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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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Nocturnal Hunter

Nocturnal Hunter

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.
The Medal of  Honor Mess

The Medal of Honor Mess

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

Iconic Firepower: Seeing Eye Bombs

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 […]
Butcher Bird

Butcher Bird

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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Hells Bells

Hells Bells

Learning the Hard Way Low-altitude combat in the P-40 October 1940: Off I go into the wild blue yonder! I was the oldest of six kids growing up in Tarboro, North Carolina, and enlisted in the Army Air Corps in October 1940. I was assigned to the Third Reconnaissance Squadron in Orlando, Florida, as an aerial […]
The Race for The Secrets

The Race for The Secrets

Disarming and Digesting the Luftwaffe. The gathering of German aviation technology by the United States in the final days of World War II was not a happenstance. As early as October 1944, the AAF created the Air Disarmament Division in England with a two-fold mission: collect examples of German technology, and scrap everything else that […]
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