Vigilante Symbolizes Sanford Airport's Heroic Past Photos by Matt de Simone, 2017

THE RA-5C VIGILANTE was once the fastest aircraft to launch from a U.S. aircraft carrier.
The Vigilante could reach to speeds exceeding Mach 2.
The navy restricted the aircraft's speed due to their own regulations. However, pilots and engineers believed the aircraft had the ability to exceed Mach 2.5.
Many naval officers filled the cockpit during the late 1940's through the 1970's.
In 1969, The Vigilante took part in the London/New York Mail Race--an event which celebrated the world's first trans-atlantic crossing.
The Vigilante served the Navy proudly during the Vietnam War.
Unfortunately, the United States Navy lost 23 RA-5Cs during the Vietnam insurgence.
However, the Vigilante will be remembered for its purpose.
Through smoke and fire, pilots of the RA-5C Vigilante gathered photos of the war before and after U.S. military strikes.
Today, an RA-5C Vigilante is on display outside of the Orlando/Sanford International Airport in Sanford, FL.
Each day, the RA-5C Vigilante display continuously welcomes new visitors.


Matt de Simone

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