Aviation Heritage Park invites the public to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, Saturday, July 20, 2019, by visiting the NASA T-38 Talon, tail #901, on display at the park. The NASA T-38 #901 has been flown by every Apollo 11 astronaut- twice! Yes, that is Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins training in the AHP T-38.
The T-38 is on public display in only 12 locations across the country, with AHP being the newest. It was inducted to AHP in honor of Russellville, KY native, Astronaut Terry Wilcutt. This beautiful aircraft is the world’s first supersonic trainer (maximum speed 1.3 Mach and a service ceiling of 50,000 feet), manufactured by Northrop. Described as a nimble aircraft, it has tandem seating for two and is used by astronauts for necessary travel and as chase planes.
The history of this aircraft is the history of the American manned space flight program. In April of 1959, NASA announced the selection of seven men to compose the first class of American Astronauts. Our first astronauts were Navy Lieutenant M. Scott Carpenter, Air Force Captains L. Gordon Cooper, Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom and Donald K. “Deke” Slayton, Marine Lieutenant Colonel John H. Glenn, Jr., and Lieutenant Commanders Walter M. Schirra, Jr. and Alan B. Shepard, Jr. Every one of these men flew #901.
The Apollo Program involved 9 lunar orbiting and landing missions and 6 of those missions resulted in a landing on the moon. The Prime Crew members on each of the 9 missions were a Commander, a Command Module Pilot and a Lunar Module Pilot. There were 24 different astronauts composing the Prime Crews for the 9 missions and all of them flew #901. There were 12 persons who walked on the moon during the 6 lunar landings and all of them flew #901.
To help celebrate aviation and earn a special merit badge, Scouts BSA, AHP, and the Bowling Green Warren County Regional Airport have planned for a special Aviation Day also taking place Saturday, July 20th. Registered scouts from Logan to Adair counties will tour AHP, learn about the science of flight and aviation careers before heading to BWG Airport. At the airport they will learn about flight map reading, instrumentation panels, how to perform a pre-flight check out, and airport operations. The day will conclude with a visit to AHP’s next aircraft to be displayed at the park, an SH-3 Sea King helicopter honoring Bowling Green native, Mac Reynolds.
AHP is open 7 days a week from dawn until dusk. Admission is free, donations are greatly appreciated. For more information about AHP, please visit aviationheritagepark.com.