88804a NORTH AMERICAN AVIATION F-100C SUPER SABRE CRASH @ EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE BOB HOOVER

This silent reel of footage comes from the North American Aviation film library and was used for company film productions in the 1960s. The film begins with footage of aircraft assembly and engineers working in the NAA factory. At :30 a spectacular accident is shown on the runway at Edwards AFB as an F-100 jet fighter flown by Lt. Barty R. Brooks crashes in a fireball. The details of this accident are described below.

At 1:22 what might be the factory at Dallas, Texas is seen. At 1:29 the A-3 Vigilante is shown, probably the prototype aircraft. At 2:11 some of the company’s WWII aircraft are briefly shown including the P-51 Mustang. The T-28 Trojan, a post-WWII trainer is also shown. At 6:35 the Thunderbirds are shown flying the F-100E Super Sabre jet. At 11:15 the Super Sabre F-100 is shown. At 12:00 schlieren effect is demonstrated. At 12:40 low passes are made by an F-100. At 16:14, expert pilot R.A. “Bob” Hoover demonstrates his famous flight routine in his trademark P-51 Mustang.

When a swept wing starts to stall, the outermost portions tend to stall first. Since these portions are behind the center of lift, the overall lift force moves forward, pitching the nose of the aircraft upwards. This leads to a higher angle of attack and causes more of the wing to stall, which exacerbates the problem. The pilot often loses control, with fatal results at low altitude because there was insufficient time for the pilot to regain control or eject before hitting the ground. A large number of aircraft were lost to this phenomenon during landing, which left aircraft tumbling onto the runway, often in flames.

One of the most notorious incidents was the loss of F-100C-20-NA Super Sabre 54-1907 and its pilot during an attempted emergency landing at Edwards AFB, California on January 10, 1956. By chance, this particular incident was recorded in detail on 16 mm film by cameras set up to cover an unrelated test. The pilot fought desperately to regain control due to faulty landing technique, finally rolling and yawing to the right before striking the ground with the fuselage turned approximately 90 degrees to the line of flight. The F-100 was noticeably underpowered for its day and had very pronounced “backside” tendencies if airspeed was allowed to decay too much.

The brand new F-100C was flown by Lt. Barty R. Brooks, a native of Martha, Oklahoma and a Texas A&M graduate, of the 1708th Ferrying Wing, Detachment 12, Kelly AFB, Texas. The aircraft was one of three being delivered from North American’s Palmdale plant to George AFB, California, but the nose gear pivot pin worked loose, allowing the wheel to swivel at random, so he diverted to Edwards, which had a longer runway. On approach, at a high angle of attack, the fighter exceeded its flight envelope, and, too far into stall condition, lost directional control with fatal results.

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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com

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