The Luftwaffe’s Femmes Fatales

Apr 07, 2016 No Comments by

Hitler and his Luftwaffe don’t have the kind of image that would brighten a feminist’s day. Even so, if today’s public is asked to name German test pilots, the only two names likely to be uttered would be Hanna Reitsch and Melitta Schiller/von Stauffenberg. From debugging piloted buzz bombs and making heroic rescue flights to [...]

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The Rearwin Speedster

Apr 06, 2016 No Comments by

While not a top-tier airplane manufacturer, Rearwin Airplanes Inc., founded in 1928 in Kansas City, Kansas, produced a line of rugged high-wing cabin monoplanes that are fondly remembered, culminating with the postwar-era Commonwealth Skyranger 185. One of its least numerous models, however, forever holds a special place in the hearts of modelers and pilots alike: [...]

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The Crisis That Might Have Been

Apr 05, 2016 No Comments by

Put your What-If app to work. Imagine a stealthy cruise missile with an extremely sophisticated, highly adaptable guidance system programmed to strike America’s most valuable naval targets — aircraft carriers. The antiship missile is immune to all deception measures. It’s programmed to ignore chaff and flares as well as navigation and communications jamming.  Being subsonic, [...]

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Grumman Wildcat: Free Online Artwork

Mar 07, 2016 No Comments by

William Wylam was the past master of the detailed three-view drawing. For nearly forty years, he produced amazing pieces of artwork, many of them for Model Airplane News, Flight Journal’s sister publication. Some of them go back to the 1930s. The detail, accuracy, and clarity are awe-inspiring. This time around, we’re posting his drawing of the [...]

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Nocturnal Hunter

Mar 07, 2016 No Comments by

Hunched in the cockpit of an F4U-2 Corsair in the darkest, blackest night he could remember, Second Lieutenant Frank Lang peered at the 6-inch scope in the center of his instrument panel and saw nothing significant to break up the green-yellow line inscribing a circle around the dial.

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The Medal of Honor Mess

Mar 07, 2016 No Comments by

Sorting through Problems with Our Highest Award The military awards and decorations system is broken. The Medal of Honor (MoH) is the prime example because of service agendas, insider influence, and political patronage. But we should remember that MoH recipients do not make the rules, although a few have influenced them. Eddie Rickenbacker lobbied Congress [...]

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Iconic Firepower: Seeing Eye Bombs

Mar 07, 2016 No Comments

In 1908, novelist H. G. Wells wrote The War in the Air, anticipating aerial fleets scourging enemy populations with weapons of undreamt power and accuracy. As an amateur scientist, he probably knew something about cathode-ray tubes, although he probably did not real­ize how they would ultimately influence aerial warfare. A century en route Experiments with [...]

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Butcher Bird

Dec 16, 2015 No Comments

Tale of the FW 190 In August 1941, a new shape appeared over the French coast: a blunt-nosed, elegantly pugnacious profile possessed of startling performance bearing black crosses. It was the product of a two-year program that immediately changed the Channel air war. Britain’s standard Spitfire Mk V could not compete with the Luftwaffe’s new [...]

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