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The Aircraft


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UH_AC_First-thm.jpg Henri Farman
Farman aircraft like this were first to use Heyford.

Source: The Heyford Observer, May 13, 1967.

UH_AC_1936-thm.jpg Vickers Virginia
Used here for crew training until 1936.

Source: The Heyford Observer, May 13, 1967.


Vickers Virginia (1924 Britain)
A successor of the Vimy, the Virginia was the Royal Air Force's main heavy bomber for most of the period between the two world wars. Although she had a performance little better than that of the Vimy, she was an improvement in other ways. Apart from the open cockpit, the positions of the other crew members were enclosed in the fuselage. Later versions also had a metal structure as opposed to wood, and an autopilot. The Virginia and the later Vickers Wellesley, which was a monoplane, helped maintain the RAF's belief in the long-range bomber as a decisive weapon of war. The RAF put this to the test in World War Two, in bombers like the Lancaster and Halifax.
Source: 20th Century Weapons, Combat Aircraft, ISBN 0-531-04867-5.
Photo from "The MacClancy Collection".

UH_AC_1917-thm.jpg Bristol Fighter
This 125 mph fighter entered service in 1917.

Source: The Heyford Observer, May 13, 1967.


Bristol Fighter Bristol Fighter (1916, Great Britain)
Another solution to the "Fokker Scourge" was this two-seater fighter affectionately called the Brisfit. It had the advantage of being more heavily armed than single-seater types, with ` the observer covering the rear with one or two 0.303 Lewis guns and the pilot having a fixed forward-firing Vickers as well as a flexible Lewis mounted on the top wing. It arrived on the Western Front at the beginning of April 1917, a month when the Germans gained temporary air superiority over the Royal Flying Corps, who nicknamed this time "Bloody April." The Brisfit also suffered until pilots began to appreciate its speed and maneuverability. Then, it quickly established a high reputation, and the Germans produced similar two-seaters in the Hannover and Halberstadt. It was a brave single-seater pilot who would take on a two-seater fighter on his own. The Brisfit continued in RAF service thoughout the 1920's, especially in the Middle East.
Source: 20th Century Weapons, Combat Aircraft, ISBN 0-531-04867-5.
Photo from "The MacClancy Collection".

UH_AC_1928-thm.jpg Handley Page Hyderabad
Flew from Heyford in 1928.

Source: The Heyford Observer, May 13, 1967.

UH_AC_1930s-thm.jpg Hawker Hart
Served with 57th Bomber Squadron here in 1930s.

Source: The Heyford Observer, May 13, 1967.

UH_AC_Hawker_Hind-thm.jpg Hawker Hind
Heyford's last biplane light bomber.

Source: The Heyford Observer, May 13, 1967.

UH_AC_Heyford-thm.jpg Handley Page Heyford
Named for this base, the Heyford was the last of the biplane heavy bombers.

Source: The Heyford Observer, May 13, 1967.

UH_AC_Handley-Page_Heyford.jpg UH_AC_The_Heyford-thm.jpg
UH_AC_Vickers_Wellesley-thm.jpg Vickers Wellesley
Had a service ceiling of 33,000 feet.

Source: The Heyford Observer, May 13, 1967.

UH_AC_Bristol_Bombay_1935-thm.jpg Bristol Bombay
This night bomber entered service in 1935.

Source: The Heyford Observer, May 13, 1967.

The 1950's
RF-101 "Voodoo" at RAF Upper Heyford from 1957 to 1971.
Photo (left) submited by Gary Cecil.
Submited by Gary Cecil Air Force Photo by A2C Don Ward, from The Heyford Observer, 1967. From The Heyford Observer, 1967 RF-101Cs were first assigned to Europe during the spring of 1958 when the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing (32nd and 38th TRS) at Laon AB in France converted from RF-84Fs. In May of 1958, the 17th and 18th TRS based at Shaw AFB joined the 66th TRW at Laon. By the end of 1958, 30 RF-101Cs were based overseas. They were stationed at Nouasseur AFB in Morocco and at the Laon and Phalsbourg air bases in France. The 38th TRS moved to Ramstein AB in Germany when Laon grew short of ramp space and facilities. The entire wing moved to RAF Upper Heyford in England. The 66th TRW was inactivated on April 1, 1970. Source: http://www.icdc.com/~mr_bill/F101info6.html

"The F-101 was originally designed as a long-range bomber escort and penetration fighter for the Strategic Air Command. However, with the development of high-speed, high-altitude jet bombers, escort fighters became unnecessary and the first Voodoos off the production line were assigned to the Tactical Air Command in 1957. The RF-101 was the first U. S. Air Force supersonic photo-reconnaissance aircraft. The nose was modified to house six cameras controlled by the pilot. All camera stations were environmentally controlled with electrically heated optical windows to prevent fog or frost from dimming camera images. Enough film was carried to survey 20,000 square miles on each flight. The aircraft proved its effectiveness at low altitude during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and was the primary tactical reconnaissance platform during the first half of the Vietnam War.

The F-101 lineage included several versions: low altitude fighter bomber, two-seat interceptor and photo reconnaissance. To accelerate production, no prototypes were built. The first Voodoo, an F-101A made its initial flight on September 29, 1954. When production ended in 1961 nearly 800 Voodoos had been built.

F-101 Voodoos McDonnell Aircraft Corporation built almost 800 Voodoos, including 47 F-101Cs with wings strengthened for low-altitude tactical bombing. The version used most extensively was the two-seat F-101B interceptor which carried a pilot and a radar operator. In the RF-101A and RF-101C reconnaissance versions, the USAF had the world's first supersonic photo-reconnaissance aircraft. RF-101s were used extensively for low altitude photo coverage of missile sites during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and during the late 1960s in Southeast Asia. F-101F aircraft were modified B models with only minor exterior differences."

Source: Museum of Aviation http://www.museumofaviation.org/aircraft/f-101f.htm

F-101A Voodoo Additional Information: http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/modern_flight/mf55.htm

Additional Information: Terry Horstead... "Sept 1, 1966 the 66th TRW & 17th & 18th TRS's relocated to RAF Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, UK from Laon AB, France. Note: The 17th TRS (Red Sqdn) occupied the Squadron Area between POL and Conventional Ammo Storage Area with RF-101C Voodoos until the unit converted to RF-4C's in July of 1968. The Voodoo's returned to Shaw AFB. In Jan 1970 the 17th relocated to Zwiebrucken AB, Germany, and was reassigned to the 86th Tac Fighter Wing (USAFE). The 18th TRS (Blue Sqdn) ocuppied the Squadron Area next to the Special Weapons Areas with RF-101C's. The 18th operated Voodoo's for it's entire tour at RAF Upper Heyford. The 18th was relieved of Assignment in Jan 1970 and was reassigned to the 363rd Tac Recon Wing at Shaw AFB, South Carolina. The 66th TRW Inactivated April 1, 1970."

Additional Information: USAF Museum. http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/modern_flight/mf55.htm

Additional Information: http://wwhttp://www.au.af.mil/au/afhra/

Submitted by Gene Sannes, 18 TRS Flight Chief, 1967 - 1971.
Submitted by Gene Sannes, 18 TRS Flight Chief, 1967 - 1971.
Submitted by Gene Sannes, 18 TRS Flight Chief, 1967 - 1971. "...photo was taken while a buck Sgt and I were refueling RF 101 tail number 101 in the 18 TRS Squadron area on the far side of the base."

F-101 (Voodoo) Sets World Speed Record

"In Operation Firewall on December 12, 1957, Major Adrian Drew flew an F-101A to set a world speed record of 1,207.6 mph (1,943 km/h) over the 10-mile record course at Edwards Air Force Base in the US. Major Drew earned himself a Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for this feat. In Operation Sun Run in 1957, an RF-101 raced from Los Angeles to New York and back in the record time 6 hours, 46 minutes." (National Archives)

Note: This clip has been added for general informational purposes only.

Length: 1 minute, 48 seconds.


Voodoos Shatter Transcontinental Record

On Nov. 27, 1957, at 6:59 a.m., six USAF pilots took off from Los Angeles and began what would be called Operation Sun Run. On that day, three new transcontinental speed records were established, and the speed and range of the McDonnell RF-101C was showcased.

Note: This clip has been added only for general informational purposes.

Length: 2 minutes, 24 seconds.


Warlocks CF-101 Voodoo Air Demonstration Team

A short clip of the "Warlocks" CF-101 Voodoo Airshow team from 425 Sqn Bagotville 1977. Features some behind the scene footage from the ground and the air.

Note: This clip has been added only for general informational purposes.

Length: 5 minutes, 26 seconds.


CF-101 Voodoo 12 Ship

The last CF-101 Voodoo Sqn (416 Chatham NB) takes to the sky with a 12 ship flypast (as seen from the cockpit) 1984.

Note: This clip has been added only for general informational purposes.

Length: 3 minutes, 56 seconds.


B-47 Stratojet

B-47 in Profile

A look at the history of the Boeing B-47 in USAF service.

Length: 4 minutes, 41 seconds.

The first flight of the B-47A was in the spring of 1950 with delivery to the USAF beginning in December. The 306th Bomb Wing (Medium) got most of the -A models and used them for crew familiarization and transition training. B&W Graphic courtesy of NASA. B-47A Stratojet

The first flight of the B-47A was in the spring of 1950 with delivery to the USAF beginning in December. The 306th Bomb Wing (Medium) got most of the -A models and used them for crew familiarization and transition training. B&W Graphic courtesy of NASA.

B-47 Stratojet The B-47 was a technological innovation in bomber aircraft design with swept wings, jet engines, the ability to be air refueled, and an operational envelope equal to the fighter aircraft of the early 1950's. The Stratojet was also one of the more beautiful airplanes to grace the skies. However, it was a medium-range bomber that had limitations on space, payload, and range. When deployed, the B-47 was adequate to perform its designed mission. While it was able to adapt to changes in the threat at significant cost, it was not able to keep up with a heightened threat and greater range requirements, thus making other available aircraft that did the job better more viable.

Submitted by Leo Barish, PFC, Army; serving in two chemical companies (smoke), the 83rd and the 98th. 1955 - 1956. Submitted by Leo Barish, PFC, Army; serving in two chemical companies (smoke), the 83rd and the 98th. 1955 - 1956. Submitted by Leo Barish, PFC, Army; serving in two chemical companies (smoke), the 83rd and the 98th. 1955 - 1956. Submitted by Leo Barish, PFC, Army; serving in two chemical companies (smoke), the 83rd and the 98th. 1955 - 1956
B-47E Stratojet B-47E Stratojet B-47E Stratojet "I went to RAF Fairford and picked up some amazing B-47 pictures. I have since found at that at least two of them were taken at UH in 1956."

Submitted by Jonathan (last name witheld by request)

B-47E Stratojet at RAF Upper Heyford from 1953 to 1965. B-47E Stratojet at RAF Upper Heyford from 1953 to 1965.

Source: The Heyford Observer, May 13, 1967.

B-47-thm.jpg "A Boeing B-47E Stratojet of the 97th Bomb Wing parked on the ramp during Upper Heyford's Armed Forces Day Display, held during May of 1956."

Source: USAF Europe Volume 2, 1947-1963 by Robert Robinson, Squadron/Signal Publications. ISBN 0-89747-250-0

B-47E Stratojet "A B-47E (51-5214) of the 97 Bomb Wing during the unit's deployment to RAF Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, during May of 1956."

Source: USAF Europe Volume 2, 1947-1963 by Robert Robinson, Squadron/Signal Publications. ISBN 0-89747-250-0

B-50, B-36, B-47, B-52, & B-58 Aircraft

B-50 Super Fortress B-36 Peacemaker B-58 Hustler B-58 Hustler 3-view diagram.

"The 3918th Strategic Wing Supported Wing & Squadron Size -90 to 120 Day, as well as single ship short term deployments of SAC Reflex Bomber & Reconnaissance operations during the 1950's & 1960's at RAF Upper Heyford, as well as RAF Fairford, RAF Brize Norton, RAF Greenham Common, RAF Mildenhall, & RAF Lakenheath while assigned to 7th Air Division (SAC) at RAF High Wycombe, England. The 3918th SW was located at RAF Upper Heyford, and orginally controlled the other bases, but these were later Stand alone Strategic Wings and Combat Support Groups. The 3918th was replaced by the Det 1, 98th SW as well as the 3970th SW at Torrejon AB, Spain being replaced by the 98th SW on the Jun 25th 1966."

Submitted by Terry Horstead.


Convair B-58 Hustler

The Convair B-58 Hustler was the first operational American high-speed jet bomber capable of Mach 2 supersonic flight. The aircraft was developed for the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command during the late 1950s. Despite its sophisticated technology and Mach 2 performance, its operational flexibility was limited by high costs and changing mission requirements leading to a brief career between 1960 and 1969. No sound included with the video.

Length: 1 minute, 42 seconds.

RB-47, RC-135(C/D) & KC-135R* (* Recon Tanker - Not the current KC-135R configuation use today)

"KC-135A & Q Tanker Aircraft Operated By the Detachment 1 98th Startegic Wing at RAF Upper Heyford ocuppied the (SAC) Ramp next to the end of the runway next to Upper Heyford Village. The RB-47, RC-135C & KC-135R aircraft were deployed the 55th SRW at Offutt AFB, Nebraska and the RC-135D aircraft were deployed from the 6th SW at Eielson AFB, Alaska. Recon Operations were supported by Det 1 6985th Security Squadron (USAFSS). TDY Tankers were from Stateside Units deployed to the 98th Strategic Wing and the Spainish Tanker Task Force at Torrejon AB, Spain. Detachment 1 98th SW relocated to RAF Mildenhall in Jan of 1970".
Terry Horstead

Submitted by Steve Mock, MSgt, (Ret), ABR57170 Airborne Rescue Specialist DET 2, 40thARRWg, Aug 1969 - Aug 1973. "...a photo of one of the "Sneaky Pete" RC-135s TDY to UH."
Submitted by Steve Mock, MSgt, (ret), ABR57170 Airborne Rescue Specialist DET 2, 40thARRWg, Aug 1969 - Aug 1973.

The 1960's and 1970's
Submitted courtesy of Jonathan (last name witheld by request), Webmaster, RAF Greenham Common - 'The Complete History 1941 - 1992.' Submitted courtesy of Jonathan (last name witheld by request), Webmaster, RAF Greenham Common - 'The Complete History 1941 - 1992.' Submitted courtesy of Jonathan (last name witheld by request), Webmaster, RAF Greenham Common - 'The Complete History 1941 - 1992.'

Submitted courtesy of Jonathan (last name witheld by request)
Webmaster, RAF Greenham Common - "The Complete History 1941 - 1992"

www.greenham.greatnow.com

24533-thm.jpg

In the 1960s and '70s the Kaman HH-43B was extensively used by the USAF as a short range SAR helicopter. Here, 62-4533 demonstrates its firefighting capability at RAF Upper Heyford, England, on 29 August 1970. Note the based F-100 Super Sabre in the background. - Photo used by permission, coutesy of: 'Barry Hickman - Collection'.

HH-43B Huskie was the first aircraft purchased by the USAF specifically for firefighting and Local Base Rescue(LBR). The twin intermeshing, counter-rotating rotors negated the need for a tail rotor and made the Huskie very stable in flight. In fact, the downwash actually blew away smoke and assisted in spreading the firefighting foam. Delivery of the first of 253 H-43s began in 1959. A typical LBR aircrew consisted of two pilots, two Airborne Rescuemen/Firefighters and a Flight Medical Technician. The Flight Engineer would remain on the ground to launch the aircraft and hook-up the sling loaded Fire Suppression Kit (FSK). A typical scramble could have the aircraft airborne in one minute; 30 seconds to get airborne and 30 seconds to hook-up the FSK and in many instances beating the fire trucks to the crash scene. Weighing 960lbs, the FSK held 78.5 gallons of water, 5 gallons of foam concentrate and could produce 690 gallons of aerated firefighting foam. On dedicated off base rescues (bail-outs) time permitting, the Firefighters would be replaced by the Flight Engineer and Flight Medic. The Huskie had a maximum range of 235 miles, a max speed of 120mph and a max service ceiling of 25,700. During 1961-1962, the HH43 set 7 World Records including; time to climb, maximum altitude and distance for helicopters in its class. Known world-wide as "PEDRO" a call sign synonymous with help and rescue, these aircraft were retired in 1973 as a cost cutting measure. One LBR Detachment at Utapao Thailand remained until 1975. Info provided by Steve Mock, SSgt, 20th CES Fire Dept/DET2, 40th ARRWG "PEDRO", Aug 1969 - May 1973.

F-4 Phantom 3-view diagram. RF-4C "Phantom" at RAF Upper Heyford
F-4 "Phantom" mission capabilities include: long range, high-altitude intercepts utilizing air-to-air missiles as primary armament; a 20mm gun as secondary armament; long-range attack missions utilizing conventional or nuclear weapons as a primary armament; and close air support missions utilizing a choice of bombs, rockets and missiles as primary armament. F-4 Wild Weasel, anti-aircraft missile suppression missions. B&W graphic courtesy of NASA.

RF-4C of the 66th TRW at RAF Upper Heyford, September, 1969. Newly arrived RF-4Cs of the 66th Tactical Recon Wing - RAF Upper Heyford, UK - September 1969

Source: United States Air Force Historical Research Agency - Maxwell AFB, Alabama

U-2 at RAF Upper Heyford in 1968.

"I know of 2 times that U-2's were on the ground at RAF UH in 68. Supported by Det 1 98th Strategic Wing at RAF Upper Heyford."

Terry Horstead

U2 Aircraft to be based on Britain

U2 Aircraft to be based on Britain

Aug 18, 1962

Submitted by Jonathan (last name witheld by request)

The F-111A can exceed twice the speed of sound by sweeping its wings rearward while in flight. The wings are swept forward for takeoffs, landings or slow speed flight. The first flight took place in December 1964. B&W graphic courtesy of NASA. FB-111 series at RAF Upper Heyford from 1970 to 1993.

The F-111A can exceed twice the speed of sound by sweeping its wings rearward while in flight. The wings are swept forward for takeoffs, landings or slow speed flight. The first flight took place in December 1964. B&W graphic courtesy of NASA.

F-111E.jpg


"When the F-111 entered service in 1967 it was one of the most controversial aircraft in Air Force history; it has also proven to be one of its most versatile. Originally conceived in the late 1950s as a replacement for the F-105 Thunderchief, the Department of Defense combined the Air Force's requirement for a fighter-bomber with the Navy's for an air superiority fighter under the designation TFX. The Air Force prototype (F-111A) first flew on December 21, 1964 and the first of the Navy's five F-111B's soon after. Although the Navy soon dropped out of the TFX program, the Air Force eventually bought 566 Aardvarks.

The F-111 was a long range, all-weather attack aircraft with an advanced bomb/navigation system allowing it to strike targets deep within enemy territory with pin-point accuracy day or night. Its variable sweep wings can move from 16 to 72.5 degrees, allowing the aircraft to operate from short, rough airfields with the wings out and fold them back for supersonic flight. Aardvarks first saw combat in Vietnam and saw extensive use in the Gulf War, dropping more bombs than any other type of aircraft. Other variants include the FB-111 bomber used by the Strategic Air Command, the F-111C used by Australia and the EF-111A Raven, or "Spark Vark" electronic warfare aircraft used to confuse and jam enemy radar.

The Warner Robins Air Logistics Center has management responsibility for avionics, communications, navigation, and targeting equipment used on the F-111. The aircraft on display is an F-111E that was assigned to the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing at Upper Heyford, England. It was flown by the Commander of the 55th Tactical Fighter Squadron and still carries the markings it was in when retired to the Museum of Aviation in 1995."
Source: Museum of Aviation http://www.museumofaviation.org/aircraft/f-111e.htm

Capt. (at that time) Gregg Billman, with F-111E, 68-040, 79th TFS, Wing Flight Safety, Wing Weapons and Tactics and 77th TFS, Mar 1987 - Jun 1991. "One small correction I noted that needs to be made...on your "aircraft" page the "FB-111 series" is noted as having served at UPH. In reality, the FB-111 was a SAC bomber, limited to 4.0 g's, with extended wings and additional outboard hard points for wing tanks (that limited wing sweep to 26 degs).

The F-111A, F-111E and EF-111A are the models that served at UPH. The A and E were full-up 7.2 g fighter-bombers (though maintaining that g could be problematic!)."

Submitted by Colonel Gregg Billman, USAF (Ret). 79th TFS, Wing Flight Safety, Wing Weapons and Tactics and 77th TFS, Mar 1987 - Jun 1991.

Submitted by Mike Kaplan, 520th Aircraft Generation Squadron, 55th AMU,  Jan 1986 - Jan 1988, 55th FS Flight Control and Instrument Systems Specialist, Aug 1990 - Jan 1994. Submitted by Mike Kaplan, 520th Aircraft Generation Squadron, 55th AMU,  Jan 1986 - Jan 1988, 55th FS Flight Control and Instrument Systems Specialist, Aug 1990 - Jan 1994. A collage of photos taken in August 2001, from Mike Kaplan, 520th Aircraft Generation Squadron, 55th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, Jan 1986 - Jan 1988, 55th Fighter Squadron Flight Control and Instrument Systems Specialist Aug 1990 - Jan 1994.


Official Photo, USAF. Filename: ef111a_01UH.jpg EF–111 "Raven" at RAF Upper Heyford from 1984 to 1992.
"The 42nd Electonic Combat Squadron based at RAF Upper Heyford was Adminstrately Assigned to the 66th Electronic Combat Wing (USAFE) at Sembach AB, Germany / however Operationally Attached to the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing (USAFE) at RAF Upper Heyford."
Terry Horstead.

EF-111A tail number 66-0049 of the 42nd Electronic Combat Squadron, 20th Tactical Fighter Wing, RAF Upper Heyford UK, 1984.

Source: United States Air Force Historical Research Agency - Maxwell AFB, Alabama.


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