Author Posts

The Definition of “Bitchin’” Model 12 Pitts Special

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson Whatís better than a biplane? Thatís obvious: a biplane with a round motor. And whatís better than a biplane with a round motor? A round-motored biplane thatís designed by Curtis Pitts! When youíre saddling up the Model 12, it feels like a much bigger than a normal two-place Pitts, when in reality [...]

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The Marvelous Gooney Bird: Douglas DC-3/C-47

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson It could be argued that modern air transportation began in 1931with the tragic death of Knute Rockne, the much-loved Notre Dame football coach. A national figure of legendary status, his death in a Fokker Tri-motor airliner touched off a national furor to upgrade airline transportation. The airlines responded immediately with frantic demands [...]

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Sukhoi Su-27: Is the Flanker the World’s Best?

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson The question on the table is: ìIs the Su-27 the best fighter in the world?î Starting a conversation by saying any airplane is the best at anything is right up there with politics, religion and blondes vs redheads vs brunettes for sparking spirited debate. Still, if you read the popular press, the [...]

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F4U Corsair: The Gullwing Legend

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson A peanut. Thatís what you feel like after youíve scaled the side of a Corsair and into the cockpit. You are so small and inconsequential compared to the airplane that you feel like a peanut. This thing is BIG! And intimidating! If looks could kill, you wouldnít even have to fire it [...]

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SE-5a: A Fokker’s Worse Nightmare

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson When World War One broke out in 1914, the airplane was barely eleven years old and was nothing more than a plodding, noisy kite barely more dangerous than an observation balloon. As a weapon, it was difficult to take seriously. Four short years later it had been transformed into a multi-dimensional weapon [...]

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Fokker Dr.1 Triplane: Flying The Red Baron’s Beast

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson When youíre strapping into a Fokker Triplane the difference between it and most other airplanes is palpable. The instrument panel doesnít exist and the few rudimentary gauges are snuggled between the butts of two dummy Spandaus that seem to be almost in your face. When you look outside, that middle wing sits [...]

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Stearman PT-17/N2S: The Biplane With So Many Lives

Jan 30, 2007 1 Comment

by Budd Davisson The PT-17 Stearman is literally the airplane that has always seemed to just be ìthere.î Although, it is most often thought of as the school marm that taught a generation of airmen the skills necessary to win a war, she has actually lived three distinct lives and is entering a forthófrom military [...]

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Travelair Mystery Ship: Model “R” for Racing

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

Dawn of a New Era by Budd Davisson It was September 2nd, 1929 and before the day was over, the world of military airplanes had been changed forever. As Doug Davis roared across the finish line and took the checkered flag at Cleveland that afternoon, he had done more than win a race. He and [...]

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