Project Valour-IT Update: Army is getting crabby – and too close for comfort.Â Come on Navy – let’s show ’em the passing game…
20 Nov 1933: Lieutenant Commander T. G. W. Settle and Major Chester L. Fordney, USMC, flying a 600,000 cubic foot free balloon, set a world’s altitude record of 61,237 feet in a flight into the stratosphere with departure from Akron, Ohio, and landing near Bridgeton, N.J
20 Nov 1946: At Cleveland, Ohio, an F8F Grumman Bearcat with Lieutenant Commander M. W. Davenport as pilot, took off in a distance of 115 feet from a standing start and climbed to 10,000 feet in 94 seconds. This was “Operation Pogo Stick” conducted as a demonstration at the Cleveland Air Race, November 22, 1946. An F8F-1 piloted by Comdr. Bill Leonard set a new time to climb record, from a dead stop to 10K feet in 97.8 seconds, including a 150 foot take off run. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to keep the record very long. Lieut. Comdr. Butch Davenport came along about 15 minutes later and set the next new record of 94 seconds, also in an F8F-1 in a 115 foot take off run. Leonard’s take off was into an estimated 30 kt head wind, by the time Davenport took off the head wind was over 40 kts. These wind speeds helped to reduce the time on the ground. Both were assigned to TACTEST at the time; Cdr Leonard was TACTEST projects officer. Lt Cdr Davenport was the F8F project officer. The F8F’s used were the standard Navy aircraft, armed, with ammunition. The planes were modified, however, to allow full emergency military power with the landing gear down, something you couldn’t do in a stock airplane due to safety locks. (from The Warbirds Forum)
20 Nov 1962: As agreement was reached over the removal of missiles and bombers from Cuba, the naval blockade was discontinued and the ships at sea resumed their normal operations. Next day, the extensions of service ordered in October were cancelled.Â Also, for a look at a lesser known aspect of the Navy’s efforts before and during the crisis, take a look here and here at Operation BLUE MOON.
20 Nov 1979: The last RA-5C Vigilante in the Navy departed NAS Key West on her final flight. The RA-5C was one of the Navy’s finest and only all-weather carrier based reconnaissance aircraft. With this final flight, the entire reconnaissance inventory of 156 Vigilante aircraft was phased out.Â Well, not all Vigis left Key West:
Article Series - Valour-IT
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- Project Valour-IT Naval Aviation Factoid: 17 November
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- Valour-IT Naval Aviation History Factoid: 16 November
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- Project Valour IT – Naval Aviation History Factoid: 18 Nov
- Project Valour-IT – Naval Aviation Factoid: 19 Nov
- Project Valour IT – Naval Aviation Factoid: 20 Nov
- Project Valour-IT: Straight Talk Express
- Project Valour IT – Naval Aviation Factoid: 25 Nov
- VALOUR-IT Fundraiser, 2010 Edition Underway!
- Project Valour-IT: A Little Upfront/Straight Talk. . .