Do It Now

Mar 24, 2015 No Comments by

Living history has a shelf life, and the expiration date cannot be extended. I’ve been interviewing WW II veterans since the early 1970s when I got serious about writing history, and it’s been a bittersweet experience. Anyone who’s made a career documenting aviation (or anything else) will tell you the same thing: you make older [...]

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Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 – Free Screen Saver

Mar 23, 2015 No Comments by

Our next issue will be a salute to the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, which we think is not universally recognized as one of the more pivotal events in the 20th century. If England had fallen, the remaining Allies would have had no place to base all of the subsequent military actions. In [...]

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The A-10 Warthog vs. Politics: Aviation Insider

Feb 05, 2015 No Comments by

You cannot participate in any tactical aviation forum these days without getting caught in the controversy over the monthly on again-off again retirement and resurrection of the A-10 Warthog. No new arguments are being forwarded on either side. All has been said over and over since the early 1970s, and the fight is not so much in the military arena but rather in the political arena; so what else is new? The two basic arguments seem to be whether the A-10 is the “only” viable close air support platform and whether the USAF really wants to do the CAS mission. I’d like to explore that controversy from the point of view of someone whose 1,800 hours in type qualifies as having “been there.”

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DC-3 Gooney – Memories of First Flight

Jan 20, 2015 No Comments by

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 [...]

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Belgian Rattlesnake – The long-serving Lewis Machine gun

Jan 20, 2015 No Comments by

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.

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P-51 Mustang – An old war horse in its second war, free screen saver

Jan 07, 2015 No Comments by

The Mustang soldiered on longer than any other WWII fighter and we tend to forget its valuable role in Korea. There, most of the airplanes and their pilots were replaying roles they had executed so well only five years earlier in various parts of the globe. In Korea they were very much showing the patina [...]

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Iconic Firepower: The Ever-Present Sidewinder

Dec 31, 2014 No Comments

By Barrett TIllman Kern County, California, 1952: a 1949 Kaiser raced down a desert runway with a streamlined object fitted to a crude bracket on the right side. Lacking a wind tunnel, the passengers — engineers in the front and back seats — took notes on the model’s aerodynamic performance. They were testing the XAAM-N-7, [...]

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The Junior Birdmen of America

Dec 31, 2014 No Comments

A time when aviation was a youth activity By John Lockwood. As airplanes ceased to be novelties and became a major part of American life, the 1930s saw an explosion in the number of aviation clubs across the country. Probably the most successful of all was the Junior Birdmen of America, founded by the newspaper [...]

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