Grumman F-14 Tomcat … sleek … powerful…deadly…and the REAL star of the movie Top Gun. The final prototype of the F-14 took off on May 24th, 1971, with its variable-geometry wings for speed and greater stability. In full forward-sweep position, the wings provided the lift needed for slow-speed flight, especially needed during carrier landings. In swept-back positions, the wings blend into the aircraft, giving the F-14 Tomcat a dart-like silhouette for high-speed, super-sonic flight (using Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-412A Turbofans). By 1972, the first of the F-14 Tomcat’s off the production line were sent to the US Navy.
The museum’s F-16 arrived on June 1, 2012 from Sheppard AFB in Texas where it was used as a training aircraft. The Fighting Falcon was re-assembled by the Air National Guard’s 177th Fighter Wing based in Egg Harbor New Jersey. The aircraft will be painted to match the F-16′s used by the 177th Fighter Wing. This modern fighter, still in use today, is on display inside Hangar #1.
A-4 Skyhawk — Obtained through U.S. Navy surplus, this aircraft was designed by Ed Heinemann in response to the Navy’s requirement for a fast, compact, long-range, lightweight earner jet aircraft capable of delivering a nuclear weapon. The A-4 is nicknamed “Heinemann’s Hot Rod.”
Through our continuing partnership with the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida, Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum received the F-5E Tiger on February 1, 2006. The aircraft safely arrived by flatbed tractor/trailer driven by John Ivan of Gage Transportation. Our dedicated crew of volunteers has started preparing the plane for display.
Initially designed by Northrop as a lightweight supersonic fighter in the early 1960’s, the United States Navy and Marines used the F-5E as an aggressor aircraft to hone the skills of fighter pilots and pilot/radar intercept officer teams. One distinction of the F5E is even though it has an arrestor hook, it is not carrier suitable. The hook would only be used in emergencies at land-based airfields. The single-seat version of the F5E is capable of mach 1.6. There are still some F-5’s serving in front line duty with foreign air forces.
Our F-5E last served with the “Snipers” of VMFT-401, 4th Marine Air Wing (MAW) at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona in an aggressor squadron. The museum now has examples of all three aircraft that were seen in the movie Top Gun. Come see the F-5E Tiger II, A-4 Skyhawk and F-14 Tomcat.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 — Donated by James Beasley, Esq., this type of aircraft was the first fighter of the second generation. MiG-15s were used from late 1948 and were first used in combat in Korea. In November 1950 it demonstrated its superiority over contemporary American fighter aircraft, and the balance of air power shifted in favor of Russian backed North Korea.
Lockheed T-33 “Shooting Star” – The T-33 is the most widely used jet trainer in the world. A two-seat version of the USAF’s first jet fighter, the F-80 Shooting Star, the T-33 continues to serve in various armed forces today.
Lockheed T-33 Thunderbird— Donated by James Beasley, Esq., this T-33 is the two-seat trainer version of the F-80C “Shooting Star” jet fighter manufactured by Lockheed. T-33s are one of the world’s best-known aircraft types, having served in the air forces of over 20 countries for almost 40 years. Many are still in use throughout the world. This model was reported to have served in the Yugoslavian Air Force.
Replica of WWII V2 rocket with control station. The V-2 or Aggregat 4, was the first long range ballistic missile to be actively used in combat. This huge German rocket hurled a one ton warhead 50 miles high and hundreds of miles down range to its target. Wernher von Braun one of the designers, became the father of America’s space program. Wernher Von Braun was one of the world’s first and foremost rocket engineers and a leading authority on space travel. His will to expand man’s knowledge through the exploration of space led to the development of the Explorer satellites, the Jupiter and Jupiter-C rockets, Pershing, the Redstone rocket, Saturn rockets, & Skylab, the world’s first space station. Additionally, his determination to “go where no man has gone before” led to mankind setting foot on the moon.
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