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From the Magazine

Gallery: de Havilland  DH84 Dragon

Gallery: de Havilland DH84 Dragon

The Bi-winged Birth of European Air Travel Words and photos by Geoff Jones Many British and Commonwealth air routes were established by airlines using de Havilland’s 6-passenger seat, twin-engine biplane, the DH84 Dragon. The Dragon’s first flight (November 1932) pre-dated the better-known DH89 Dragon Rapide (or Dominie in military service) by two years, although both […]
Iconic Firepower: Aircrew Sidearms

Iconic Firepower: Aircrew Sidearms

The last ditch defense By Barrett Tillman Murvaux, France, September 29, 1918. The mortally wounded American ace slid from his SPAD and staggered into the tall grass. As German infantry approached he drew his Colt M1911 pistol and prepared to die fighting. The Arizonan fired at least three rounds in the dusk encounter before he […]

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Bad Kitty

Bad Kitty

VF-19 “Satan’s Kittens” Chew Up the Enemy “I had well over 1,000 hours of time in the air before I entered combat. Most of that was as an instrument instructor flying the SNJ. Instrument flying really teaches you the finer points of flying an airplane. It also makes you focus and for some reason I […]
Never Stay Still

Never Stay Still

The Battle of Britain’s Youngest Warrior By Rachel Morris As Hitler’s tanks roll into Poland on September 1, 1939, Europe’s worst fears are confirmed: war becomes inevitable. A thousand miles away, a young man celebrates his first solo flight in a de Havilland Tiger Moth, heading to a quiet English country pub with friends to […]

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Caudron C.460 Ancient Speed Demon Reborn

Caudron C.460 Ancient Speed Demon Reborn

Speed has always been a drug, of sorts. It has captivated mankind for as long as he has stood on two legs and nowhere has the urge to see who is the fastest been stronger than in aviation. And at no time has that competition been more fierce than during the 1930s, the uncontested golden […]
Ace in a Day

Ace in a Day

The kills and claims of the top shooters On the morning of April 7, 1943, American fighter pilots on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands responded to a red alert. More than 100 Japanese aircraft were inbound, sending Wildcats and P-40s scrambling to intercept. In a prolonged combat, the defenders claimed 39 victories and actually got […]

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The Soccer War

The Soccer War

I was seated in first class enjoying a cocktail at 33,000 feet, looking west at the vast Pacific Ocean en route to Guatemala on a Pan Am 707 when a thought passed: “I sure hope this isn’t a one-way trip.” It was the summer of 1969. But while the Vietnam War proceeded, an unlikely feud […]
A Wingspan From Disaster

A Wingspan From Disaster

BY CHARLES O’MAHONY Our Martin B-26 Marauder crew arrived on the island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea to begin our combat tour in July of 1944. We joined the 320th Bomb Group, and we were assigned to one of the four squadrons, the 441st. The Group was operating off Decimomannu airfield, a one-of-a-kind dirt […]

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Unarmed and Unafraid

Unarmed and Unafraid

RA-5 Vigilante: Going to war with a camera The Vigilante was doing 650 knots near the North Vietnamese port of Hon Gai when there was a huge explosion behind the tail from either heavy caliber antiaircraft fire or a SA-2 missile. On fire and with the flight controls failed, the crew, Lt. Cdr. James Bell, […]
Two-Hole Killers

Two-Hole Killers

The Tradition of the Two-Seat Fighter By Barrett Tillman FRANCE, OCTOBER 5, 1914. Sergeant Josef Frantz and mechanic Louis Quenaut were in a Voisin III biplane returning from a bombing mission along the Belgian border. En route home, they engaged a German Aviatik B observation plane over Johchery-sur-Vesle near Reims. The French crew immediately attacked, […]
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