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Aviation History And Aircraft Photography

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Wings Over The Rockies Air & Space Museum


F4U Corsair

The Vought F4U Corsair was designed to be a carrier-based fighter during World War II. The Navy found the aircraft to have some undesirable qualities, so it was relegated to Marine Corps duty. The Marines turned this aircraft into a legend. They also found that pilots could operate the Corsair from a carrier once they had a little experience on the F4U. This example was built in 1944 by Goodyear as a FG-1D.

T-33 T-Bird
The Lockheed T-33 T-Bird was the first jet trainer used by the USAF. It is based on the P-80 Shooting Star, a very early jet aircraft that entered service just as World War II was ending. While the P-80 was quickly outclassed as a fighter, the T-Bird had a long and successful military career. Some T-Birds are still flying today as collector and museum aircraft.

RF-84K Thunderflash
This aircraft is the Republic RF-84K Thunderflash. It is the photo recon version of the F-84 Thunderjet, an early jet fighter that saw action in Korea. The Thunderflash has windows in its nose for a series of cameras. Thunderjet has its jet intake in the nose, but with the cameras in the nose, the air intake was relocated to the wing roots in the Thunderflash. This particular Thunderflash is one of three remaining FICON aircraft. FICON was an attempt to allow a fighter or recon jet to dock with a B-36 bomber, allowing the more efficient bomber to carry the fuel thirsty jet along as protection.

A-7D Corsair II
The Vought A-7 Corsair II was developed as a light attack aircraft to replace the A-4 Skyhawk. The Corsair II was used extensively by the Air National Guard. It was an efficient and quiet airplane due to its turbofan engine. This A-7D was delivered to the USAF in 1972.

F-4E Phantom II
The F-4E Phantom II was developed by McDonnell Douglas as an air superiority fighter. It was one of the rare aircraft that used by both the Air Force and Navy. The Phantom II was produced in large numbers and was widely exported.

The photo below is the Grumman F-14A Tomcat. It was built to protect an aircraft carrier battle group, and could engage targets as far away as 100 miles. The Tomcat was immortalized in the move Top Gun. The F-14 is one of three aircraft in the museum that feature variable geometry swing wings, the other two being the F-111 and the B-1A.


F-14 Tomcat

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