June 25, 1951: Air Force Flight Test Center Activates At Edwards

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  • Air Force Flight Test Center

The Air Force Flight Test Center activated at Edwards Air Force Base. The 2759th Experimental Wing and its two Experimental Groups (the 3076th and the 3077th) inactivated.  Besides simply conducting flight tests of aircraft, power plants and other components, the new Center held the responsibility for conducting the necessary research and development testing,  and provided test facilities for other government agencies and for civilian aviation contractors. The reorganization effectively separated the command of the base from its chief function and allowed the commander to concentrate on his primary duties.  In turn, the 6510th Air Base Wing activated in order to supervise the “housekeeping” functions of the base and provide a suitable working environment for the test organization. 

The current Air Force Test Center emblem utilizes that of its predecessor.  The elements represent the following:  Ultramarine blue and Air Force yellow are the Air Force colors. Blue alludes to the sky, the primary theater of Air Force operations. Yellow refers to the sun and the excellence required of Air Force personnel. The locations of the developmental test enterprise stretching across the continental United States are represented by the white color of the Valparaiso coastline and the Tularosa Basin’s sands and the cacti of the Western Test Ranges. The bend nebulé represents cloud layers between the ground and the black of outer space and signifies the integrated spectrum of Test Center capability via modeling and simulation, wind tunnel research, propulsion system development, and flight vehicle testing through all flight regimes from sea level to reentry from orbit. The aerodynamic shape with shock waves is symbolic of the research and developmental test activity under one enterprise which is the mission of the unit. The Latin motto “Ad Explorata” means “Toward the Unexplored.”

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