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431st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron - Convair F-102A-50-CO Delta Dagger 55-3431

431st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron - Convair F-102A-50-CO Delta Dagger 55-3431. First F-102 delivered to squadron at Zaragoza AB in 1960.

DataEdit

Zaragoza Air Base\Zaragoza Airport.
Category. Statistic.
Location. Spain.
Opened in. At lest by the 1954 when the American expatiation took place.
Closed in. Still open, but as a Spanish air base, glider club and civil airport in 1994.
Operated by. The Spanish National Institute of Aeronautics (?) (?-1954), USAF (1954-1994), Spanish military zone= Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire) and Spanish civil zone= Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (Aena) (?).
Owned by. The Spanish National Institute of Aeronautics (?) (?-1954) and Spanish MoD (1954 to date).
Outside link. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaragoza_Airport, http://www.jetcost.co.uk/spain/flight-zaragoza.htm%20Destination, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zaragoza-Air-Base/133216896717662, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaragoza_Air_Base, https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_Zaragoza airbase cnewtab and http://military.wikia.com/wiki/Zaragoza_Air_Base.

HistoryEdit

The airport was also used by NASA as a contingency landing site for the Space Shuttle in the case of a Trans-oceanic Abort Landing (TAL). Zaragoza was chosen as a NASA Space Shuttle TAL site due to its long runway, which needs be longer than 7,500 feet, and its pleasant weather. The base also has a military-grade navigation system called a TACAN—"Tactical Air Navigation"—that can adapt to the special guidance devices NASA used with its shuttles.

AirbaseEdit

The construction work on Zaragoza Airport began in September 1954 with the enlargement and improvement of the existing Spanish Air Force Base located there. United States Navy engineers upgraded the facility for temporary or intermediate use as a war standby base. The first U.S. construction project included strengthening the existing 3,024 m (9,921 ft) runway and adding 304 m (1,000 ft) overruns at each end. Work on a new concrete runway, 61 by 3,718 metres (200 ft × 12,200 ft), with 61 m (200 ft) overruns at each end, began in 1956 and was completed in 1958.

Zaragoza Air Base was a NASA Alternate Space Shuttle Landing Site. Typically this would be used as a Trans-atlantic Abort Landing (TAL) site, although fortunately this was never needed during the Shuttle program. To be chosen as a TAL site, an air base has to meet a number of requirements. For starters, its runway needs to be a minimum of 7,500 feet long.

In 1958, the 431st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron moved from Wheelus Air Base, Libya, arriving at Zaragoza in September with North American F-86D Sabre and an Air Defense mission.

In 1958, the 431st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (431st FIS) moved from Wheelus Air Base, Libya, arriving at Zaragoza in September with North American F-86D Sabre and an Air Defense mission.

On 28 September 1960 the 431st transitioned to the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger and was transferred to the USAFE 86th Air Division(Defense) at Ramstein Air Base, West Germany on 1 July 1960. This transfer was made in order that all USAF fighter assets in Europe could be concentrated in one command. The 431st FIS operated the F-102s until 23 April 1965 when it transferred to the 8th Fighter Wing (8th TFW) at George Air Force Base, California, transitioned to the F-4C and was reflagged as the 431st Tactical Fighter Squadron.

August 1990 ushered in a period of intense activity, as the 406th and Zaragoza provided major air and ground support for Operation Desert Shield, conducted in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Thousands of military personnel and tons of equipment passed through Zaragoza en route to the crisis in the Middle East. The base and the wing continued to act as a major aerial port providing support during and after Operation Desert Storm.

Subject to the same provisions requiring the removal of other units from Spain, the 406th began efforts to end its operations and return Zaragoza to the Spanish government in 1992. The use of the training range ended in December 1991, followed by the turnover of base operations to Spain in April 1992.

The 406th Tactical Fighter Training Wing was inactivated on 1 April 1994 when the U.S. Air Force ended its presence and returned control to the Spanish government.

Zaragoza was one of 3 major USAF Cold War airbases in Spain, the others being Torrejón Air Base near Madrid and Morón Air Base near Seville.

Civil airportEdit

Zaragoza airport

Zaragoza airport, Spain. In the distance is the Real Aero Club de Zaragoza. Author: currybet.

Zaragoza Airport (IATA: ZAZ, ICAO: LEZG) is a commercial airport near Zaragoza, Spain. It is located 16 km (9.9 miles) west of Zaragoza, 270 km (170 miles) west of Barcelona, and 262 km (163 miles) northeast of Madrid. In addition to serving as a commercial airport, Zaragoza is the home of the Spanish Air Force 15th Group.

During the Cold War, the United States Air Force used the facility as Zaragoza Air Base.

The construction work on Zaragoza Airport began in September 1954 with the enlargement and improvement of the existing Spanish Air Force Base located there. United States Navy engineers upgraded the facility for temporary or intermediate use as a war standby base. The first U.S. construction project included strengthening the existing 3,024 m (9,921 ft) runway and adding 304 m (1,000 ft) overruns at each end. Work on a new concrete runway, 61 by 3,718 metres (200 ft × 12,200 ft), with 61 m (200 ft) overruns at each end, began in 1956 and was completed in 1958.

Space travelEdit

The weather around the base should typically be good landing conditions for the shuttle (clear, low wind speeds, etc.). The base also must have a military-grade Tactical Air Navigation (TACAN) system, and be adaptable to special guidance devices NASA uses with the shuttles.

The airport was also used by NASA as a contingency landing site for the Space Shuttle in the case of a Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL). Zaragoza was chosen as a NASA Space Shuttle TAL site due to its long runway, which needs be longer than 7,500 feet, and its pleasant weather. The base also has a military-grade navigation system called a TACAN—"Tactical Air Navigation"—that can adapt to the special guidance devices NASA used with its shuttles.

See alsoEdit

  1. Noteworthy Air bases
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