Historic Photo Shows Wrecked X-15 after 1962 Mud Lake Crash

x 15 crash wreck  Historic Photo Shows Wrecked X-15 after 1962 Mud Lake Crash(Image: NASA, public domain)

On November 9, 1962, during a research flight in the second X-15 airframe, an engine failure forced NASA pilot Jack McKay to make an emergency landing at Mud lake, Nevada. The impact caused the landing gear to collapse, flipping the aircraft onto its back. McKay escaped with his life, but his injuries eventually forced him to retire from NASA.

The X-15 was returned to its manufacturer, North American, and over the next year underwent extensive repairs and a series of modifications. The rocket-powered X-plane was returned to Edwards AFB in February 1964 with an extended fuselage and external fuel tanks.

mud lake nevada  Historic Photo Shows Wrecked X-15 after 1962 Mud Lake Crash(Image: DigitalGlobe via Google Earth)

Renamed the X-15A-2, the aircraft, tail number 56-6671, also received a complete heat-resistant ablative coating. It’s now on permanent display at the Museum of the USAF in Dayton, Ohio. (Check out our brief history of ‘Balls 8’, the B-52 mothership.)

Dramatic Video Shows Stunt Plane Breaking-Up in Mid Air, Pilot Miraculously Survives

stunt plane crash 3  Dramatic Video Shows Stunt Plane Breaking-Up in Mid Air, Pilot Miraculously Survives(All images by Russia Today via YouTube)

Dramatic video footage from Russia Today captured a stunt plane breaking-up in mid air during inverted flight. At 0.12 seconds into the footage the ill-fated aircraft’s port wing is ripped from the fuselage, plunging the it into a spiral dive in full view of horrified spectators at the air show in Argentina, which took place in 2010.

stunt plane crash 41  Dramatic Video Shows Stunt Plane Breaking-Up in Mid Air, Pilot Miraculously Survives

stunt plane crash 5  Dramatic Video Shows Stunt Plane Breaking-Up in Mid Air, Pilot Miraculously Survives

Fortunately, the stunt plane’s recovery chute opens almost immediately, stabilising it as it falls to earth at a rate that allows the pilots to climb from the wreckage relatively unhurt. Suffering only burns to one of his feet, according to the video, the pilot vowed to continue flying. Watch the full video below.

1986 Image Shows Crashed F-4 Phantom at Gulfport, Mississippi

crashed f 4 phantom gulfport  1986 Image Shows Crashed F-4 Phantom at Gulfport, Mississippi(Image: US Air Force, public domain)

This black and white photo shows the aftermath of an incident that took place on March 14, 1986 at Gulfport, Mississippi, in which an F-4 Phantom sustained damage during an emergency landing and ended up in a field not far from the main runway.

The jet, serial number 66-7675, which belonged to the 170th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the Illinois Air National Guard, was returning from a training mission at the time.  The Phantom remained largely intact and, although the crew was forced to eject, nobody was injured during the incident.

Keep reading – dive the submerged F-4 Phantom of Subic Bay and visit the crashed Phantom at the Hanoi Aviation Museum.

Wrecked B-52 Bombers South of Edwards AFB

b 52s edwards  Wrecked B-52 Bombers South of Edwards AFB(Images via Google Earth)

Aircraft enthusiasts who frequent Edwards Air Force Base in California will likely be familiar with a Boeing NB-52B nicknamed Balls 8, either for its history as NASA’s longstanding “mothership” or for its more recent position on display by the airfield’s north gate.  Less well known are two derelict B-52 bombers located south of the dry lake bed – one relatively complete minus its tail fin, the other chopped into several large pieces.

b 52s edwards 21  Wrecked B-52 Bombers South of Edwards AFB(Images: JACoulter, cc-nd-2.0; Google Earth)

The wrecked B-52s are among several retired airframes dotted across the Edwards radar range.  With security so high at the base, it’s surprising that photographers have managed to get close enough to take these photos.  Is the range still active or is it abandoned?

Rare Brewster Corsair F3A-1 the Subject of Restoration Efforts

brewster a3a 1 corsair  Rare Brewster Corsair F3A-1 the Subject of Restoration Efforts(Image: D. Miller, cc-3.0)

Seen here at AirVenture 2005, Corsair Bu. No. 04634 is a rare example of a surviving F3A-1 variant built by Brewster Aeronautical Corporation.  Operating from MCAS Cherry Point in North Carolina, the aircraft’s flying days ended when it crashed into a swamp killing the pilot.  The Brewster-built Corsairs allegedly had a reputation for poor build quality and none reached front line units.  But No. 04634 has become the subject of an ongoing restoration campaign and even boasts its own website.

US Set to Lose Hundreds of Planes in Pentagon Budget Cuts

a 10 amarc  US Set to Lose Hundreds of Planes in Pentagon Budget Cuts(Image: Ed Siasoco, cc-3.0)

The mighty US Air Force is set to lose around 200 aircraft from its 4,000-strong fleet, in the latest round of Obama administration budget cuts. It’s unclear which planes will be axed but they’re likely to be mainly older models (some active jets – although heavily upgraded – have been flying since the 1980s).

amarc  US Set to Lose Hundreds of Planes in Pentagon Budget Cuts(Image: Tom Brandt, cc-sa-3.0)

Meanwhile, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), also known as the most expensive defense programme ever, is still some way from active deployment, and the Air Force’s efforts to replace the B-2 Spirit with a Next Generation Bomber (NGB) remains on the cards.

amarc mothballed aircraft  US Set to Lose Hundreds of Planes in Pentagon Budget Cuts(Images: Alaskan Dude, cc-3.0)

Find out more at Danger Room. Since Wired used an image of a banged-out MiG-21 to illustrate the coming cuts to US military aircraft, we thought we’d leave you with these images of defunct American jets. Last year we reported that the number of aircraft stored at Davis-Monthan AFB, also known as AMARG or the Boneyard, had diminished. Now, it seems, the number is set to once again increase.

Nottinghamshire’s Infamous A1 Lightning Finally Scrapped

lightning xn728  Nottinghamshire’s Infamous A1 Lightning Finally Scrapped(Image: Bob Danylec, cc-sa-2.0)

In what has been hailed by many as the end of an era, a derelict English Electric Lightning fighter that had become a landmark to travellers along the A1 road near Balderton in England has finally been scrapped. One of the last remaining Lightning F.2As, the retired jet left RAF Coningsby in 1983 bound for the former haulage yard that was destined to be its home for the next 28 years.

lightning xn728 1983  Nottinghamshire’s Infamous A1 Lightning Finally Scrapped(Image: David Cowling, cc-sa-2.0)

The retired decoy aircraft, serial number XN728, which served in Germany at the height of the Cold War, was purchased from the British government by A1 Commercial Sales in a bid to attract business to the yard. But it wasn’t long before the site was derelict and a campaign of vandalism and theft ensued, which was to be the story of the Lightning’s existence for almost three decades.

lightning xn728 2000s  Nottinghamshire’s Infamous A1 Lightning Finally Scrapped(Image: John Goldsmith, cc-sa-2.0)

The Balderton yard was occupied and abandoned on multiple occasions over the years, but the Lightning somehow remained on site despite efforts by the local council to have it removed. Numerous efforts were made to save the ailing fighter – some of them reportedly by film companies – but all offers were rejected and enquiries – including one by the author – hit a brick wall.

lightning xn728 graffiti  Nottinghamshire’s Infamous A1 Lightning Finally Scrapped(Image: Andrew Barclay, cc-nc-nd-2.0)

Meanwhile, XN728, which came complete with two engines, was slowly and systematically reduced to a gutted hulk. In addition to vandalism and theft of major components, the wings – which were cut off for transport – had warped, and a metal framework intended to stabilise the aircraft had cut through the ventral tank.

lightning xn728 vandalised  Nottinghamshire’s Infamous A1 Lightning Finally Scrapped(Image: John Goldsmith, cc-sa-2.0)

Rumours that the yard’s latest owner was planning a restoration effort never solidified into fact, and one week ago, on September 9, 2011, the Cold War warrior was torn apart for scrap. Despite it being a day long anticipated, aviation enthusiasts and Lightning fans in particular will scarcely believe that XN728’s days are finally over.

xn728 lightning  Nottinghamshire’s Infamous A1 Lightning Finally Scrapped(Image courtesy of Gary Parsons, Air-Scene UK)

While a good number of English Electric Lightnings have been preserved, XN728 was the only remaining F.2A in England and one of only two in the UK. An image of the jet was used several years ago on a T-shirt range by clothing designer Paul Smith, but the company could not produce any photos of the collection when asked by the author.

Destroyed MiG-25 in Iraqi Aircraft Graveyard

mig 25 destroyed  Destroyed MiG-25 in Iraqi Aircraft Graveyard(Image: David O, cc-3.0)

This ill-fated MiG-25 Foxbat is one of the numerous fighters of the Iraqi Air Force that never even got airborne during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.  Liberally daubed in graffiti  by coalition troops, the forward fuselage of this twin-seat training variant has broken away from the rest of the jet.  It’s unclear whether it was hit by a bomb or was destroyed prior to the invasion.  Another battered addition to the growing aircraft graveyards littering Iraqi airbases, this MiG-25 fared significantly worse than some of its Soviet-built counterparts.

mig 25 destroyed 2  Destroyed MiG-25 in Iraqi Aircraft Graveyard(Image: Bahamut0013, cc-sa-3.0)

Above is another destroyed MiG-25 that doesn’t look beyond restoration (admittedly not to flying condition) compared to one above.  Don’t miss more impressive plane graveyards here.

Images of Kalitta Air Boeing 747 Crash at Brussels, 2008

kalitta air 747 crash  Images of Kalitta Air Boeing 747 Crash at Brussels, 2008(Image: Simon Schoeters, cc-3.0)

Thankfully this Kalitta Air Boeing 747 was a freight aircraft rather than a passenger jet. Four crew members and one passenger were unharmed when the Jumbo Jet overran the runway at Brussels Airport, breaking into two pieces and coming to rest in a field adjacent to a railway line.

kalitta air 747 crash 2  Images of Kalitta Air Boeing 747 Crash at Brussels, 2008(Image: Simon Schoeters, cc-3.0)

The incident, which occured on May 25, 2008, was attributed to a decision by the pilot to reject takeoff 12 knots above V1 – critical engine failure recognition speed – after which the massive jet simply ran out of runway.

kalitta air 747 crash 3  Images of Kalitta Air Boeing 747 Crash at Brussels, 2008(Image: Jelle Vendebeeck, cc-3.0)

The Boeing 747 was enroute to Bahrain International Airport loaded with 76 tons of goods, about half of it diplomatic mail. Thankfully it didn’t end up looking like this “crashed” 747, which we’re happy to say is merely a movie prop from War of the Worlds at Universal Studios.

Crashed US F-4 Phantom at Hanoi People’s Air Force Museum, Vietnam

crashed f 4 phantom hanoi  Crashed US F-4 Phantom at Hanoi People’s Air Force Museum, Vietnam(Image: Monty McMont, reproduced with permission)

The Vietnam War proved to be an effective way of stocking the People’s Air Force Museum in Hanoi with the most advanced American hardware of the day.  This battered F-4 Phantom, shot down on May 14, 1967, is displayed in pride of place atop a pile of smashed jet engines, propellers and  the twisted metal wreckage of other US aircraft.

crashed f 4  Crashed US F-4 Phantom at Hanoi People’s Air Force Museum, Vietnam(Image: Monty McMont, reproduced with permission)

The Phantom – an F-4B model – served with the U.S. Navy before its tenure was ended abruptly via the business end of a Russian-built surface to air missile (SAM).  The mangled jet, build number 153001, retained its overall shape despite extensive damage sustained in the crash, and has become one of the museum’s main attractions.  Check out this other impressive F-4 Phantom wreck submerged in Subic Bay.

crashed f 4 phantom hanoi peoples air force museum  Crashed US F-4 Phantom at Hanoi People’s Air Force Museum, Vietnam(Image: DANYSTYLE, reproduced with permission)