After seven years of painstaking restoration, the world’s only airworthy EC-121T Warning Star took to the skies, lifting off on a ferry flight from Camarillo Airport northwest of Los Angeles to its new home, the Yanks Air Museum in Chino, east of Los Angeles, for permanent display. Museum officials said the 57-year-old aircraft performed well during the 90-minute flight on Jan. 14. Derived from Lockheed’s Constellation airliner, this EC-121 arrived in August 1955 at McClellan Air Force Base, near Sacramento, where it joined the 552nd Airborne Early Warning Wing, according to the museum. Deployed to Iceland, South Korea, and Taiwan, the aircraft monitored air and missile threats throughout the Cold War under Air Defense Command. It was reassigned to the Air Force Reserve in 1976, before retiring in 1978. The museum acquired it in 2004. (Yanks release)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.