SR-72 Darkstar – Warbird Wednesday Episode #120

Welcome to Warbird Wednesday! Today we’re visiting the Lockheed Martin concept plane SR-72 used in “Top Gun: Maverick” as Darkstar. The SR-72 is a successor of the retired SR-71 Blackbird and is a Hypersonic optionally manned aircraft with the purpose of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Lockheed Martin expects that the SR-72, which can reach speeds in excess of Mach 6,…

Charles Hall

Tuskegee Airman Charles Hall made history for himself and his fellow 99th Fighter Squadron pilots.    After three years of college, Charles enlisted in the US Army as an aviation cadet. He was a member of Tuskegee Class 42-F-SE. On completion of training, Charles B. Hall was commissioned as a second lieutenant of the U.S. Army Air Force on July…

F-20 Tigershark – Warbird Wednesday Episode #118

Welcome to Warbird Wednesday! Today we’re visiting what could be considered the best fighter designed but never built, the F-20 Tigershark. Development of the F-20 began in 1975 to combat the latest Soviet fighter aircraft. Evolving from the F-5E Tiger II, the Tigershark was faster, had better avionics, and had capability beyond visual range air-to-air. Three prototypes of the Tigershark…

Robert Ashby

Bob Ashby enlisted in the Army Air Corps at age 17 as a candidate for the Aviation Cadet program. He was called to active duty in August 1944. Bob was assigned to Keesler Field, Mississippi, for basic training and testing for entry into the Aviation Cadet Program. In December 1944, Ashby was sent to Tuskegee, Alabama, to begin cadet training.    At Tuskegee, he…

EA-18 Growler – Warbird Wednesday Episode #117

Welcome to Warbird Wednesday! Today we’re joined by two special guests from the Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake as we visit the EA-18G Growler. The EA-18 Growler is a carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft and one of the newest aircraft in the Navy Fleet. This Airborne Electronic Attack aircraft combines the latest electronic attack technology including jamming pods, communication…

Capt. Freddie E. Hutchins

Freddie Hutchins of Donaldsonville, GA, graduated from flight training on April 29, 1943, at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama. In December, he deployed to Italy with the 302nd Fighter Squadron, part of the 332nd Fighter Group. The 302nd Fighter Squadron flew its first combat mission on February 5, 1944.   Hutchins scored his first aerial victory on July 26, 1944,…

Paul Lehman

Paul David Lehman, Jr. was born on October 4, 1922. He enlisted in the United States Army in Los Angeles, California in November of 1942. He opted for aviation cadet training and quickly found himself on a train heading to Tuskegee, Alabama. Moton Field and Tuskegee Army Airfield were the focal points for the training of African-American military pilots, navigators,…

F-35 Lightning II – Warbird Wednesday Episode #116

Welcome to Warbird Wednesday! Today we’re visiting a multi-role combat aircraft, the F-35 Lightning II. The F-35 is the apex of American advanced fighter design right now and is the most lethal, survivable and connected fighter aircraft in the world. Intended to perform both air superiority and strike missions, the F-35 provides electronic warfare and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities.…

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