Author Posts

The MiG-15: Crude but Wildly Effective

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson The Yalu river runs wide and dark across the huge peninsula that is Korea. On either side, the topography is the same and at 40,000 feet, the hard blue sky doesnít change color just because the politics below are different. One morning in 1950, however, when American and ROK (Republic of Korea) [...]

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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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P-51 Mustang: John Landers and “Big Beautiful Doll”

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson One thing we often forget is that war is always fought by kids and, in the case of WWII aviators, that meant they were also extremely inexperienced. When I flew my first fighter, which happened to be the Mustang, I was 29 years old and had nearly 2,500 hours of flight time [...]

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Martin B-26 Maurauder

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

The Widow Maker Made Good by Budd Davisson Letís say itís 1943. Youíre twenty years old and you are sitting at the end of the runway with your hand wrapped around two throttles that control four-thousand horsepower. You know that fighters like the new P-51 Mustang carry 35 pounds for each square foot of wing [...]

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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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