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Specific picture descriptions: Photos above with "i" icons next to the bracketed sequence numbers (e.g. " ") are described as follows:
AIRM_170220_027.JPG: Baldwin Red Devil
After making a reputation with lighter-than-air craft, Thomas Scott Baldwin turned to heavier-than-air flying machines in 1909. By 1911 he had built several airplanes and had gained extensive experience as an exhibition pilot. He began testing a new airplane in the spring of 1911. It was similar to the basic Curtiss pusher design that was becoming quite popular with builders by this time, but it was innovative in that it had steel-tube structural components. It was powered by a 60-horsepower Hall-Scott V-8. Baldwin called his new machine the Red Devil III, and thereafter each of his airplanes would be known as a Baldwin Red Devil. Baldwin built approximately six Red Devils. Most were powered by the Hall-Scott, but Curtiss engines were also occasionally used. By mid-1911, Baldwin was training pilots, taking up passengers, and performing regularly with Red Devil aircraft at air meets. He advertised Red Devils for sale into 1913.
AIRM_170220_058.JPG: William Lendrum "Billy" Mitchell (1879-1936)
A Wisconsin native, Billy Mitchell rose through Army ranks to brigadier general during World War I. He commanded a force of more than 1,500 planes during the air offensive at St. Mihiel -- the largest combat air armada ever assembled up to that time. During that offensive, he piloted the Span XVI displayed next to this statue. After the war, Mitchell led a force of Army bombers in tests to demonstrate the vulnerability of naval ships to aerial attacks. Their sinking of the captured German battleship Ostfriesland (depicted on the statue's base) sparked spirited debate between the Army and the Navy over future military funding.
A staunch and outspoken airpower advocate, Mitchell was convicted of insubordination during a highly publicized court-martial in 1925. He resigned his commission but continued to press for a powerful national Air Force.
AIRM_170220_072.JPG: Halberstadt CV.IV:
After the German Halberstadt CL.II fighter proved to be an effective ground attack aircraft in 1917, work began on creating an improved version specifically for that role. The resulting model, the Halberstadt CL.IV, turned out to be one of the best ground attack aircraft of World War I. It performed well in combat as a low-level attack airplane, relying on its excellent maneuverability to avoid ground fire.
After supporting the desperate German offensives of 1918, CL.IVs disrupted Allied advances by striking at troop assembly points. When not on close support of ground attack missions, they engaged in escort work. Toward the end of the war, CL.IV squadrons tried to intercept and destroy Allied bombers returning from mission on bright, moonlit nights, and they flew night sorties against Allied airfields.
AIRM_170220_091.JPG: Red Bull Stratos Capsule
AIRM_170220_103.JPG: Breitling Orbiter 3
Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones guided the balloon Breitling Orbiter 3 up and away from the Swiss Alpine village of Chateau d'Oex at 8:05, GMT, 1March 1999. They landed in the Egyptian desert 19 days, 21 hours and 55 minutes later (21 March 1999), having traveled a distance of over 29,000 miles and completed the first non-stop flight around the world with a free balloon.
The success of Breitling Orbiter 3 was based on the lessons learned during two previous attempts to fly around the globe in 1997 (Breitling Orbiter) and 1998 (Breitling Orbiter 2). That experience enabled the Breitling team to develop trustworthy technical systems and a basic strategy that called for Piccard and Jones to pilot their balloon to altitudes of over 30,000 feet, where jet stream winds would drive it across the Pacific at speeds of over 100 miles per hour.
Breitling Orbiter 3 was designed and built by Cameron Balloons, of Bristol, England. When fully inflated it stands 180 feet (55 meters) tall. The envelope is constructed of a nylon fabric welded to a helium-tight membrane covered with an outer protective skin that is coated with aluminum on both sides to provide improved thermal control. The shape and special features of the envelope were designed to insure maximum temperature stability in order to conserve helium and reduce propane consumption.
The envelope is a Rozier design, combining the advantages of helium and hot air technologies to create a balloon capable of extended flights. A large cell of helium is placed within a specially designed hot air balloon. Six propane-fed burners warm the helium at night, while a system of insulation and vents reduce the effect of solar heating during the day. The result is a balloon that remains at a fairly constant altitude, conserving helium and making it possible to remain aloft for extended periods. The propane gas that fueled the six burners of Breitling Orbiter 3 was contained in 28 titanium cylinders mounted in two rows along the sides of the gondola.
Their epic journey was applauded as one of the great aviation adventures of the century. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain spoke for millions around the world in a special message to the balloonists: "The news of your splendid achievement has delighted us all."
AIRM_170220_106.JPG: Breitling Orbiter 3 Gondola
AIRM_170220_115.JPG: Goodyear Airship Control Car C-49
AIRM_170220_118.JPG: Restoring a Goodyear Blimp Control Car -- Right Before Your Eyes
The National Air and Space Museum acquired the control car of the Goodyear GZ-20A blimp Columbia in 2014. Because of a shortage of space in the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar, museum staff decided to undertake the preservation/restoration of the craft on the exhibition floor, where visitors could get a close-up view of the process.
With the assistance of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, an experienced museum volunteer restoration specialist, supported by a curator and other staff members, has planned the project and is undertaking the work. While the basic framework of the car dates to 1934, when the work is complete by the end of 2016, the craft will be returned to its condition during its years of service in 1970-1986 as one of Goodyear's iconic commercial blimps. Fitted with the appropriate cameras and other equipment, Columbia will appear as it did when providing aerial television coverage of the Super Bowl and other sporting events.
[Note that this sign, saying the project would finish by the end of 2016, was photographed in February 2017.]
AIRM_170220_131.JPG: Goodyear "Pilgrim" Gondola
AIRM_170220_142.JPG: Goodyear Airship Pilgrim:
In the mid-1920s the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio, built a fleet of small civil airships that were used to demonstrate the value of lighter-than-air flight and to train future airship pilots. One of those airships - the Pilgrim -- was the first ever designed for inflation with helium. It first flew at Akron, Ohio, on June 3, with pilot Jack Yolton at the controls, and was christened on July 18 by Mrs. P. W. Litchfield, wife of the president of Goodyear. By the time the Pilgrim was retired on December 30, 1931, it had made 4,765 flights, carried 5,355 passengers, flown a total of 2,880 hours, and covered 15,300 kilometers (95,000 miles).
The gondola, or control car, had a magnesium-coated steel-tube framework covered with thin metal sheeting. It could accommodate the pilot and two passengers in the comfort of blue mohair velour upholstered seats with mahogany finished veneer.
AIRM_170220_145.JPG: Robert A. "Bob" Hoover
AIRM_170220_159.JPG: Lockheed 1049F (C-121C) Super Constellation
AIRM_170220_168.JPG: Kaman K-225
This Kaman K-225 was the first helicopter to fly with a gas turbine driven transmission. Turbines offered important advantages for helicopters including reduced weight, improved reliability, easier maintenance and higher power-to-weight ratios, which allowed for larger useful loads, increased safety and lower operating costs. In 1949, Kaman built the K-225 commercial model, primarily for use as a crop-duster. The Navy ordered two to evaluate the advantages of the intermeshing rotor system and the novel blade mounted servo-flap control system.
In 1951, Kaman replaced the reciprocating engine that originally powered this K-225 with a Boeing 502-2 gas turbine to demonstrate the potential of jet-powered helicopters to the Navy. The K-225 served as the prototype for Kaman's successful HOK series of military helicopters, which incorporated a cabin in place of the open cockpit. The engine currently on the aircraft is not original.
AIRM_170220_234.JPG: Sikorsky HH-52A Seaguard
The HH-52 was the U.S. Coast Guard's first turbine-powered helicopter and the first that could land in the water next to vessels or personnel in distress without using awkward floats, making it the most effective air-sea rescue helicopter of its time. The Coast Guard operated ninety-nine HH-52s between 1962 and 1989, saving 15,000 lives.
The Coast Guard acquired this HH-52 (#1426) in 1967 and operated it until 1989, accumulating 12,618 hours. Its notable missions included a January 27, 1967 nighttime sailboat rescue that resulted in a Distinguished Flying Cross for the pilot and a mention in LIFE magazine. 1426's most dramatic rescue occurred on November 1, 1979, when it rescued twenty-two survivors from a fiery collision of an oil tanker and freighter off Galveston, Texas. During the mission, it lifted twelve crewmen at one time from the inferno – a record for the aircraft, designed only to carry a maximum of ten, including crew, in the cabin.
Transferred from the U.S. Coast Guard
Rotor Diameter: 16.16 m (53 ft 0 in)
Length: 13.58 m (44 ft 7 in)
Height:4.33 m (14 ft 3 in)
Weight:Empty, 2,306kg (5,083 lb)
Gross, 3,674 kg (8,100 lb)
Engine:General Electric T58-GE-8, de-rated to 1,250 shp
Top Speed:175 km/h (109 mph)
Manufacturer: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, 1966
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