Author Posts

An Icon Aloft

May 07, 2014 No Comments

John Magoffin’s Lockheed Vega By Budd Davisson  Photos by Scotty Germain The year was 1928 and the concept of the airplane was changing radically. While barnstormers still landed rickety surplus biplanes in pastures to hop passengers, those days were waning fast. Utility was driving designs to be faster and sleeker. But, when the Lockheed Vega [...]

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Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & Expo

Apr 11, 2014 No Comments

After a few years of weather challenging even the most ardent pilots, the volunteers and attendees for this year’s Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & Expo in Florida were treated to perfectly sunny skies and reasonable temps. By mid-week it was clear that attendee and airplane numbers were up significantly, and a weekend appearance by [...]

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Iconic Firepower: The 40mm Borfors

Mar 31, 2014 No Comments

By Barrett Tillman How often have we seen the film clips? A U.S. Navy task group steaming beneath the Pacific sun as Japanese aircraft race through a flak-speckled sky intent on immolating themselves against the gray steel vessels. All the while, twin and quad-mount cannon churn out a wall of 40mm shells to deflect or [...]

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Aviation Insider: F-35 Lightning II

Mar 31, 2014 No Comments

Is it striking out? By Robert F. Dorr When the 100th F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter was delivered on December 13, it was a “big deal for the Air Force,” said chief of staff Gen. Mark Welsh. Welsh is the most visible face and the strongest voice supporting the F-35. A respected fighter pilot, [...]

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Classics: The Curtis C-46 Commando

Mar 31, 2014 No Comments

The “Gooney Bird” wasn’t alone By Steve Pace The Classic C-46 Commando was originally marketed by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation as a pressurized 20-passenger “sub-stratosphere transport” for the masses but earned its stripes doing heavy lifting in WW II. Curtiss-Wright Corporation designed and built its proposed CW-20T twin-engine passenger airliner as an advanced higher-flying, larger-capacity alternative [...]

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Pre-war Beauty: Hawker Demon

Mar 05, 2014 No Comments

By Luigino Caliaro The Hawker Demon was a two-seat fighter developed from the highly appreciated Hawker Hart light bomber. The Demon, which first flew in February 1933, was very similar to the Hart externally, but was powered by the supercharged Kestrel IIS V12 (precursor of the mighty Merlin), which gave it better performance at high [...]

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Iconic Firepower: Proximity Fuzes

Mar 04, 2014 No Comments

The Game-changing Genie Was Out of the Bottle By Frederick A. Johnsen Proximity fuzes vexed AAF General Hap Arnold during World War II. The United Sates had them, the Germans were working on them, and the prospects for heavy bomber formations were not good if Germany perfected theirs. Before proximity fuzes, the problem facing antiaircraft [...]

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Aviation Insider: Warbirds: Do They Have a Future?

Mar 04, 2014 No Comments

Ed Maloney on Warbird Collecting By Thomas McKelvey Cleaver With the prices of restorable warbirds escalating out of sight and new restorations taking to the air almost daily, we often lose sight of the fact that at one time, most of those airplanes were cast off as junk. There were few museums and almost no [...]

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