At Edwards Air Force Base California, we filmed the first ever launching of a supersonic fighter to get into the air without a runway.
1 & 2.
F.100 coming out.
SV. Attaching booster.
SV. Pilot BLACKBURN climbing aboard.
CU. Putting his helmet on.
SV. Plane being fitted.
LV. Take - off.
Back V. Seen from the Booster.
GV. Booster being kicked off.
Air-to-Air F.100 m flight.
Initials AW MR/VCW
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Background: At Edwards Air Force Base California, we filmed the first ever launching of a supersonic fighter to get into the air without a runway.
This first successful Zero length launch ever made by a Century Series Jet was accomplished with the aid of a 130,000 pound thrust Astrodyne rocket attached under the aft fuselage of the plane.
The plane was piloted on this historic flight by North American Aviation's test pilot Al Blackburn. The plane was tilted once Al Blackburn had adjusted himself into the cockpit, and then, wham, the booster 'fires' the jet plane into the air.
General B.P. Weyland, Tactical Air Commander, says the ZEL system - as this revolutionary device is called, decreases the vulnerability of combat forces to attack from sneak enemy aircraft or missile attack. It adds, he says, to the quick reaction time and flexibility of this versatile fighter.
Once the rocket fuel is expanded the booster drops off and the F.100 is ready to fly its normal mission.
Zero launch will enable fighter to disperse close to the front lines in the event of war, without the need for conventional air fields.