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  • 163d Reconnaissance Wing

    The 163d Reconnaissance Wing, California Air National Guard, is one of five California Air National Guard units and is headquartered at March Air Reserve Base, Calif. Known as the 'Grizzlies,' the 950-member unit conducts flight operations with the MQ-1A Predator unmanned aerial system. On Nov. 28, 2006, the wing became the first Air National Guard
  • THE MARCH FIELD STORY

    The story of March Field began at a time when the United States was rushing to build up its military forces in anticipation of an entry into World War I. News from the front in Europe to those at home had not been good as it explained the horror and boundless human misery associated with stalemated trench warfare. Several European news sources
  • NORTH AMERICAN P-51 MUSTANG

    The P-51 was designed as the NA-73 in 1940 at Britain's request. The design showed promise, and AAF purchases of Allison-powered Mustangs began in 1941, primarily for photo recon and ground support use due to its limited high-altitude performance. But in 1942, tests of P-51s using the British Rolls-Royce "Merlin" engine revealed much improved speed
  • CESSNA O-2A SKYMASTER

    In late 1966 the U.S. Air Force selected a military variant of the Cessna Model 337 Super Skymaster, designated the O-2, to supplement the O-1 Bird Dog forward air controller (FAC) aircraft then operating in Southeast Asia. Distinguished by twin tail booms and tandem-mounted engines, it featured a tractor-pusher propeller arrangement. Having twin
  • LOCKHEED F-80C

    The Shooting Star was the first American aircraft to exceed 500 mph in level flight, the first American jet airplane manufactured in large quantities and the first U.S. Air Force jet used in combat. Designed in 1943, the XP-80 made its maiden flight on Jan. 8, 1944. (The aircraft was redesignated F-80 in 1948 when "P" for "Pursuit" was changed to
  • REPUBLIC F-84E THUNDERJET

    The F-84 became the U.S. Army Air Forces' first jet fighter to enter service after World War II. The Thunderjet made its initial flight in February 1946. Republic completed the first production in June 1947, one month before the creation of the U.S. Air Force. Throughout its service life, the Thunderjet served as a day fighter, long-range escort
  • NORTH AMERICAN F-86 SABRE (DAY-FIGHTER A, E AND F MODELS)

    The F-86, the USAF's first swept-wing jet fighter, made its initial flight on Oct. 1, 1947. The first production model flew on May 20, 1948, and on Sept. 15, 1948, an F-86A set a new world speed record of 670.9 mph. Originally designed as a high-altitude day-fighter, it was subsequently redesigned into an all-weather interceptor (F-86D) and a
  • CONVAIR F-102 DELTA DAGGER

    The primary mission of the F-102 was to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft. It was the world's first supersonic all-weather jet interceptor and the USAF's first operational delta-wing aircraft. The F-102 made its initial flight on Oct. 24, 1953, and became operational with the Air Defense Command in 1956. At the peak of deployment in the late
  • MCDONNELL DOUGLAS F-4C PHANTOM II

    First flown in May 1958, the Phantom II originally was developed for U.S. Navy fleet defense. The U.S. Air Force's first version, the F-4C, made its first flight in May 1963, and production deliveries began six months later. Phantom II production ended in 1979 after over 5,000 had been built -- more than 2,600 for the USAF, about 1,200 for the U.S.
  • MCDONNELL DOUGLAS F-4E PHANTOM II

    The F-4E is essentially an F-4D with improved J79-GE-17 engines (900 pounds more static sea level thrust each) and an M61A1 "Vulcan" 20mm cannon. Operational experience gained in Vietnam had a direct influence on the addition of the cannon. The air-to-air missile fire-to-hit ratios were low and air combat usually degenerated to subsonic
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