by Capt. Tony Wickman
U.S. Air Forces in Europe Public Affairs
6/1/2010 – PARIS (AFNS) — U.S. and French civilian and military leaders paid their respects to America’s first combat pilots during ceremony at a memorial outside of Paris, May 27.
Gen. Roger Brady, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, U.S. Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin, French Lt. Gen. Paul Fouilland, the Strategic Air Forces commander, several local elected officials and nearly 200 guests gathered at the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial’s central Arc de Triomphe to pay tribute to the 68 American pilots who died in service to the Allies during World War I.
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“The X-51 launched at about 10 a.m. from here, carried under the left wing of an Air Force Flight Test Center B-52 Stratofortress. Then, flying at 50,000 feet over the Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center Sea Range, it was released. Four seconds later an Army Tactical Missile solid rocket booster accelerated the X-51 to about Mach 4.8 mach before it and a connecting interstage were jettisoned. The launch and separation were normal”, Mr. Brink said. (www.af.mil courtesy)