Author Posts

Iconic Firepower: Bomber Turret Developments

Oct 24, 2013 No Comments

By Frederick A. Johnsen Once airplanes became viable weapons, they became tempting targets. Bombers, often single-engine biplanes with an observation capability during World War I, were targeted, prompting defensive armament intended purely for destroying attacking aircraft. The Scarff ring, a Royal Flying Corps contribution to bomber longevity during the Great War, was a mechanical mount [...]

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Aviation Insider: Technology vs. Basic Flying Skill

Oct 24, 2013 4 Comments

By Anonymous Is automation killing people? That’s the question that keeps on giving. But what’s the answer? As with everything else, there are plenty of opinions. For the sake of clarity, let’s group them into three categories. The first opinion, typically held by older, more experienced, aviation types is the belief that today’s aviation is [...]

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Rare Bird: Pitcairn Autogiro

Sep 09, 2013 1 Comment

By Gilles Auliard “This is a real prehistoric monster in flight. Once the helicopter was built, these autogiros became dinosaurs,” stated the late Jack Tiffany of Spring Valley, Ohio, at the time, co-owner (with Jim Hammond of Yellow Springs, Ohio) of the Pitcairn PA-18 N1267B (c/n G-65), the only example of the type flying in [...]

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Fixin’ the Boat: Of Splinters and Tail Hooks

Sep 09, 2013 2 Comments

By Warren Thompson The reason why the earlier U.S. aircraft carriers had flight decks covered with wood as opposed to steel has been a mystery to many. Most will tell you that all of the decks were with teakwood. This may have been the preferred material, but beginning in 1941, most of the world’s teakwood [...]

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T-Tailed Tri-Jet: The Martin XB-51

Jul 29, 2013 4 Comments

By Steve Pace The XB-51 was a one-of-a-kind movie star that starred in the 1956 movie entitled Toward the Unknown as the Gilbert XF-120, which would have made it the world’s biggest fighter! What began life as a four-engine turbopropjet (two) and turbojet (two)-powered attack aircraft designated XA-45, evolved into a three-engine, turbojet-powered, medium-class bombardment [...]

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The Game Changers: Little Boy & Fat Man

Jul 29, 2013 3 Comments

By Barrett Tillman Adhering to our October 2013 issue’s (on sale July 30) B-29 emphasis, it’s fitting to devote the Firepower segment to the atomic bombs that Superfortresses dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Development of nuclear weapons began in early 1943, following years of scientific and engineering research. The Manhattan Project managers identified two methods [...]

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Hansa Jet Displayed in Istanbul’s Koc Museum

Jul 19, 2013 No Comments

By Bruno Cianci The Rahmi M. Koç Müzesi, an open-to-the-public, but private museum of Turkey, is fully devoted to transports, industry and scientific instruments. Located in Istanbul, it is situated next to the waters of the Golden Horn, and has recently added a HFB-320 Hansa Jet manufactured in Germany (#1043) to its collection. Donated by [...]

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Shackleton to Fly?

Jul 19, 2013 No Comments

By Geoff Jones Last operational with the RAF in 1991 and South African Air Force in 1984, and with a design lineage dating back to the Avro Lancaster bomber, the UK-based Shackleton Preservation Trust (SPT) have agreed to work on a program that could see the Shackleton MR.2 WR963 fly again. Avro’s maritime reconnaissance and [...]

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