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<<  Saturday, February 18, 2012    >>        Submit Event    Special Events Events   
Saturday, February 18, 2012 | 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM   
Western Museum of Flight, 3315 Airport Dr., Torrance
Just three years after World War II, Convair (Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation) of San Diego, California, gave birth to the Sea Dart, a water-based supersonic interceptor aircraft. The Sea Dart was a midnight blue, delta-wing, twin-engine, supersonic jet with retractable skis for landing gear. The engine intakes sat high to avoid sea spray, giving the craft the appearance of a bodybuilder with rippling shoulder muscles. It was to be armed with four 20 mm (.79 in) cannons and a battery of folding-fin unguided rockets It was pure James Bond: A supersonic fighter that took off from and landed on water. Convair pilot Billy Jack (B.J.) Long was one of the original four Sea Dart test pilots, riding that supersonic jet ski for a 187 (of 300 total Sea Dart) test flights ending January 16, 1956. The Sea Dart test program began in December 1952 and ended in late 1957 with the three test aircraft performing. Five Sea Dart aircraft were built. Only three were flown, with four aircraft still in existence today. The second aircraft had a fatal crash on 4 November 1954, and the last two aircraft were completed as airframes only, without the engines ever being installed. Now 55 years after the last test flight, retired commander B. J. Long, the Sea Dart’s lone survivor, will give you the insight to the Sea Dart and being one of our country’s first jet test pilots. As always, WMOF Members are free; non-members are $5, which also includes access to WMOF museum exhibits. Free parking. BTW, a WMoF membership (www.wmof.com/newmem.htm) can be yours for as little as $50 annually giving you one-year unlimited FREE admission to the WMoF museum, all the Celebrity Series Lectures, Quarterly Newsletters, access to the research library and access to Special Events. Coming up … March 17th: Lt. Gen. Brian Arnold of USAF Space Command and April 21st: G. Pat Macha, the Vultee Legacy and BT-13 Reunion.
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