The USS Enterprise's Last Tour
After 51 years of service, the historic aircraft carrier is about to be decommissioned.
- By Rebecca Maksel
- Air & Space magazine, November 2012
U.S. Navy/Lt. Cmdr. Josh Hammond
The Red Rippers, commissioned in 1927, are the U.S. Navy's oldest continuously active fighter squadron. The squadron first flew the Curtiss F6C-3 Hawk, which had a maximum speed of 155 mph. In 2005, the Rippers transitioned to the F/A-18F Super Hornet (shown here over the Arabian Sea in September 2012), which can travel at a blistering Mach 1.8+, or 1,190 mph. Read about the squadron's 80 years of continuous service flying 26 different aircraft aboard 25 different aircraft carriers here.