The blackhawk, the iconic American jet fighter, has a long and storied history.
Built during World War II, it’s a symbol of the United States’ dominance in the skies.
It was the first jet fighter to fly across the Atlantic, the first to carry a nuclear bomb, and the first aircraft to fly in space.
It also made history by being the first American aircraft to land on the moon.
In 1947, the plane was named after the black American civil rights leader Malcolm X. And in 1966, the black Hawk went into hibernation when a faulty engine caused the plane to crash.
In 1972, it was retired.
Its legacy has not been forgotten, however.
On the eve of its 50th anniversary in 2017, CBC News revisits the plane’s legacy, exploring the plane and its impact on the world.
The black Hawk is a symbol The black Hawks first jet took off on December 6, 1942.
Its pilot, a black US Air Force pilot named Charles M. McHenry, was flying the F-4 Phantom jet, which would go on to become the world’s most successful fighter jet.
McNeil flew over the Pacific, over North Africa, over the Atlantic and over the Middle East, making it the first and only jet to do so.
He landed the plane safely at Los Angeles Municipal Airport.
The next day, he took off to begin a series of missions in the Pacific.
The plane’s first flight, in 1942, was a routine training mission.
It took McHenry two days to reach Japan.
In 1945, it took him over North Korea, then over the Soviet Union, then across Central Europe.
The flight was part of an unprecedented series of “test flights,” which allowed the jet to demonstrate its combat capabilities.
The jet was named for the Black Hawk, a United States Army helicopter that was part-owned by Lockheed.
The aircraft had a wing span of 890 feet and a takeoff weight of 3,500 pounds.
“It was the most powerful aircraft ever made,” said retired Major General Michael W. Ruppelt, who commanded the US Army Air Forces during World Wars II.
“I think it was the best plane ever built.”
The plane, named after McHenry’s black civil rights hero, Malcolm X, also made its first operational flight in 1955.
The US Air Forces called the black hawk the “black eagle” and said it represented the “American spirit.”
A black hawk is the first fighter jet to fly over the ocean In the 1940s, the United Kingdom bought a pair of Black Hawks from the US for use in its Royal Air Force, but the planes never made it to the ground.
The planes were used to train pilots and perform surveillance missions in Europe and Asia.
The Royal Air Forces scrapped the planes in the 1960s.
In 1964, a British company called Blackhawk Aviation purchased the planes from Lockheed Martin.
The company was founded by the late Edward B. Black and John W. Davis, who were both former Lockheed employees.
Lockheed later bought Blackhawk in 1998 for $7.8 million.
The Lockheed Martin company later sold the Black Hawks to Boeing in 2001 for $21.7 million.
Today, the planes are flown by Boeing’s 737 MAX, which has a wing Span of 830 feet and is a twin-engine aircraft.
It is also a stealth jet.
The Boeing 737 MAX is the most expensive commercial jet in the world, costing more than $1.4 billion to build.
The Black Hawks were a symbol that said, “This is what we’re all about” According to Boeing, the Blackhawks’ legacy continues to influence the way we fly today.
“When we built the aircraft in the 1940’s, the legacy of the Blackhawk remains today.
That legacy remains in every plane we fly,” Boeing said in a statement.
“The Black Hawks are a symbol for the U.S. Air Force and our allies around the world today.
They continue to be our backbone for conducting missions over the world and are our mainstay in the global supply chain.”
The Black Hawk’s legacy continues today Black Hawk Aviation, a private company based in Detroit, Michigan, has owned and operated the aircraft since the 1960’s.
“Black Hawk is the symbol of a military family,” Boeing’s Doug Ollivier said in his statement.
It’s important to note that Lockheed Martin is not owned by Boeing, but Boeing is.
“We have an agreement with Blackhawk to develop the aircraft as a partner in the next generation of commercial jet operations,” Lockheed’s Dennis M. M. Rummel said in the statement.
The airline says Black Hawk aviation has received more than 3.5 billion flight hours, with more than 6.4 million hours logged since the aircraft’s retirement.
The jets were used in the US military and in NATO missions in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan, Iraq, Italy, and Spain.
The pilots and the planes have been