Remarks: The C-119J on display was specially modified for the mid-air retrieval of space capsules re-entering the atmosphere from orbit. On August 19, 1960, this aircraft made the world's first mid-air recovery of a capsule returning from space when it "sangged" the parachute lowering the Discoverer XIV satellite at 8000 feet altitude, 360 miles southwest of Hawaii. The aircraft was delivered to the Museum in November 1963.
Remarks: The NKC-135A on display is one of 14 KC-135As permanently converted for special testing. It was extensively modified by the Air Force Weapons Laboratery at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, and used in a 11-year experiment to prove a high-energy laser could be operated in an aircraft and employed against airborne targets. During the experiment, the Airborne Laser Lab destroyed five AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and a Navy BQM-34A target drone. The aircraft was flown to the museum in May 1988.