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October 20, 1956: Toward The Unknown Premiers at Edwards AFB

Sixty years ago today, on October 20, 1956, Toward The Unknown premiered to a gathering at the Edwards AFB Base Theater. This was also opening night for the brand new new theater. William Holden, Virginia Leith, James Garner, LQ Jones and other stars from the movie appeared for the event and party.

The Edwards community is celebrating by showing the movie in the same base theater, some 60 years later.  Check out the Edwards AFB Facebook page for video from the festivities, including a classic car show in the parking lot.

I had the opportunity to do a presentation on TTU in the base theater last month before a special showing. Yep, I wish I was there again!

October 20, 2016

Programming Alert: Toward The Unknown Nov 8

TCM will be showing Toward The Unknown November 8 @ 6 p.m. Eastern. Sure, you’ve probably seen it already, but record it on TCM HD and enjoy the sharpness!

Connie & the General

 

New Site Page: Kincheloe AFB Dedication

Call me weird, but a while back I watched a newsreel from 1959, talking about the dedication of Kincheloe AFB. I’ve been to what is left of Kincheloe AFB (aka Kinross AFB) in Upper Michigan a few times, but could never find the plack and boulder seen in the newsreel. So, when my dad said he was going to visit the base on a road trip, I asked him to see if he could find it. I knew something that size wouldn’t just walk away. Well, thanks to some directions from the Kinross Heritage Park and Military Museum, he found it and snapped some photos. I have added a page to the site with photos and info, also accessible from the home page.

Additional photos from the base can be found on one of my old blog posts.

Real Exciting: X-2

I have no clue what the story is that goes with the cover art (and since I’m female, I may never know since this is “for men,” lol) . Looks like the X-2 is now a fighter interceptor. From April 1957.

Real Exciting Magazine X-2 April 1957

Kincheloe Memorial – Cassopolis, Michigan

I just added a new page to the website for the Iven Kincheloe memorial in Cassopolis, Michigan, including Google Maps info. If you pass through southern lower Michigan, be sure to make a stop!

 

Site Visit – September 27, 2016

Site friends & contributors Tony Accurso and daughter Evelyn sent over the below photos from the X-2 fuselage crash site. They visited on September 27th, leaving new flags and flowers to remember Capt. Apt.

Capt. Apt, X-2 Memorial

Capt. Apt, X-2 Memorial

Capt. Apt, X-2 Memorial

Haystack Butte, the lone mountain in the background. The X-2 nose section came to rest about a mile east of the mountain and four miles beyond the joshua tree in the foreground.

Remembering Capt. Apt

While many of us remember Capt. Mel Apt for his final flight on September 27, 1956, another flight was equally important two years earlier.  Capt. Apt was awarded the Soldier’s Medal for helping save a fellow pilot. The story of flight was told in a 1956 Life Magazine article, available online.

Capt. Mep Apt

Capt. Mel Apt & X-2 Remembered in New Museum Display

On September 17, the Air Force Flight Test Museum at Edwards AFB opened a new display remembering Capt. Mel Apt and the Bell X-2. I had the honor of attending the opening, meeting Lorrie Epling (Capt. Apt’s daughter) as well as attend other X-2 events that day (which I will write more about later!). Aviation artist Mike Machat was also

Interesting fact: The flight suit on display for Capt. Apt was once owned and worn by Pete Everest. His name is on the inside of the flight suit.

Mel Apt Flight Books

Mel Apt Flight Suit

Mel Apt Flight Suit
Air Force Flight Test Museum X-2 Exhibit

machat-x-2-display

Mike Machat talking about Capt. Apt’s final flight and his newest painting, “Perfect Profile,” honoring Apt.

 

Lorrie Epling (center), daughter of test pilot Milburn G. "Mel" Apt, and her family, daughters Rachel (left) and Brisley and husband Michael, pose with museum specialist Tony Moore in front of the newly-unveiled display of Apt and Bell X-2 at the Air Force Flight Test Museum Sept. 16. Apt was a US test pilot, and the first man to attain speeds faster than Mach 3. He was killed in the destruction of the Bell X-2 during the record-setting flight that exceeded Mach 3 on September 27, 1956. Moore designed and constructed the X-2 display. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher Ball)

Lorrie Epling (center), daughter of test pilot Milburn G. “Mel” Apt, and her family, daughters Rachel (left) and Brisley and husband Michael, pose with museum specialist Tony Moore in front of the newly-unveiled display of Apt and Bell X-2 at the Air Force Flight Test Museum Sept. 16. Apt was a US test pilot, and the first man to attain speeds faster than Mach 3. He was killed in the destruction of the Bell X-2 during the record-setting flight that exceeded Mach 3 on September 27, 1956. Moore designed and constructed the X-2 display. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher Ball)

Sixty Years of the Bell X-2

It’s hard to imagine that it was 60 years since the Bell X-2 last flew. In September 1956, the Bell X-2 program flew higher and faster than anyone had ever gone before:

September 7: Capt. Iven Kincheloe rockets to a record altitude of 126,200 feet.

September 27: Capt. Milburn “Mel” Apt flys the perfect profile to reach Mach 3.196, becoming the fastest man alive. Sadly, Captain Apt lost his life in this flight.

On September 17, a small group of X-2 fans got together at Edwards AFB to remember the people and the program. I’ll be posting a number of photos and details from the event to the website over the next few weeks.

Team X-2

Toward The Unknown Playing @ Edwards October 20

If you can get on Edwards for this showing, go! Would love any photos/reports from the fans out there!

October 20, 2016