This Day in Aviation History
November 7th 1948
A Republic XF-12 Rainbow crashes while returning to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

On 7 November 1948, prototype number two, 44-91003, crashed at 13:00 while returning to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The number 2 (port inner) engine exploded as the aircraft was returning from a photographic suitability test flight. The pilot was unable to maintain control due to violent buffeting, and he ordered the crew to bail out. Five of the seven crew escaped safely, including pilot Lynn Hendrix, rescued by Eglin crash boats and helicopters. The airframe impacted two miles south of the base in the Choctawhatchee Bay. Sgt. Vernon B. Palmer and M/Sgt. Victor C. Riberdy were killed. The first prototype, which returned to service in 1948, continued the flight testing and development phase. After the U.S. Air Force declined to order any additional aircraft, and with the loss of the second prototype, the flight testing period wound down. In June 1952, the first prototype, 44-91002, was retired (having flown just 117 additional hours from 1949-1952), was stricken from the U.S. Air Force inventory and ended up as a target on the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland…..

Wikipedia, Republic XF-12 Rainbow:

YouTube, Republic XF-12 Rainbow & Douglas C-74 Globemaster – 1946:

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