J - Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum


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As we prepare for this issue of our newsletter, the 50th anniversaries of the climaxing
events of WWll are taking place. During the summer of 1945, the slow agonizing grind in
the Northern Pacific was taking its toll on men and machine. The casualty figures from the
front , representing the tenacious and fanatical hold Japanese soldiers maintained on every
defended island, surely weighed heavily onthe new president With the successful test of
the Manhattan Project's Trinity device in the New Mexico desert in July 1945, a possible
hope for a quick end to the war became available. The planned invasion of the Home
Islands in November was well into preparation and many of those who had fought in
Europe were now preparing for a final assualt on a broken but not defeated enemy. The
potential of death and destruction from an invasion of mainland Japan was considered
nothing less than catastrophic and ultimately deemed unacceptable by the President.
Truman chose the nuclear option and in tum set in motion 50 years of Cold War
controversy concernig this first and only use of atomic wepons in anger.
Much has been said over the past few months concerning these events and we are all
familiar with the problems of the original revisionistic display of Enola Gay at the National
Air and Space Museum. It has been easy for many to take those historic times out of
context and to place moral judgements on actions that sacrificed some to save many more.
I had the opportunity several weeks ago at the Wings of Eagles airsbow to meet and briefly
talk to retired Gen. Chuck Sweeney who flew the weather plane on the Hiroshima flight
and piloted Bock's Car on the Nagasaki mission. Aside from being a little bewildered from
all the attention, be still semed quite positive of his actions 50 years ago. His mission, as
he described it, was to "shorten the war" and it was obvious that he and the other 509th
members had accomplished their task. He was also quite amazed at the number of people
who approached him recently and thanked him for saving their father or grandfather from
the fate of an invasion. A finer tribute you probably could not find
From the perspective of the victor of the Pacific war, this probably serves as the greatest
testament to Truman's decision. However, it is obvious that the controversy will live on
long after the last of WWll veterans have passed away. Whether historians of the future
will be able to to sort out the act and its aftermath will depend on how humanity conducts
itself over the next 50 years. Hopefully, not repeating its past mistake of waking a sleeping
Regardless of your viewpoint, I think it appropriate at this time to honor all of our veterans
from WWII for thier sacrifices and their dedication to upholding the freedoms that our
society often takes for granted. If through your actions, my children and future
generations can live a life free from nuclear threat and global conflict then we will all be
eternally grateful. Thank you all.
Thanks to member Jack Kosko, for donating the paint and equipment, our F-4 Phantom
has a beautiful fresh coat of paint. The F-4C, which last served with the Arkansas ANG,
is painted in SEA camoflage. The bird was the premier attraction of the airshow. Thanks to
all of the members who worked many long hard hours to prepare her for the show.
Recently, member Pat Norvell obtained two A-7 canopies . One of the canopies and an F84 canopy frame from the Yankee Air Corps will be fitted together to provide a canopy for
our RF-84F.
GLMAM'S F-4 with restoration commitee members: (R-L) Chmn C. Harris,W .
Gibson, P. Norvell, J. Brothers, & Newsletter Chmn G.DiGennaro Jr.
The airshow was held during the weekend of September 16-17th. The weather was
beautiful on Saturday. raining on Sunday morning and delightful later that afternoon.
Despite the weather, both shows were well attended. Our museum had the following
aircraft on display: F-4C Phantom IT multi-role fighter, T-33A Shooting Star jet trainer; F1OOF Super Sabre jet fighter; and an A-70 Corsair IT attack bomber.
Thanks to all the volunteers of the restoration committee, the aircraft were in excellent
display condition. Our display and sales booth (donated by Precision Marine Sales Inc.)
was set up in front of our birds. Also on display was the museum's seaplane exhibit Our
aircraft. booth, and exhibit were well recieved.
The following aircraft were in attendance: C-54, DC-3, Martin404, Cessna UC-78 Bamboo
Bomber, CP-140 Aurora (Canadian P-3 Orion), F-18, C-130, T-38, Lear Jet, Cessna
Cargomaster, F4U Corsair, Maule Rocket, Zlin, Cessna 140 and 152, T-34 Mentor, T-28.
T -6 trainers , and an interesting homebuilt seaplane. Helos on dislay included Apaches,
Huey Cobras, a std. Huey, Sea Knights, Bell47, a Canadian Sea King, Md. State Police
Dauphin, Hughes 300, and an enormous MH-53 Sea Stallion.
The flying portion was quite impressive with a Super Stearman wingwalker, an airbatic
routine by the Corsair, some awe inspiring flying by the MD ANG A-IO's , and some
precision flying by the Northern Lights from Canada. Musuem members Andy Michalak
and John Srtickland beat up the field in their T -6's. Those that stayed later on Sunday were
treated to fly-bys of all of the visiting aircraft as they departed Martin's for their respective
In all, another great show, good museum public relations, good museum income, and a lot
of fun. A hardy "Well Done" to the Essex Chamber of Commerce and the Martin State
Airport for their hard work in putting it all together. A special thanks to museum members
Jim and Susan McGill for their many hours spent organizing and managing the static and
flying displays. Thanks are also in order to the museum members who volunteered to
support the museum aircraft and display booth.
Higher, further, faster! This has been the cry since that day on Kill Devil Hill in 1903 and
two fellows named Orville and Wilbur. By the 1970's aircraft were being built that would
return from Earth orbit and fly through the atmosphere at speeds ranging from Mach 25 to
a landing speed of 200 mph. Special kinds of aircraft are necessary to safely fly at such
extremes. These aircraft are known as lifting bodies. They have little or no wings and
derive most of their lift from the fuselage.
After sucessful completion of the ffir 10 and M2F3 programs, the USAF and NASA were
ready for a follow-on. Martin Marietta was contracted to build the X-23 and X-24
experimental aerospacecraft. The X-23, also known as PRIME for Precision Recovery
Including Manuevering Entry, was an unmanned vehicle launched from an Atlas missile.
Its purpose was to investigate re-entry phenomena with a lifting body. About 7 feet long
and weighing about 900 lbs., three X-23's were flown during 1967.
Drawing on its data from the X-23, the X-24 was to be a transonic research aircraft. Its
purpose was to explore the low speed characteristics of lifting bodies. The X-24 was a
scaled up manned version of the X-23. Both craft resembled an inverted bathtub with
tai1fins from a '59 DeSoto. One X-24 was built at the Martin Denver plant. X-24 was
designed to be air launched from an NB-52 and was powered by a liquid fueled XLR-11
rocket motor of 8480 lbs. of thrust.
The X-24 first flew in 1969 as a glider with Jerald Gentry at the controls. He also made
the first powered flight in 1970.
A typical X-24 mission profile would consist of an air launch, 2.5 minutes of powered
flight to about Mach 1, and a 5 minute glide to landing at Edwards AFB. Twenty eight
powered and non-powered flights were made before the program terminated in 1971 .
During that time the X-24 achieved a maximum speed of Mach 1.6 and an altitude of
71,400 ft.
Following completion of the X-24 program, the aircraft was modified to the X-24B at the
Denver facility. The purpose of the X-24B was to explore lifting body configurations
different from those of the original X-24. The original bathtub fuselage was extended and
given a pointed nose. Overall the craft appeared to have a kind of triangular spatula shape
to it. The X-24B continued to use the XLR-11 powerplant.
The X-24B first flew in October 1973 with Mike Love at the controls. The first powered
flight occured in November of 1973 with John Manke as the pilot. The program ended in
November of 1975 with Thomas McMurtry making the last flight. A total of 36 powered
and unpowered flights were made.
The X-24 program achieved all of its objectives and proved that an aerospace craft could
descend from space to a landing on a conventional runway. All of the data obtained with
X-24 paid off in April 1981 folllowing the first successful flight of the space shuttle
SOURCES: The X-Planes; Jay Miller;Specialty Press;St Croix,MN;1983
Raise Heaven and Earth ;William Harwood;Simon&Schuster;N.Y.,N.Y;l993
Since we have just recieved our F-105G from the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Grounds,
I'd like to take this time to thank the many who made it possible to obtain our historic
aircraft. It took 3 years but what an experience! Thanks to ;
The people of Aberdeen Proving Grounds who believed in our cause :
Dr. Walbert, Mr. W. Warfield, Mr. W. Thompson, Mr. B. K.iethley, Mr. J. Fitch, Mr. J.
Janes, Col. Virgil, Gen. Trageman, Mr. F. Nordell, Mr. S. Benjamin.
Mr. J. Speraw and Mr. D. Cole of the Dept. of the Army, The Center for Military History
for guiding me through th paper work maze.
Mr. B. Hall, Mr. J. Alcerease, Mr. T. Quinn, and Mr. T. Hanson of the Chesapeake Park
Corp. for providing storage space for some of our aircraft.
The U.S. Army Reserves, Curtis Bay, Md., Floating Crane, 97th ARCOM for providing
barges, tugboats, and manpower to transport our aircraft :
Maj. Maas, Capt. Media, Master Sgt. B. Newton.
The Md. Army National Guard for providing the manpower and rigging of the helicopters
to airlift some of our aircraft :
CW4 J. Fitch, Maj. Weeks, Col. Eaton, Lt. Col. Sebree.
The U.S. Army Reserves, Co. B, 5/159th Army Regiment for airlifting some of our birds
via Chinook helicopter :
Maj. Money, CW2 Clyde, Capt. Defenbaugh.
The Tracor Corp. for flying in our two F-100 Super Sabres :
R Beckett, J.R. Alley, E. Kidwell.
The C. W. Over Co. for defueling all of the aircraft.
C.R. Bentz and The Keystone Electric Co. for delivering our F-105G.
Mr. H. Williams and his Williams Crane Co. for providing so much help; cranes, trucks,
flatbed trailers and manpower. It could not have happened without Mr. Williams.
Mr. Jake West, manager of Martin State Airport.
And finally, thanks to all of the museum volunteers who worked with me to keep the
dream alive.
As you probably already know , the Confederate Air Force lost their B-26 Marauder and
five crew members. The aircraft was the only flying B-26 in the world and one of only
three complete airframes . The Glenn L. Martin Aviation Museum expresses its
condolences to the family and friends of the crew members who perished in the accident .
On a more lighter note , the fall airshow was a lot of fun. As usual we had the best looking
birds on the ramp . Our new F-4 was a smashing success even if it had no engines!
Unfortunately the weather wasn't as cooperative as it should have been, but that kept the
temperature to a comfortable level. Thanks to all that participated and here's looking
forward to the next Middle River Airshow.
rve been getting a lot of interesting material for the newsletter lately. Look for this material
in future newsleners. Thank you to all those who have supplied me with some interesting
reading! Speaking of intersting reading , fellow museum members Jack Briehan , Roger
Mason , and Stan Piet have published a nifty book on Martin aircraft. Chock-full of photos
many from our own archives , this book fills a long standing gap in aviation reference
See ya in the winter edition!
1huseum Notes:
• Phone No. 410-682-6122
• Open every Sat. (except Holidays) 1-5 PM
1st Mon. per month (except Holidays) 7:30PM
• Location: Room 115, Hangar 5
• To all members, please send in your membership
dues when due. Your due date is on the mailing
address label.
1995 Meeting Dates :
• 7:30PM. Room lOlE, Hangar 5
Feb 6, Mar 6, April3, May I, June 5, July 10,
Aug 7, Sept. 11, Oct. 2, Nov. 6, Dec. 4
The Glenn L Martin Aviation Museum's NEWS BREAK Newsletter,
The Glenn L Martin Aviation Museum
P.O. Box 5024
Middle River, Marytand 21220
Address Correction Requested