NASA's Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership was retired in a ceremony at the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base on Friday December 17, 2004. The NB-52B has been a fixture at Edwards AFB for forty-nine years.
Air traffic descending into Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport passes over the neighborhood where I grew up. In addition, each day several business jets cruise over at low altitude on their way from Sky Harbor to the Scottsdale Airport. While visiting my family over the holiday weekend I photographed the air traffic overhead.
The third X-43A Hyper-X demonstrated that an air-breathing engine can propel a vehicle at Mach-10 on the afternoon of November 16, 2004. The Hyper-X flight was conducted out of the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California's Mojave Desert.
The third X-43A Hyper-X mission did not go off without a hitch. Problems with the GPS or inertial navigation system of the X-43A resulted in a mission abort on Monday. Here is the story of two days at Edwards Air Force Base covering the final X-43A mission.
Vandenberg Air Force Base hosted an airshow over Halloween weekend. The weather was sunny, breezy, and cool. The show featured a peformance by the new Raytheon T-6A Texan II.
The Kern County Airshow was held at the Inyokern Airport on Wednesday October 6, 2004. It featured several aerobatic performances, visits by an AV-8B Harrier and an F/A-18F Super Hornet of VX-9 based at China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, a B-52 Stratofortress from the 412th Test Wing based at Edwards Air Force Base, and an Israeli Aircraft Industries Kfir. The Canadian Snowbirds appeared at the Kern County Airshow for the second year in a row.
Douglas DC-3, N101KC Rose of Dream Flight carried passengers on aerial tours from the Inyokern Airport during the Kern County Airshow. The flights provided spectacular views of the China Lake Valley and the Sierra Nevada.
The Canadian Snowbirds appeared at the Kern County Airshow for the second year in a row. They flew an 8-ship show because the pilot of #5 was under the weather. They fly a show that is distinctly different from the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds with some very complicated formation changes.
Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne won the Ansari X-Prize on October 4, 2004 for making two flights to an altitude of 100 kilometers from the Mojave Airport within two weeks.
On Saturday, September 25 the Santa Barbara Airport hosted the bi-annual "A Day at the Airport." This event offered a host of aviation-related activities for all ages.
Here's a survey of the wide variety of general aviation and regional airline airplanes that flew into the Santa Barbara Airport the day before the event.
Humid conditions resulted in impressive vapor condensation in the low pressure around the fast and maneuvering jets at the 2004 Pt Mugu airshow.
Static displays at the 2004 Pt Mugu airshow.
A Minuteman III missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base to the Reagan Test Range at Kwajalein Atoll very shortly after the beginning of the launch window at 1:01 A.M. on Wednesday, September 15.
The annual Camarillo airshow was held on August 28 and 29, 2004. It featured the aircraft of the Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force and Chapter 723 of the Experimental Aircraft Association. Celebrating its 24th year, the 2004 show pays tribute to more than 60 years of history and growth of the Camarillo Airport.
Transports, Trainers, and Liaison
A variety of vintage airplanes arrived at Hawthorne Municipal Airport on Friday the thirteenth for the Air Faire that was held on Saturday, August 14.
A Minuteman III missile was launched on a suborbital trajectory toward Kwajalein Atoll from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 1:37 A.M. on Friday, July 23.
An LGM-118A Peacekeeper missile was launched on a suborbital trajectory toward Kwajalein Atoll from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 1:01 A.M. on Wednesday, July 21.
NASA's AURA satellite was launched from Vandenberg AFB on a Delta II booster at 3:02 A.M on Thursday, July 15.
Douglas DC-3, N101KC Rose of Dream Flight carried passengers on aerial tours from Hawthorne Airport on Friday, July 9, 2004. It was built as a DC-3 in 1943 and served the Army Air Force as a C-53D. It is a veteran of the D-Day invasion of Europe on June 6, 1944.
Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne made the first privately funded manned flight to 100 Kilometers altitude from the Mojave Airport early in the morning on Monday, June 21. Pilot Mike Melvill earned his astronaut's wings and experienced three minutes of weightlessness during the flight into space.
The Planes of Fame Air Museum at Chino, California hosted a flying display of numerous warbirds over the weekend of May 15 - 16. It seemed bigger than ever with several new participants. There were several visiting warbirds from the collections of the Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force and the Palm Springs Air Museum. At one point a formation of twenty-six airplanes flew overhead.
Most of the airplanes that participated in the airshow were parked in two rows along the flightline.
Page 2 is a walk along the airplanes parked in the row on the right.
Page 3 is a walk along the airplanes parked in the row on the left.
Page 1: Missing Man Formation and Silver Wings Stearman Biplane Wing Walking Act.
Page 2: D-Day Invasion Aircraft Display with Mustangs, Spitfires, P-47 Thunderbolt, Hurricane, and Avenger.
Page 3: Northrop N9M Flying Wing Performance by Ron Hackworth and Korean Air War F-86 Sabre and MiG-15 Tail Chase.
Page 4: Navy Flight SBD Dauntless, FM-2 Wildcat, F4F Hellcat, F7F Tigercat, F8F Bearcat, A-1 Skyraider, F4U Corsair, and Sea Fury.
Page 5: Pacific Air Battle FM-2 Wildcats, Zeros and P-38 Lightning and British Fighter Aerobatics Display.
Page 6: Air Power Formation Flight - Massive Gaggle of Warbirds and United States Air Force F-16 Viper Tactical Demonstration.
The Collings Foundation B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator visited the Santa Maria Airport from May 5 to May 7, 2004.
A variety of airplanes and helicopters helped to extinguish the Cachuma Fire in Santa Barbara County from Tuesday May 4 to Friday May 7.
N73544 took off from the Camarillo Airport for what may have been the last time at 10:00 A.M. on April 26, 2004. The Breitling Super Constellation made one low pass over Runway 26 at the Camarillo Airport and headed away to the north.
The Collings Foundation B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator visited the Camarillo Airport from April 20 to April 22, 2004.
The Gravity-B probe was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on April 20, 2004. It will verify whether the magnitude of warping of the space-time continuum caused by the rotation of the Earth is properly predicted by Einstein's General Thoery of Relativity.
The second X-43A Hyper-X mission was launched from NASA's NB-52B mothership on Saturday, March 27. It was dropped from the NB-52B about fifty miles from the coast of Southern California. The mission demonstrated the feasibility of air-breathing powered flight at mach-7.
On Wednesday, March 24 NASA Dryden Flight Research Center hosted a press briefing about the upcoming X-43A Hyper-X mission.
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