Author Topic: Crash of The Valkyrie - June 8, 1966  (Read 202 times)

Offline Arlo

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Crash of The Valkyrie - June 8, 1966
« on: June 08, 2020, 05:32:53 PM »


Seconds after this image was taken, the unimaginable occurred...

Perhaps one of the most visually impressive aircraft to ever take to the skies, the North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie was the prototype version of the proposed B-70 nuclear-armed deep-penetration strategic bomber for the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command. Designed by North American Aviation in the late 1950s, the Valkyrie was a large six-engined aircraft able to fly Mach 3+ at an altitude of 70,000 feet

This amazing and unique image taken on 8 June 1966 features XB-70A No. 2 in close formation with four other aircraft (an F-4, F-5, T-38, and F-104) for a photoshoot at the behest of General Electric, manufacturer of the engines of all five aircraft.

Moments after this picture was taken, two aircraft and two crew members were lost in a horrific twist of events in what should have been a nothing more than a short promotional formation flight.



A few short minutes after the completion of the photoshoot, the F-104 flown by Chief NASA test pilot, Joe Walker drifted into contact with the XB-70's right wing, flipped over and rolled inverted over the top of the Valkyrie, striking the vertical stabilizers and left wing of the bomber. The F-104 exploded after destroying the Valkyrie's rudders and damaging its left wing.



As the F-104 fell away engulfed in flames, The tailless XB-70 silently continues on for a few short moments, their crew unaware of the fatal damage their aircraft has just sustained.



With the loss of both rudders and extensive damage to the wings, the Valkyrie slowly entered an uncontrollable spin...



The Valkyrie impacted the desert floor north of Barstow, California. Carl Cross (XB-70 co-pilot) was killed while Al White (XB-70 pilot) ejected, sustaining serious injuries, including one arm crushed by the closing clamshell-like escape capsule moments prior to ejection.



The USAF summary report of the accident investigation stated that, given the position of the F-104 relative to the XB-70, the F-104 pilot would not have been able to see the XB-70's wing, except by uncomfortably looking back over his left shoulder. The report said that Walker, piloting the F-104, likely maintained his position by looking at the fuselage of the XB-70, forward of his position. The F-104 was estimated to be 70 ft (21 m) to the side of, and 10 ft (3 m) below, the fuselage of the XB-70. The report concluded that from that position, without appropriate sight cues, Walker was unable to properly perceive his motion relative to the Valkyrie, leading to his aircraft drifting into contact with the XB-70's wing. The accident investigation also pointed to the wake vortex off the XB-70's right wingtip as the reason for the F-104's sudden roll over and into the bomber.

Via SierraHotel.net

https://sierrahotel.net/blogs/news/crash-of-the-xb-70?fbclid=IwAR3mIit6iwNb6-JYs167Z4Adon226Q-_ZPTyWsCYQrhn0KJw4jBFbaHa1Sg[/size]]https://sierrahotel.net/blogs/news/crash-of-the-xb-70?fbclid=IwAR3mIit6iwNb6-JYs167Z4Adon226Q-_ZPTyWsCYQrhn0KJw4jBFbaHa1Sg


Um, it's Guthree ;)

Offline streakeagle

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Re: Crash of The Valkyrie - June 8, 1966
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2020, 06:06:41 PM »
Beyond the loss of life of some great pilots, the B-70 was AV-2, the 2nd one, which had a lot of improvements. It didn't hardly get to fly before it was lost compared to the first one. The third one would have been even better, but funding was cut and it was scrapped in the middle of being built. I really wish the B-70 had gone into service. I love to visit the surviving AV-1 at the museum in Dayton.
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Offline Arlo

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Re: Crash of The Valkyrie - June 8, 1966
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2020, 06:09:57 PM »
The museum in Dayton is high on my visit list. Working ... errr ... volunteering there would be even better.  :D


Um, it's Guthree ;)

Offline Brooke

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Re: Crash of The Valkyrie - June 8, 1966
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2020, 09:13:22 PM »
The Dayton US AF Museum is *awesome*.

My wife and I visited it on our honeymoon.  :aok

Offline morfiend

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Re: Crash of The Valkyrie - June 8, 1966
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2020, 11:17:40 AM »
I once flew an XB70 around the world,it was just a sim but still..... :devil

  IIRC it was MS's second flight sim and I planned the whole flight which took some wheres around 25 to 30 hours,not counting the few side trips I made while I was being "fueled up". I did silly things like visit stone henge, the coliseum,Niagara falls,etc. I would hop in a helo and fly around on the visits then when fueled up go back to my flight.

  It was a magical time,almost 30 years ago.


    :salute