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The Last Flight of the Valkyrie

An interesting article about the XB-70 mach 3 bomber ( More...

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As a USAF historic preservation intern at Edwards AFB in the summer of 1994, I visited the site of the crash of the #2 airplane with two archaeologists to prepare an official California archeological site report. At that time, 28 years after the fact, one could still find small pieces of the aircraft, including steel honeycomb fragments and quarter-size pieces of the aluminum skin with white paint still on them. It was a sobering experience for an aviation enthusiast.
bbabis 6
Thank you. A great read and many links to other interesting articles. I had not previously known of the significant differences in the two prototypes and that better explains the rapid end to the program after the tragic loss of #2.
Mark Ryalls 5
I have been there several times. This is one of the most incredible collections of extremely interesting and important aircraft.
Thanks for this article.
Steve Taylor 4
I have a treasured photo, taken by a dear family member who was a staff photographer at Wright Pat, of the moment that magnificent plane touched down for the last time.

Bill Fratzke 4
I was a young Captain just returned from Vietnam and driving to the Page Manor base housing office at Wright Patt with my family in February 1969 when we first heard and then saw the XB-70 approaching. A thrill to eventually see it in the Air Force Museum and still a thrill to think remember.
sparkie624 7
Thanks for Sharing... Certainly one of my Favorite Times and felt very privileged to stand by her. Much larger in real live than it looks in pictures... The Valkyrie and B52 are the 2 planes that keep me going back to the Dayton Air Museum... A real pleasure!
Donna Yost 3
My father-n-law, now deceased, was a titanium engineer on both the XB-70 and SR-71. The stories he told were amazing. He made snow shovels out of left over titanium. No one in the family will use any other shovel, its just so superior to anything on the market.
Dave Rowley 3
sparkie624 4
That was a Great Video... Anyone who has not gone through the Dayton Air Museum should... The Valkyrie alone is well worth the visit, not to mention everything else that they have!
What a beautiful machine !!
Shawn Jipp 3
I have been to the crash site and saw the memorial placed there. Small pieces of the wreckage could still be found. The XB-70 was my favorite aircraft as a child. The XB-70 was my favorite airplane as a child. What a sad way to end its life.
bentwing60 2
The photo plane was a LearJet 20 series flown by the inimitable Clay Lacy! It also sported GE engines, the CJ610 that in the Milspec. version was an afterburning J85 that powered the F5 and T38 that were part of the show. A photo./presser op. that once again proves 'It's tough to put the toothpaste back in the tube'. Concorde was a pup compared to Valkyrie, though eerily similar in planform and obviously in completely different roles, but it only took one loss to put it to bed as well. Supersonic is still tough, and expensive.
Shaw Gookin 2
I still remember the day that the XB-70 crashed at Edwards AFB. I was classmates with LuAnn Cross, the daughter of the co-pilot who died that day, Carl Cross.

My father was a major at the Rocket Test site at Edwards at that time. During WW2 he had been a cadet pilot at Elon College in North Carolina with Carl Cross. My father washed out of pilot training and became a flight engineer on a C-46 in the CBI theater.

I’ve thought of the Cross family many times since that terrible day in 1966, and send good wishes to LuAnn.
sparkie624 1
Great Story... Thanks for Sharing. Upmost respect for your Father!
Lance Neward 2
There is an interesting, somewhat fun, story about the introduction of the airplane to a group of reporters. They were at the North American Aviation facility in LA, and were brought into a hangar to see a full-size, non-flying prototype, yet to be named "Valkyrie". As they entered the hangar and saw the airplane, it quickly acquired the nickname "The Saviour" due to the exclamation of irreverent surprise from nearly everyone when they first saw it.


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