23 October 2006

Forty-Six Years Ago -- A New Age Took Wing...

The W2F-1 Hawkeye (later re-designated YE-2) first took flight on 21 October 1960.

We've come a long way to this (E-2C Hawkeye 2000)

And the future looks bright:

Northrop Grumman has completed assembly of the first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning and battle management test aircraft fuselage. System components are now being added into the fuselage structure. This first of two E-2D test aircraft will fly next year. E-2D's will be a key node in the U.S. Navy's operational architecture for the future: Sea Power 21. (Photo Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Of course as we get deeper into the History of AEW series, more will be said of the Hawkeye -- suffice for now to recognize a most significant milestone. How many military aircraft, much less carrier-based, can say they have both been flying in this basic design for 40+ years AND still be in production? -SJS