Nellis Open House brings history to life

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed
  • 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
The Nellis Open House is scheduled to take place Nov. 8 and 9.

This year there are more than 15 different aircraft scheduled to fly, spanning 71 years of aviation history.

The World War II-era aircraft scheduled to perform are:
The AT-6 Texan, which was originally flown in 1935 and flown here in the 1940s. It is a single-engine advanced trainer aircraft used to train pilots of the U. S. Army Air Forces, U.S. Navy, Royal Air Force and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II and into the 1970s.

The C-45 Expeditor, which was the World War II military version of the popular Beechcraft Model 18 commercial light transport. Beech built a total of 4,526 of these aircraft for the Army Air Forces between 1939 and 1945. It was designated for a utility transport and remained in service until 1963.

The A6M Zero, which first flew in 1939. The Japanese navy produced 10,815 Zeros from 1940 to 1945. Zeros were produced in greater number than any other aircraft of its time.

The F4U Corsair, whose first flight was completed in 1940. It was intended as carrier-based aircraft, and was used by both the U.S. Marines and Navy during World War II. On October 1, the XF4U-1, its prototype, became the first single-engine U.S. fighter to fly faster than 400 mph.

The B-25 Mitchell medium bomber, which was one of America's most famous airplanes of World War II. It was the type used by Gen. Jimmy Doolittle for the Tokyo Raid on April 18, 1942.  By the end of World War II, North American Aviation had built a total of 9,816 B-25s.

The P-51 Mustang, which possessed excellent range and maneuverability; they operated primarily as a long-range escort fighter and also as a ground attack fighter-bomber. The Mustang served in nearly every combat zone during World War II, and later fought in the Korean War.

The F8F Bearcat, which completed its first flight in 1944. It was a single-engine naval fighter aircraft that served into the mid-20th century in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and the air forces of other nations. It would be Grumman Aircraft's final piston-engine fighter aircraft. Modified versions have broken speed records for piston-engine aircraft.

The F-86 Sabre, which was originally flown in 1949 and flew here in the 1950s. Developed for all-weather, a highly sophisticated electronic system replaced the second crewmember carried by other interceptors of the time. It was the first U.S. Air Force airplane to have all-rocket armament and the first all-weather interceptor to carry only one person for operating the radar fire control system as well as piloting the airplane. It also had the unique distinction of succeeding itself in setting a new world's speed record -- 698.505 mph on Nov. 19, 1952, and 715.697 mph on July 16, 1953.

Vietnam Era:
The A-10 Thunderbolt II, which was originally flown in 1972. The A-10 is the first U.S. Air Force aircraft designed specifically for close air support of ground forces. It is intended for use against all ground targets, but specifically tanks and other armored vehicles. Its short takeoff and landing capability permits operation from airstrips close to the front lines. Maintenance at forward bases with limited facilities was possible because of the A-10's simple design.

The F-15 Eagle, whose first flight was made in July 1972. In November 1974, the first Eagle was delivered to the 58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

The B-1 Lancer, which was created in 1974 with the first production plane flying in 1984 and reaching operational capability in 1986. The B-1B variant was first used in combat in support of operations against Iraq during Operation Desert Fox in December 1998. In 1999, six B-1s were used in Operation Allied Force, delivering more than 20 percent of the total ordnance while flying less than two percent of the combat sorties. The B-1B holds almost 50 world records for speed, payload, range and time of climb in its class.

The F-16A Fighting Falcon, a single-seat model, first flew in December 1976. The first operational F-16A was delivered in January 1979 to the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. U.S. Air Force F-16 multirole fighters were deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1991 in support of Operation Desert Storm, where more sorties were flown than with any other aircraft.

Present Era:
The HH-60 Pave Hawk, which is a twin-engine medium-lift helicopter operated by Air Combat Command, Pacific Air Forces, Air Education and Training Command, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command. Pave Hawks have a long history of use in contingencies, starting in Operation Just Cause. During Operation Desert Storm they provided combat search and rescue coverage for coalition forces in western Iraq, coastal Kuwait, the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia.

The F-22 Raptor, whose prototype aircraft, the YF-22 and YF-23, both completed their first flights in late 1990. The YF-22 was selected as the better of the two, and the engineering and manufacturing development effort began in 1991. Air Education and Training Command, Air Combat Command and Pacific Air Forces are the primary Air Force organizations flying the F-22.

The F-35 Lightning, which is the U.S. Air Force's latest 5th generation fighter. On October 26, 2001, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge Jr. announced the decision to proceed with the Joint Strike Fighter program.

The Open House is slated to run from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on both the 8th and 9th. For the latest information on the Nellis AFB Open House, visit the Open House page at www.nellis.af.mil/aviationnation or call the 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs office at 702-652-2750.