V-22 Osprey fuselages have been used for evaluations of the survivability of composite construction airframes.
Retired Grumman F-14A Tomcats wait their turn to be shot at.
Bell UH-1N Hueys still wear the spraylat that was applied at AMARC.
There is a large T34 turboprop engine nacelle from a Douglas C-133 Cargomaster on a test stand.
Go to the main China Lake NAWS tour page.
Go to home page of the Goleta Air and Space Museum.
Send a message to Brian.