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Rare Bird: Pitcairn Autogiro

Rare Bird: Pitcairn Autogiro

By Gilles Auliard “This is a real prehistoric monster in flight. Once the helicopter was built, these autogiros became dinosaurs,” stated the late Jack Tiffany of Spring Valley, Ohio, at the time, co-owner (with Jim Hammond of Yellow Springs, Ohio) of the Pitcairn PA-18 N1267B (c/n G-65), the only example of the type flying in […]
Fixin’ the Boat: Of Splinters and Tail Hooks

Fixin’ the Boat: Of Splinters and Tail Hooks

By Warren Thompson The reason why the earlier U.S. aircraft carriers had flight decks covered with wood as opposed to steel has been a mystery to many. Most will tell you that all of the decks were with teakwood. This may have been the preferred material, but beginning in 1941, most of the world’s teakwood […]

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T-Tailed Tri-Jet: The Martin XB-51

T-Tailed Tri-Jet: The Martin XB-51

By Steve Pace The XB-51 was a one-of-a-kind movie star that starred in the 1956 movie entitled Toward the Unknown as the Gilbert XF-120, which would have made it the world’s biggest fighter! What began life as a four-engine turbopropjet (two) and turbojet (two)-powered attack aircraft designated XA-45, evolved into a three-engine, turbojet-powered, medium-class bombardment […]
The Game Changers: Little Boy & Fat Man

The Game Changers: Little Boy & Fat Man

By Barrett Tillman Adhering to our October 2013 issue’s (on sale July 30) B-29 emphasis, it’s fitting to devote the Firepower segment to the atomic bombs that Superfortresses dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Development of nuclear weapons began in early 1943, following years of scientific and engineering research. The Manhattan Project managers identified two methods […]

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Free: Original Drawing of Sikorsky “Le Grand”

Free: Original Drawing of Sikorsky “Le Grand”

When 23 year-old Igor Sikorsky proposed building the world’s biggest airplane and the first four-engine airplane, he was laughed at. However, in 1913, he proved his detractors all wrong, and had taken his first step toward becoming an aviation icon. The drawing we are offering is directly from the Sikorsky Archives and was initialed by […]

From the Same Zero?

Mr. Pilkington’s letter in the June issue reminded me that a souvenir I have may be from that same Zero (“Classics,” February 2013). My brother, Lt. (jg.) John R. Shinneman of VF-10 made a courier flight to Aslito Field on 26 June 44 from Enterprise (CV-6) and brought back a Zero throttle handle (shown below […]

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Getting a Name Correct

Another fantastic issue, congrats to you and the staff! Found the following to bring to your attention, the photo caption on page 49 is incorrect in that the man on the left is David Hanson, Collections Manager, USS Midway Museum here in San Diego. By now you must have more than a few comments on […]

More Good Torpedo Info

Thank you for your column on the embarrassing failure that was the U.S. Naval Aviation Torpedo, Mark 13, in the early part of WW II. My father, Chief Ordinance Man Ralph S. Morris, was able to begin the process of improving it, through a bit of good fortune that is a story in itself. The […]

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Not Enough Gunners

The April 2013 Flight Journal, pages 58 & 59, states that 10 .50 caliber Brownings were standard on B-17Gs.This is incorrect. The B-17BGs standard armament was 13 .50 caliber Browings. Mr. Tillman failed to include the two that were mounted on the sides of the nose cone and the single .50 operated by the radio […]

The Age of Aces

The Army Air Corps was concerned about older pilots flying military aircraft back in 1939 and even came out with a directive forbidding pilots over 47 to fly solo. By the way, I’m still flyin’ my own plane at 83 and belong to the UFO (United Flying Octogenarians). Our membership includes active pilots in their […]
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