Heritage, Summer 2003 Page: 35
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Lindbergh stopped here on his cross-country trip in
1927. Two years later, Reg Robbins and co-pilot Jim
Kelly flew for 78 consecutive hours, breaking the
endurance record at that time. During this period,
Meacham Field was a major aviation center for a new
company called American Airlines.
TI-I-. "BOMB-4RPLA-NT" -FND
Fort Worth entered into major aircraft manufacturing
as a result of World War II. When the U.S. government
needed aircraft for the war, Amon Carter was at the forefront
again, lobbying successfully to have Consolidated
Vultee Company build bombers in his town. In 1942,
Consolidated began manufacturing B-24s, one of the
main long-range bombers used during the war. By 1943,
the plant employed more than 30,000 people and produced
more than 3,000 bombers in support of the war
effort. After WWII, employment at the bomber plant
dipped to 7,000, but with the introduction of the B-36
bomber, Fort Worth and the U.S. government became
long-term partners. As a result of the Cold War, the B36
became the mainstay of the American nuclear deterrent
against the threat posed by the Soviet Union. The
B-36 served in the nation's defense until 1959. During
this nuclear war era, the Fort Worth aviation plant also
produced the B-58 Hustler, a delta-winged, four-engine
bomber that could fly at twice the speed of sound. When
the B-58 was retired in 1971, the future of the bomber
plant was in question again.
National defense needs focused interest on a new Fort
Worth-built plane, the F-111, and this plane kept the
aircraft plant open and operating. General Dynamics
took over the bomber plant, which eventually produced
562 of the F-llls. Early technical and cost problems
plagued the airplane, but it proved to be extremely effective
in Vietnam. In contrast to the F-ll1 and the B-58,
the next airplane produced at the bomber plant was a
fighter, the F-16, and was dramatically free of controversy.
Since adoption in 1975, more than 4,000 F-16 aircraft
have been built, making it the mainstay of the United
States and its allies throughout the world. A new era of
fighter construction began in 2001 with the Joint Strike
Fighter contract, which will continue aircraft manufacturing
for the next several decades. The contract for this
new advanced plane is considered the largest single military
aircraft contract ever awarded, and it is anticipated
that 3,000 aircraft worth an estimated $200 billion will
Page 33: Program from the opening of the Dallas/Fort
Worth Airport in 1973; opposite: quintessential Texashorses,
riders, and airplane. Images from Doug Harman.
W' /& 1854 ^[
P iTii DEWBERRY
_I I I PLANTATION
"Where The Old South Ended"
Tours * Weddings * Receptions
Private Parties * Meetings
I Listed On The National Register of Historic Places.
S\ ~For Information, Call (903)825-9000
14007 FM 346 West * Bullard, Texas 75757
NS Q ~ www.dewberryplantation.com
PR E R
I NG THE PAST
j 0 P R est,
1^ OSince 1979 /
cavations at San Felipe Spring,
Val Verde County, 1998
Excavating Confederate Veterans,
Texas State Cemetery, Travis County, 1995
HERITA GE SUMMER 2003
PREWITT AND ASSOCIATES, INC.
Cultural Resources Services
7701 North Lamar, Suite 104
Austin, Texas 78752-1012
Tel: (512)459-3349 Fax: (512)459-3851
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Summer 2003, periodical, Summer 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45377/m1/35/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.