Edwards Air Force Base
In the early ‘30s, Hap Arnold chose a dry lake bed just north of Lancaster as the ideal spot to put planes through their paces. With the onset of World War II and the dawning of the jet age, the importance of Muroc Field grew. Jets were soon streaking across the clear blue skies leaving their contrails behind. But it was October 14, 1947, that etched the Antelope Valley into history books. On that date, Col. Chuck Yeager first traveled faster than 700 mph to break the sound barrier.
Throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s, experimental aircraft continued to break records and set the bar higher and higher. In the ‘70s remarkable engineering made stealth technology possible. At 10:20 am on April 14, 1981, the Space Shuttle Columbia set down at Edwards Air Force Base to usher in an era of reusable spacecraft. Breakthroughs in science and technology continue today at both Edwards AFB and USAF Plant 42. A new generation of unmanned drones and stealthy aircraft are reportedly being produced and tested here to serve our nation for many decades ahead.