Mini Pilot Reports

Walt Boyne speaks from experience about flying

May 27, 2008 No Comments by

My first assignment out of flying school was to Castle Air Force Base, with the 330th Bomb Squadron of the 93rd Bomb Group. There in January, 1953 I was introduced to the Boeing B-50D Superfortress.    The introduction was a little rough, for the day I arrived, a B-50D from  another squadron had gone in, [...]

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F8 Wings Folded

Feb 02, 2007 1 Comment by

On January 22, 1968, I was a young LTJG at Miramar, attached to Navy Fighter Squadron VF-53 preparing for a deployment to Vietnam aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard. As a final part of the pre-deployment regimen, all pilots were briefed to fly [ FMLP ] Field Mirror Landing Practice about 2100 that night. This was our last chance [...]

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Christen Eagle

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments by

The Rainbow Bird With the Dacron Plumage by Budd Davisson With fabric feathers and 200 horsepower in its beak, the Eagle II was Californian Frank Christensenís idea of what a two-place, good time flying machine should look and fly like. A slicked-up city cousin of a Pitts Special, the Eagle has its own following that [...]

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Grumman’s Ace Maker: F6F Hellcat

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments by

by Budd Davisson Okay, so weíll admit it: just about every successful fighter of WWII was sleeker and sexier than a Hellcat. However, when it comes to fighters, ìbeauty is in the doingî and the Hellcat could do it. In spades! In terms of what it contributed to victory, it was the uncontested King of [...]

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Stearman PT-17/N2S: The Biplane With So Many Lives

Jan 30, 2007 1 Comment by

by Budd Davisson The PT-17 Stearman is literally the airplane that has always seemed to just be ìthere.î Although, it is most often thought of as the school marm that taught a generation of airmen the skills necessary to win a war, she has actually lived three distinct lives and is entering a forthófrom military [...]

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Laser 200: The Monoplane Legacy of Leo Loudenslager

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments by

by Budd Davisson You can no more talk about Laser 200ís without mentioning Leo Loudenslager than you can talk about Pitts Specials and not talk about Curtis Pitts. These landmark airplanes are the direct result of the landmark people behind them. Leo is the primary reason for the demise of the Pitts Special as the [...]

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The MiG-15: Crude but Wildly Effective

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson The Yalu river runs wide and dark across the huge peninsula that is Korea. On either side, the topography is the same and at 40,000 feet, the hard blue sky doesnít change color just because the politics below are different. One morning in 1950, however, when American and ROK (Republic of Korea) [...]

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Magnificent Pain: The Art of the Sukhoi 31

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson The world of serious, unlimited aerobatics, as seen from the inside is primarily one of grunts and groans and the never ending search for better and better machines capable of illiciting said grunts and groans. Standing at the head of the search for aerobatic excellence is the Sukhoi design bureau in Moscow. [...]

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