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Life Among the Nukes

Life Among the Nukes

By sheer coincidence, I am, at 86, one of relatively few ex-SAC members who can recall both how it was in the Strategic Air Command before General Curtis LeMay’s influence, and afterwards. It was a unique time in my life. In those days, the Strategic Air Command was a cocked fist carrying a knockout blow. […]
Escape From Agana Harbor

Escape From Agana Harbor

On June 6, 1944, while the Allies landed at Normandy, the greatest American combat fleet yet seen in the Pacific sailed from Majuro anchorage. Its goal was the Mariana Islands, 1,800 miles to the north-northwest. Seven heavy fleet carriers and eight light carriers of Task Force 58 under Admiral Marc Mitscher would support 535 ships […]

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Iconic Firepower: SAM SA-2:  The Aviator’s  Real Enemy

Iconic Firepower: SAM SA-2: The Aviator’s Real Enemy

U-2 reconnaissance aircraft was destroyed in flight over central Russia. From more than 60,000 feet, Francis Gary Powers parachuted into captivity for two years, giving Moscow a huge propaganda victory over President Dwight Eisenhower, who pledged to stop all overflights. The surface to air missile had arrived: the NATO alliance called it the SA-2 Guideline. […]
Twenty Years of Flight Journal

Twenty Years of Flight Journal

Publisher Louis DeFrancesco sat across the table from my wife, Marlene, and me on the second floor of an Italian restaurant in the Biltmore section of Phoenix and said, “We want to start a new magazine—only rather than being a hobby magazine, like our Model Airplane News, we want it to be on full-scale aircraft. […]

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Travel Air A-6000A: Back from  the Aerial Dead

Travel Air A-6000A: Back from the Aerial Dead

Looking back at the Travel Air Manufacturing Company of the late 1920s from this end of history’s telescope, it looks like an aviation dream team. Of course, at the time, there was no way to know that each of the company’s founders, Walter Beech, Clyde Cessna and Lloyd Stearman would go on to become aviation […]
Bomber Crew: A Day in Their Lives

Bomber Crew: A Day in Their Lives

B-17 crewmen remember the German missions Aboard each of the thousands of B-17 Flying Fortresses that left the soil of England bound for targets in Europe were 10 young men. Outwardly, they were no different from any late-teen or early-twenties boy you’d meet anywhere in America. Same faces, same names, same youthful vigor and sense […]

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The Luftwaffe’s Femmes Fatales

The Luftwaffe’s Femmes Fatales

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 […]
The Rearwin Speedster

The Rearwin Speedster

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

The Crisis That Might Have Been

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, […]
Grumman Wildcat: Free Online Artwork

Grumman Wildcat: Free Online Artwork

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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