2 September 1977

The first 10 female officers to graduate from the Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training Program, Class 77-08, with a Northrop T-38A-50-NO Talon, 63-8111, 2 September 1977. (U.S. Air Force)

2 September 1978: The ten women in this photograph, members of Pilot Undergradute Training Class 77-08 at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, along with their 36 male classmates, received their Silver Wings on 2 September 1977. They are Captains Connie Engel, Kathy La Sauce, Mary Donahue, Susan Rogers and Christine Schott; First Lieutenants Sandra Scott and Victoria Crawford; Second Lieutenants Mary Livingston, Carol Scherer and Kathleen Rambo.

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 17.59.55© 2014, Bryan R. Swopes

2 September 1953

Colonel J. Stanley Holtoner with his FAI record-setting F-86D Sabre, 51-6168. (FAI)

2 September 1953: Colonel J. Stanley Holtoner, U.S. Air Force, flew a production North American Aviation F-86D-35-NA Sabre, serial number 51-6168, to a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Speed Record over a 100 kilometer course at Vandalia, Ohio, averaging 1,110.75 kilometers per hour (690.188 miles per hour). Colonel Holtoner was the commanding officer of the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California. He was awarded the Thompson Trophy.

FAI Record File Num #10428 [Direct Link]
Status: ratified – retired by changes of the sporting code
Region: World
Class: C (Powered Aeroplanes)
Sub-Class: C-1 (Landplanes)
Category: Not applicable
Group: 3 : turbo-jet
Type of record: Speed over a closed circuit of 100 km without payload
Performance: 1 110.75 km/h
Date: 1953-09-02
Course/Location: Vandalia, OH (USA)
Claimant J. STANLEY Holtoner (USA)
Aeroplane: North American F-86 D
Engine: 1 G E J47

On the previous day, Captain Harold E. Collins flew another F-86D Sabre, 51-6145, setting an FAI World Speed Record over a 15 kilometer straight course of 1,139.219 kilometers per hour (707.878 miles per hour). (FAI Record File Number 8868)

The F-86D was an all-weather interceptor developed from North American Aviation F-86 Sabre day fighter. It was the first single-seat interceptor, and it used a very sophisticated—for its time—electronic fire control system. It was equipped with radar and armed with twenty-four unguided 2.75-inch (70 millimeter) Mk 4 Folding-Fin Aerial Rockets (FFAR) rockets carried in a retractable tray in its belly.

The F-86D was larger than the F-86A, E and F fighters, with a wider fuselage. Its length was increased to 40 feet, 3 inches (12.27 meters) with a wingspan of 37 feet, 1.5 inches (11.32 meters). The day fighter’s sliding canopy was replaced with a hinged “clamshell” canopy. The F-86D was equipped with a more powerful General Electric J47-GE-17 afterburning turbojet engine, producing 5,425 pounds of thrust, or 7,500 pounds with afterburner. The F-86D had a range of 330 miles (531 kilometers) and a service ceiling of 49,750 feet (15,164 meters). Its rate of climb was 12,150 feet per minute (61.7 meters per second).

Between December 1949 and September 1954, 2,505 F-86D Sabres (sometimes called the “Sabre Dog”) were built by North American Aviation. There were many variants (“block numbers”) and by 1955, almost all the D-models had been returned to maintenance depots or the manufacturer for standardization. 981 of these aircraft were modified to a new F-86L standard. The last F-86D was removed from U.S. Air Force service in 1961.

After its service with the United States Air Force, F-86D 51-6168 was transferred to the Greek Air Force. In 2009, it was photographed, stripped and sitting on its belly, at Agrinion Airport (AGQ), Greece.

North American Aviation F-86D-35-NA Sabre 51-6168, FAI World Speed Record holder. (FAI)
North American Aviation F-86D-35-NA Sabre 51-6168, FAI World Speed Record holder. (FAI)

© 2014, Bryan R. Swopes

2 September 1953

Captain Russell M. Dobyns, United States Air Force, with his YH-21 Workhorse. (FAI)
Captain Russell M. Dobyns, United States Air Force, with his YH-21 Workhorse. (FAI)

2 September 1953: At the Dayton Air Show, Captain Russell M. Dobyns, U.S. Air Force, flew a Piasecki YH-21-PH Workhorse tandem rotor helicopter to an altitude of 6,739 meters (22,110 feet), setting an Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Record for Altitude Without Payload for reciprocating-engine helicopters. This record still stands.

FAI Record File Num #2185 [Direct Link]
Status: ratified – current record
Region: World
Class: E (Rotorcraft)
Sub-Class: E-1 (Helicopters)
Category: General
Group: 1 : piston engine
Type of record: Altitude without payload
Performance: 6 739 m
Date: 1953-09-02
Course/Location: Dayton, OH (USA)
Claimant Russel M. Dobyns (USA)
Rotorcraft: Piasecki YH-21

Two days later, Captain Dobyns flew his H-21 over a 3-kilometer course. Making four passes, two in each direction, he averaged 236.19 kilometers per hour (146.76 miles per hour).

FAI Record File Num #13102 [Direct Link]
Status: ratified – superseded since approved
Region: World
Class: E (Rotorcraft)
Sub-Class: E-1 (Helicopters)
Category: General
Group: 1 : piston engine
Type of record: Speed over a 3 km course
Performance: 236.19 km/h
Date: 1953-09-04
Course/Location: Vandalia, OH (USA)
Claimant Russel M. Dobyns (USA)
Rotorcraft: Piasecki YH-21

Piasecki Aircraft Company built 18 pre-production YH-21-PH helicopters. A  1,823-cubic-inch-displacement (29.88 liter) air-cooled, supercharged, Wright Aeronautical Corporation R-1820-103 Cyclone 9-cylinder radial engine producing 1,150 horsepower drove the rotors. The angle in the fuselage was intended to provide adequate vertical clearance between the intermeshing fore and aft rotor assemblies. (Later tandem rotor helicopters use raised pylons.)

The U.S. Air Force immediately ordered 32 H-21A helicopters for Search and Rescue operations. The Workhorse was well suited to cold weather operations and it was widely used in Alaska, Canada, and the Antarctic. Another 163 H-21B models were ordered as a troop transport. The U.S. Army ordered a similar H-21C variant.

In 1955, Piasecki became Vertol and eventually Boeing Vertol. The company would continue to produce tandem rotor helicopters such as the H-46 Sea Knight and the CH-47 Chinook, which is still in production.

Russell Dobyns retired from the Air Force in 1964 with the rank of Major.

Piasecki YH-21-PH Workhorse, 50-1235, FAI World Altitude Record holder. (FAI)

© 2014, Bryan R. Swopes

2 September 1945

V-J Day: With the signing of the Instruments of Surrender, World War II comes to an end after 6 years, 2 days of total war. At least 78,000,000 people lost their lives.

In this photograph, American warplanes fly over USS Missouri (BB-63), the ship aboard which the documents were signed by the Japanese delegation and Allied military leaders, anchored in Tokyo Bay, 2 September 1945.

Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemtsu and General Yoshijimo Umezu, accompanied by their staff, present themselves to the Allied Forces for the surrender of the Empire of Japan, at Turret II, USS Missouri, 2 September 1945. (U.S. Army Signal Corps)

© 2014, Bryan R. Swopes

2 September 1910

America’s first woman airplane pilot, Blanche Stuart Scott. (George Grantham Bain Collection, Library of Congress)

2 September 1910: After receiving flight instruction from Glenn Curtiss, Blanche Stuart Scott (1885–1970) became the first woman in the United States to fly an airplane when she made a solo flight in her biplane at Lake Keuka Field, Hammondsport, New York. She became a professional pilot and was a test pilot for Curtiss. She was the first woman to fly in a jet aircraft when she accompanied Chuck Yeager aboard a Lockheed TF-80C (redesignated T-33A), 6 September 1948.

© 2014, Bryan R. Swopes