Aviation History Month is the perfect time to take a fun look back at historic NNSA moments in flight – enjoy these classic “Throwback Thursday” photos from our laboratories and sites.
1957: A prototype US Navy blimp readies for flight at the Nevada Test Site.
1942: Bad weather forced six P-38 fighters and two B-17 bombers to crash land in Greenland. While the crews were saved, the planes were left behind in the arctic ice cap. Shown here is Glacier Girl, one of the P-38s, which was recovered with Y-12 precision manufacturing technology and restored in 2002.
1965: Lady Yucca, a heavily-damaged B-17, was restored at the Nevada Test Site and taken out of retirement to fight forest fires across the country for another 20 years. Today, Lady Yucca is one of the few airworthy B-17’s in the world and regularly stuns airshow spectators as the historic Nine-0-Nine.
1994: Sandia researchers Dennis Roach and Ken Harman examine the inside of a Boeing 707 for long-term structural fatigue at Sandia’s Aging Aircraft Nondestructive Inspection (NDI) Validation Center, operated for the Federal Aviation Administration. NDI techniques allow inspectors to assess the integrity of aircraft structures without requiring disassembly.
1954: Around 30 million pine seedlings are planted at Savannah River Plant. A plane dusted the fields in attempts to stop grub worms from destroying their roots.
1979: Pollutant sampling and analysis is conducted with the help of specialized equipment aboard a Pacific Northwest National Laboratory DC-3 aircraft, shown here on the right. The effort was part of a two-year atmospheric study used to develop regional air pollution models and determine environmental impacts of burning fossil fuels.