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On This Day in Aviation History

Nov 19, 2014 No Comments

1882 – Birth of Aurel Vlaicu, Romanian engineer, inventor, airplane constructor and early pilot. 1922 – Death of George Edgar Bruce Lawson, South African World War I flying ace; he is killed in a crash while flying as a passenger aboard an Airco DH.9. 1937 – First flight of the Savoia-Marchetti S.83, an Italian three-engine [...]

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Nigeria May Be First Scorpion Customer

Nov 19, 2014 No Comments

Nigeria is considering acquiring the Textron AirLand Scorpion light strike and surveillance jet as it looks to combat Islamist militants operating within its borders, a senior air force official disclosed on Tuesday. Speaking under the Chatham House Rule at the IQPC Fighter Conference in London, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) officer said that the Scorpion [...]

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In Theater: What They Wore

Nov 19, 2014 No Comments

By Robert F. Dorr and Charles E. DiSipio The P-47 Thunderbolt pilot of 1945 wore and carried lots of stuff, and little of it gave meaning to the military term “uniform.” At Metz, France, in January 1945, the group and squadron commanders of the “Hell Hawks” 365th Fighter Group, posed in their gear in front [...]

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In Theater: In Support of D-Day

Nov 19, 2014 No Comments

By Stan Piet P-47D UN-V, named “Pat,” from the famed 56th FG, 63rd FS, prepares for another fighter sweep in support of the invasion.  The second mount of Capt. Gordon S. Stevens, it survived until early September, being lost with Capt. Roy Fling at the controls. Stevens himself was lost in a “Pat” replacement on [...]

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Aviation Insider: A Tale of the Times

Nov 19, 2014 No Comments

We’ll lose the XC-99 and it won’t be alone   By Robert F. Dorr Big, historic airplanes could be the aeronautical definition of “conundrum” for museum people. No one wants to see a truly historic airplane, such as the XC-99 disintegrate into powdery oxide while in outside storage. However, the realities of space and financing determine [...]

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Classics: The Beerfire

Nov 19, 2014 No Comments

Keeping the cold beer flowing By Budd Davisson Does this picture really need explanation? It’s unknown whether the Axis routinely ferried beer to the front lines in drop tanks, but, reportedly, most of the Allied powers did. What’s more, it wasn’t unusual to top off a Mustang’s or Thunderbolt’s drops with beer, then have the [...]

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On This Day in Aviation History

Nov 18, 2014 No Comments

1913 – Lincoln Beachey performs the first loop in the U.S. over North Island near San Diego, Calif. 1920 – Birth of Alfred William “Bill” Bedford, British World War II fighter pilot, instructor and Hawker Siddeley test pilot; he later pioneers the development of V/STOL aircraft. 1944 – Death of Roger Amedee Del’Haye, Canadian World [...]

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Chinese Fighter Disappoints in First Display

Nov 17, 2014 No Comments

The big curiosity at this year’s Airshow China was the prototype Shenyang FC-31 fighter that was making its first public appearance. Previously billed as the J-31, the stealthy-looking aircraft first flew two years ago. It is a smaller complement to the Chengdu J-20, which was the first of the PRC’s new stealth aircraft. Although the aircraft has a configuration [...]

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