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Meet the F-82—America's Forgotten Long-Range Fighter
The Twin ‘Stangs were a case of something needed to fill a specific need at a specific time. First flying in 1945, the aircraft were soon deemed unneeded after the U.S. P-51s encountered German jet aircraft. Slated to disappear into obscurity, the F-82 was given a second chance in 1947, when a reverse-engineered Boeing B-29 was seen flying with red stars during the Soviet Aviation Day parade.Tasked as an interceptor and long-range bomber escort, the F-82E had a range of over 1,400 miles, making a trip from London to Moscow possible with a 30-minute loiter time to spare. At the time, it was the only American fighter capable of doing so, and as such, was invaluable. One F-82, Betty Jo, made history in 1947 after it flew 5,051 miles from Hawaii to New York without refueling.
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