Everyone has a first flight: Mine was in a Gooney Life is a million episodes stitched together to form a ragged continuum. However, regardless of how many episodes are involved, there is always the first one. This is especially true of those of us who have lived a sizeable portion of our lives in the [...]
A U.S. Army trainer plane from World War II, close to going airborne for the first time in 70 years, will make that “maiden voyage” from California’s Modesto Airport. The Vultee BT-13 Valiant was in pieces, spread between three hangars at the airport, when Jason Reid purchased it from the Commemorative Air Force there. When he’s [...]
Today the name of Isaac Newton Lewis is little known outside of firearms circles, but he exerted a major influence on aerial combat.
In 1911, Colonel Lewis, a U.S. Army ordnance officer, adapted a machine gun design patented by inventor Samuel McLean. With a soldier’s eye toward utility, Lewis worked with the Automatic Arms Co. in New York to simplify the original design as a workable weapon. Light and potent, it was a revolutionary design.
1910 – Birth of David McCampbell, American World War II fighter pilot and the U.S. Navy’s all-time leading ace. 1933 – Jean Mermoz and crew make a non-stop flight from Senegal to Argentina, across South Atlantic, in 17 hours, 27 min. 1962 – First flight of the Fuji KM-2 (shown), Japanese propeller-driven light aircraft; it is a license-built version of Beechcraft’s T-34 Mentor [...]
Thirty-two years after the project was sanctioned, the first of the indigenously-built Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is finally expected to be handed over to the Indian Air Force tomorrow. This will be the start of a process of induction of the fighters being built at home under a project which has already estimated to [...]
1898 – Birth of George Donald Tod, American World War I flying ace. 1915 – The first aircraft to be launched from a submarine (U-12) is a Friedrichshafen FF.29, a German two-seat floatplane. 1931 – Italian Gen. Italo Balbo leads the first formation flight across the South Atlantic; 12 Savoia-Marchetti S.55s land in Rio de [...]
The Pentagon is, once again, reversing its own position on which platform to use for its high-altitude reconnaissance mission – the venerable Lockheed Martin U-2 or Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned aircraft. The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has directed the U.S. Air Force to restart modest funding not only for operations of the high-flying U-2, but [...]
1899 – Birth of Harold John “Jackie” Walkerdine, British World War I flying ace and World War II pilot. 1919 – Death of Hans Christian Friedrich Donhauser, German World War I flying ace and smallest aviator in the German air force, in a crash near Coblenz, Germany. 1936 – Howard Hughes begins a record-breaking sprint across the U.S. [...]