Discover Exhibits & Projects
1975 F14-A Tomcat
Manufactured by Grumman
The Tomcat is a "variable geometry" aircraft in that the wings can be extended at right angles to the fuselage for takeoff and landing and can be swept back for cruise. The ship can move through the sound barrier and achieve a speed of Mach Two — or roughly 1,400 miles per hour. It can operate up to 500 miles from its carrier base.
The key to the success of the F-14 lies in its Hughes radar. This instrumentation can paint six enemy aircraft at a range of roughly 85 miles even though the craft are flying at different altitudes, different speeds and in different directions. The F-14 can then launch six Phoenix missiles at the six targets. Each Phoenix missile has onboard radar and can calculate its own intercept. Thus, the F-14 launches the ordinance, turns and goes home.
The F-14 can also carry multiple Sparrow air to air missiles which are guided by either radar or infrared sensing along with four sidewinder air to air missiles and both "smart" and "dumb" bombs.
The F-14 entered the Navy inventory in 1972.
The Tomcat performs many tasks but its principal job is to protect the carrier battle group. Flying with a second Tomcat and the E-2 Hawkeye with long range radar, the three ships constitute a combat air patrol which is in the air twenty four hours a day. The carrier battle group can consist of ten warships costing the taxpayers 15 billion dollars and manned with a crew of 10,000 sailors. This battle group can muster more firepower than the entire armed forces of England. Hence, extensive protection is required.
1943 UC-45 Expeditor
Manufactured by Beech
Beech Aircraft Co. sold its first Model 18, or Twin Beech, in June of 1937. The US Army Air Corps first became interested in 1939 after foreign orders were placed for pilot training and light bomber versions. The first US Army orders were placed with Beech in 1940, for a light transport aircraft to be known as the C-45. Even before the US entry into WWII, the design was recognized as extremely versatile and orders for training models increased dramatically.
During the war years, over 5,400 aircraft were delivered to the US Army and Navy. These included the AT-11 bombardier/gunner trainer, the AT-7 navigator trainer, the F-2 photo-recon aircraft, and the C-45.
Starting in 1949, almost half of the military versions were re-manufactured by Beech, with the last C-45s serving until 1964. After a 32 year production run, the last Twin Beech was delivered in November of 1969.
Our UC-45 Expeditor
AT-11 42-37496 was delivered to the Army Air Forces in September 1943. Like many trainer versions, it was rebuilt after the war to standard Twin Beech configuration. For this reason, the aircraft is displayed as a C-45.
- Role/Category: Transport
- Wingspan: 47 feet, 8 inches
- Length: Fuselage - 34 feet, 3 inches
- Height: 9 feet, 4 inches
- Weight: 5,870 lbs. empty, 8,800 lbs. maximum
- Powerplant: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-3 9-cylinder Wasp Jr. radial engines, 450 hp each
- Speed: maximum: 260 mph, normal cruise: 170 mph
- Ceiling: 20,000 feet
- Crew: pilot or pilot and co-pilot, 3-6 passengers
- Armament: None
- Payload: 3,000 lbs