Author Posts

Laser 200: The Monoplane Legacy of Leo Loudenslager

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson You can no more talk about Laser 200ís without mentioning Leo Loudenslager than you can talk about Pitts Specials and not talk about Curtis Pitts. These landmark airplanes are the direct result of the landmark people behind them. Leo is the primary reason for the demise of the Pitts Special as the [...]

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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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Grumman’s Ace Maker: F6F Hellcat

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson Okay, so weíll admit it: just about every successful fighter of WWII was sleeker and sexier than a Hellcat. However, when it comes to fighters, ìbeauty is in the doingî and the Hellcat could do it. In spades! In terms of what it contributed to victory, it was the uncontested King of [...]

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Christen Eagle

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

The Rainbow Bird With the Dacron Plumage by Budd Davisson With fabric feathers and 200 horsepower in its beak, the Eagle II was Californian Frank Christensenís idea of what a two-place, good time flying machine should look and fly like. A slicked-up city cousin of a Pitts Special, the Eagle has its own following that [...]

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The A-10 Warthog Has No Warts

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

The A-10 isnít an airplane. Itís a terrifyingly effective ball peen hammer designed from the onset to do one job and one job only: support the guys on the ground. At the beginning that meant it was to blunt the tank attacks cold war planners knew the Russians would send rolling across Europe in waves. [...]

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Super Stearman: Bulging Biplane Biceps

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson What do you get when you take any airplane and more than double the horsepower? For one thing you get much bigger grins every time you move the throttle forward for takeoff. The 450 Stearman, the so-called ìSuper Stearman,î is a classic case in point. Originally born with a puny 220 hp, [...]

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Fairey Swordfish

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

The Hundred Knot Warrior or Going to war in a Stringbag by Budd Davisson Itís impossible to look at the Fairey Swordfish, affectionately known as the ìStringbag,î and not say, ìYou have to be kidding! This was one of the Royal Navyís most effective weapons of WWII?î A gigantic, bi-winged personification of the word ìanachronistic,î [...]

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Focke-Wulf FW-190D: The Luftwaffe’s Long Nosed “Butcher Bird”

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson When Grumman engineering pilots climbed out of a captured FW-190A in England after their first flight, they were astounded: it made their beloved Hellcat look like a plow horse. It was light, rolled like lightning and climbed like an artillery shell. It represented a whole new world of performance that was only [...]

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