Ordnance Philosophies Differed By Barrett Tillman How do you kill an airplane? Essentially there are only three methods: Destroy the airframe, such as severing a wing spar. Destroy the powerplant or systems, rendering the aircraft unable to maneuver or maintain altitude. Kill or incapacitate the crew. The aircraft weapons of the Battle of Britain were […]
Each time we produce an issue of Flight Journal, we go through literally hundreds and hundreds of photos, but only about one out of 20 ends up gracing one of the pages. The net result is that we have an awful lot of photos that didn’t quite fit the layout, but they are great […]
The Little Known Warrior The Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon was probably one of the least known bombers of the Second World War, but it is certainly not the least important. In fact, its work as a reconnaissance and patrol aircraft conducted principally in the Pacific Theatre and the difficult sector of the Aleutian Islands, was vital […]
The first effective drone. Gerhard Fieseler remains one of the most unappreciated airmen of the 20th century. At age 22, Fieseler came to prominence as Germany’s leading World War I ace on the Eastern Front, scoring 19 victories. A world-class aerobatic pilot, by 1930 he earned enough to buy out a sailplane company that became […]
Somewhere there is probably a list of the world’s most beautiful airplanes but the process of selecting those airplanes has undoubtedly prompted numerous fistfights. However, when it came to putting the Spitfire on, or at the top, of the list, it’s doubtful anyone anywhere disagreed. Reginald Mitchell created a piece of art as much as […]
Living history has a shelf life, and the expiration date cannot be extended. I’ve been interviewing WW II veterans since the early 1970s when I got serious about writing history, and it’s been a bittersweet experience. Anyone who’s made a career documenting aviation (or anything else) will tell you the same thing: you make older […]
Our next issue will be a salute to the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, which we think is not universally recognized as one of the more pivotal events in the 20th century. If England had fallen, the remaining Allies would have had no place to base all of the subsequent military actions. In […]
You cannot participate in any tactical aviation forum these days without getting caught in the controversy over the monthly on again-off again retirement and resurrection of the A-10 Warthog. No new arguments are being forwarded on either side. All has been said over and over since the early 1970s, and the fight is not so much in the military arena but rather in the political arena; so what else is new? The two basic arguments seem to be whether the A-10 is the “only” viable close air support platform and whether the USAF really wants to do the CAS mission. I’d like to explore that controversy from the point of view of someone whose 1,800 hours in type qualifies as having “been there.”
Everyone has a first flight: Mine was in a Gooney Life is a million episodes stitched together to form a ragged continuum. However, regardless of how many episodes are involved, there is always the first one. This is especially true of those of us who have lived a sizeable portion of our lives in the […]
Today the name of Isaac Newton Lewis is little known outside of firearms circles, but he exerted a major influence on aerial combat.
In 1911, Colonel Lewis, a U.S. Army ordnance officer, adapted a machine gun design patented by inventor Samuel McLean. With a soldier’s eye toward utility, Lewis worked with the Automatic Arms Co. in New York to simplify the original design as a workable weapon. Light and potent, it was a revolutionary design.