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4950th Test Wing

4950th Test Wing

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The 4950th Test Wing, a wing of the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

, was established in March 1971.

It was created as the flying unit of the Wright Air Development Center, which was created in June 1951. Wright ADC changed to Division status in December 1959 until it was replaced by the Aeronautical Systems Division (ASD) in April 1961. The 4951st, 4952d and 4953d Test Squadrons were activated in July 1975 and based at the West Ramp (a former Strategic Air Command
Strategic Air Command
The Strategic Air Command was both a Major Command of the United States Air Force and a "specified command" of the United States Department of Defense. SAC was the operational establishment in charge of America's land-based strategic bomber aircraft and land-based intercontinental ballistic...

 facility) of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base in Greene and Montgomery counties in the state of Ohio. It includes both Wright and Patterson Fields, which were originally Wilbur Wright Field and Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot. Patterson Field is located approximately...

, Ohio.

ASD is responsible for the design, development and acquisition of aeronautical systems including transports, tankers and utility aircraft, rescue helicopters, long- and short-range air-to-surface missiles, aircraft engines and electronic warfare systems. In addition, the wing supported programs conducted by other AFMC departments. The majority of AFMC's large transport aircraft were assigned to the 4950th Test Wing and were loaned to other agencies as required. The 4950th Test Wing operated a variety of testbed C-135s, many of which have featured major modifications. The wing was consolidated with the AFMC Flight Test Center's 412th Test Wing
412th Test Wing
The 412th Test Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force, assigned to the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California.-Overview:...

 at Edwards AFB, CA and deactivated in 1994.

Major Command (MAJCOM)

  • Air Force Systems Command
    Air Force Systems Command
    Air Force Systems Command is a former United States Air Force command. Its headquarters was located at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland...

     (AFSC) (????-1 June 1991)
  • Air Force Materiel Command
    Air Force Materiel Command
    Air Force Materiel Command is a major command of the United States Air Force. AFMC was created July 1, 1992 through the reorganization of Air Force Logistics Command and Air Force Systems Command....

     (AFMC) (1991-1994) - New MAJCOM created by the consolidation of Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) and Air Force Systems Command (AFSC). Command Headquarters is located in Area "A" of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
    Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
    Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base in Greene and Montgomery counties in the state of Ohio. It includes both Wright and Patterson Fields, which were originally Wilbur Wright Field and Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot. Patterson Field is located approximately...

    .

Subordinate units


  • 4950th Avionics Maintenance Squadron (July 1975 - March 1992): The 4950th Avionics Maintenance Squadron (AMS) was located in Building 4042, of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
    Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
    Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base in Greene and Montgomery counties in the state of Ohio. It includes both Wright and Patterson Fields, which were originally Wilbur Wright Field and Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot. Patterson Field is located approximately...

    . Personnel assigned to the squadron were responsible for the maintenance of the Prime Mission Electronic Equipment (PMEE) systems aboard the U.S. Air Force's fleet of Apollo/Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft. The squadron was part of the 4950th Test Wing, until the Wing moved to Edwards Air Force Base
    Edwards Air Force Base
    Edwards Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located on the border of Kern County, Los Angeles County, and San Bernardino County, California, in the Antelope Valley. It is southwest of the central business district of North Edwards, California and due east of Rosamond.It is named in...

    , in the 1990s.
  • 4950th Field Maintenance Squadron (1975 - 1990): The 4950th Field Maintenance Squadron (FMS) was located in Building 13 of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
    Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
    Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base in Greene and Montgomery counties in the state of Ohio. It includes both Wright and Patterson Fields, which were originally Wilbur Wright Field and Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot. Patterson Field is located approximately...

    . Personnel assigned to the squadron were responsible for the shop and flightline level maintenance of specific aircraft systems. This included Engine Shop, Hydraulic Shop, Electric Shop, Sheet Metal Shop, Machine Shop and APU Shop. Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) and Engine Flightline Dispatch Shop were located on the West Ramp and the Engine Test Cell was located across from Building 13 in Area "C". The 4950th FMS was absorbed into the 4950th Organizational Maintenance Squadron in 1990 when the Wing reorganizated its maintenance units under "Rivet Workforce".
  • The 4950th Organizational Maintenance Squadron was located in building 4022, also known as "Dock 2". Personnel assigned to the squadron were responsible for flight line maintenance including ground handling, refueling/defueling, launch and recovery, on-equipment maintenance, and inspections such as pre/post-flight and thru-flight inspections. The OMS consisted of large aircraft, small-aircraft, inspection, and support branches. OMS owned and operated buildings 4022 (command section, maintenance supervision, inspection branch, TO library, tool crib), 4026 (Aero-Repair hangar), 4024 (wash rack) and 4028 ("Dock 1" and the large aircraft branch).

Section updated by Major Tony Sylvain, Maj, USAF (Ret), 4950th OMS, 11 Jun 84 to 21 Jan 92.
  • 4951st Test Squadron (July 1975-????)
  • 4952d Test Squadron (July 1975-1994)
  • 4953d Test Squadron (July 1975-1994)

Aircraft flown

  • Boeing C-18A (81-0896, 81-0898)
  • Boeing EC-18B/D (81-0891, 81-0892, 81-0893, 81-0894, 81-0895)
  • Boeing NKC-135A (55-3120, 55-3122, 55-3123, 55-3124, 55-3127, 55-3131)
  • Boeing NKC-135E (55-3135)
  • Boeing EC-135E
    Boeing EC-135
    The Boeing EC-135 was a command & control version of the C-135 Stratolifter. Modified for the "Looking Glass" program, during the Cold War EC-135 were airborne 24 hours a day to serve as flying command platforms for the military in the event of nuclear war...

     (60-0372, 60-0374, 60-0375, 61-0326, 61-0328, 61-0329, 61-0330)
  • Lockheed NC-141A 61-2775, 61-2776, 61-2777, 61-2779

Aircraft 61-2775, 776, and 777 were pre-production prototypes. These aircraft had multiple subtle differences evolved during design, most notable was the main crew door, which was hinged on the top and opened outward from the bottom. These aircraft were never fitted with air refueling capability and "stretched" to become "B" models. Aircraft specifics:
  • 61-2775 was the first C-141 to enter service. She was named "First of the Fleet"; now on static display at the Air Mobility Command Museum at Dover AFB, DE.

  • 61-2776 was named the "Desert Rat" by her Crew Chief, TSgt Pat Goss for her participation in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. She was mainly configured for cargo operations such as "ARIA Rescue". She was retired to the bone yard at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ and "guillotined".

  • 61-2777 was named "The Gambler" by her Crew Chief, WG-13 Sam Brasel. She had a large 'tail can or beer can' appendage added to support tests of various tail-warning detector sensor systems, as well as a side-mounted radome 'bubble' for testing side-looking radars. She was also retired to the bone yard at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ and "guillotined".

  • 61-2779 was the second aircraft of the production fleet (61-2778 was first; which was stretched to a "B" model). Named "Against the Wind" by her Crew Chief, WG-13 Paul Laemers (an avid Bob Seger fan from Detroit). 779 was heavily modified to become the Advanced Radar Test Bed (ARTB). Structural modifications included a 'universal nose' which could be interchanged with B-1, F-15, and F-16 nose radomes and radar system housings to support in-flight instrumented radar testing. Racks of interface electronics, computers, data recorders, and operator stations filled the cargo compartment. 61-2779 had the roll up crew entry door that was common to the C-141 fleet. After her retirement, 61-2779 was put on static display at Edwards AFB, CA.
  • Lockheed C-130A (55-0022, 55-0024, 57-0461 & one other)
  • North American/Rockwell/Sabreliner CT-39A (62-4463)
  • North American/Rockwell/Sabreliner NT-39A (59-2870, 59-2873)
  • North American/Rockwell/Sabreliner T-39B (59-2874, 60-3474, 60-3475, 60-3476, 60-3477)
  • Cessna T-37B (60-0141)


Section updated by Sgt Rob Schultz (FMS Engine Shop/4953rd AMU, 1986-1992), 26 Apr 2011

External links