2011. július 5., kedd

Air Force Flight Test Center Museum on Edwards AFB - Air Force Song

First Things First
The boundary lamps were yellow blurs
Against the winter night
And I had checked the last ship in
And snapped the office light,
And paused a while to let the ghosts
Of bygone days and men
Roam down the skies of auld lang syne
As one will now and then ...
When fancy set me company
A red checked lad to stand
With questions gleaming in his eyes,
A model in his hand.
He may have been your boy or mine,
I could not clearly see,
But there was no mistaking how
His eyes were questing me
For answers which all sons must have
Who builds their toys in play
But pow'r them in valiant dreams
And fly them far away;
So down I sat with him beside
There in the dim lit shed
And with the ghost of better men
To check on me, I said:
"I cannot tell you, sonny boy,
The future of this art,
But one thing I can show you, lad,
An old time pilot's heart;
And you may judge what flight may give
Or hold in store for you
By knowing how true pilots feel
About the work they do;
And only he who dedicates
His life to some ideal
Becomes as one with he dreams
His future will reveal
Not one of whose wings are dust
Would call his bargain in,
Not one of us would welsh his part
To save his bloomin' skin,
Not one would wish to walk again
Unless allowed to throw
His heart into the thing he loved
And go as he would go:
Not one would change for gold or pow'r
Nor fun nor love nor fame
The part he played and price he paid
In making the good game.
And of the living ... none, not one
Regrets the scars he bears,
The sheer uncertainty of plans,
The poverty he shares,
Remitted price for one mistake
That checks a bright career,
The shattered hopes, the scant rewards,
The future never clear:
And of the living ... none, not one
Who truly loves the sky
Would trade a hundred earth bound hours
For one that he could fly.
If that sleek model in your hand
Which you have brought to me
Most represents the thing you love,
The thing you want to be,
Then you will fill your curly head
With knowledge, fact and lore,
For there is no short cut which leads
To aviation's door;
And only those whose zeal is proved
By patient toil and will
Shall ever have a part to play
Or have a place to fill."
And suddenly the lad was gone
On wings I could not hear,
But from afar off came his voice
In studied tones and clear,
A prophet's message simply told
For this is what he said
And why his hand will someday lead
Formations overhead,
"Who wants to fly has got to know:
Now two times two is four:
I've got to learn the first things first!
.. I closed the hangar door."
— Gill Robb Wilson.

Below are some of the exhibits located at the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum on Edwards AFB.

F-22 Fighter Jet
F22 Jet Fighter

The supersonic gray jet fighter in the middle of this photo is the very first F-22 jet fighter – actually the first of two YF-22A prototypes. It is the centerpiece display inside the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum. The YF-22 flight program was conducted here at Edwards Air Force Base. Considered the air dominance fighter of the 21st Century, the production-variant F-22 owes its existence to the successful flight demonstration program of this YF-22A prototype and a second YF-22A that ensured selection of this aircraft over its YF-23 rival for production. The museum’s YF-22A showcased airworthiness, supersonic flight, and systems performance. This jet performed aerial refueling tests which proved the YF-22’s ability to take on fuel from a tanker aircraft. This had the added advantage during the brief flight program of the YF-22s to enable this prototype to remain aloft for longer periods of productive test time. The pair of YF-22s logged a total of 92 hours of flying time between 29 September 1990 and the conclusion of the program about three months later. First-flight pilot Dave Ferguson brought the museum’s YF-22A from nearby Palmdale, California, to Edwards during a rare thunderstorm. The wet-runway environment provided an additional test point successfully accomplished on that initial flight. A team of F-22 maintenance specialists from the 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron and the 412th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron dismantled the YF-22 at its previous site at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and reassembled the rare prototype jet and readied it for display in the AFFTC Museum at Edwards in 2010.

The First Flights Wall

Many of the historic aircraft that have made their first flights at Edwards AFB for more than six decades are depicted in 1/72 scale in this fascinating museum timeline.

X-1 and X-25

This is a full-size replica of the orange X-1, first aircraft to exceed the speed of sound, perches high in the AFFTC Museum along with the lightweight X-25B in the foreground. The cockpit on the museum floor is from an A-7 Corsair II.

AQM-34J Firebee

This reconnaissance AQM-34J drone evolved from the Ryan Firebee target drone. It came to the AFFTC Museum in 1989. The AQM-34 Firebee is a target drone and remotely piloted vehicle (RPV). It was first flown in 1951 as the Q-2 and was used as a high subsonic speed target drone. It was also used in Vietnam as a reconnaissance role and also used in the Persian Gulf War as decoys to confuse Iraq radar systems.

U.S. Air Force Song
Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun;
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder,
At 'em boys, Give 'er the gun! (Give 'er the gun now!)
Down we dive, spouting our flame from under,
Off with one helluva roar!
We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey!
Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!
Additional verses:
Minds of men fashioned a crate of thunder,
Sent it high into the blue;
Hands of men blasted the world asunder;
How they lived God only knew! (God only knew then!)
Souls of men dreaming of skies to conquer
Gave us wings, ever to soar!
With scouts before And bombers galore. Hey!
Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!
Bridge: "A Toast to the Host"
Here's a toast to the host
Of those who love the vastness of the sky,
To a friend we send a message of his brother men who fly.
We drink to those who gave their all of old,
Then down we roar to score the rainbow's pot of gold.
A toast to the host of men we boast, the U.S. Air Force!


Off we go into the wild sky yonder,
Keep the wings level and true;
If you'd live to be a grey-haired wonder
Keep the nose out of the blue! (Out of the blue, boy!)
Flying men, guarding the nation's border,
We'll be there, followed by more!
In echelon we carry on. Hey!
Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!

— Robert Crawford. He didn't write "Hey!"; he actually wrote "SHOUT!" without specifying the word to be shouted. Wherever they appear, the words "U.S. Air Force" have been changed from the original "Army Air Corps." Words in parentheses are spoken, not sung. In 1938, Liberty magazine sponsored a contest for a spirited, enduring musical composition to become the official Army Air Corps song. Of 757 scores submitted, Robert Crawford’s was selected by a
committee of Air Force wives. The song was officially introduced at the Cleveland Air Races on 2 September 1939. Fittingly, Crawford sang in its first public performance.

The first page of the score, which Crawford submitted to the selection committee in July 1939, was carried to the surface of the Moon on 30 July 1971 aboard the Apollo 15 'Falcon' lunar module by Colonel David R. Scott and Lieutenant Colonel James B. Irwin. Interestingly, at the moment the 'Falcon' blasted off the surface of the Moon with Scott and Irwin on board, a rendition of the 'Air Force Song' was broadcast to the world by Major Alfred M. Worden, who had a tape player aboard the 'Endeavor' command module which was in orbit around the Moon. Scott, Irwin and Worden comprised the only all-air-force Apollo crew .

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