Mini Pilot Reports

Focke-Wulf FW-190D: The Luftwaffe’s Long Nosed “Butcher Bird”

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson When Grumman engineering pilots climbed out of a captured FW-190A in England after their first flight, they were astounded: it made their beloved Hellcat look like a plow horse. It was light, rolled like lightning and climbed like an artillery shell. It represented a whole new world of performance that was only [...]

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Fairey Swordfish

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

The Hundred Knot Warrior or Going to war in a Stringbag by Budd Davisson Itís impossible to look at the Fairey Swordfish, affectionately known as the ìStringbag,î and not say, ìYou have to be kidding! This was one of the Royal Navyís most effective weapons of WWII?î A gigantic, bi-winged personification of the word ìanachronistic,î [...]

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P-51 Mustang: John Landers and “Big Beautiful Doll”

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson One thing we often forget is that war is always fought by kids and, in the case of WWII aviators, that meant they were also extremely inexperienced. When I flew my first fighter, which happened to be the Mustang, I was 29 years old and had nearly 2,500 hours of flight time [...]

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SE-5a: A Fokker’s Worse Nightmare

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson When World War One broke out in 1914, the airplane was barely eleven years old and was nothing more than a plodding, noisy kite barely more dangerous than an observation balloon. As a weapon, it was difficult to take seriously. Four short years later it had been transformed into a multi-dimensional weapon [...]

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F4U Corsair: The Gullwing Legend

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson A peanut. Thatís what you feel like after youíve scaled the side of a Corsair and into the cockpit. You are so small and inconsequential compared to the airplane that you feel like a peanut. This thing is BIG! And intimidating! If looks could kill, you wouldnít even have to fire it [...]

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Pitts Special: The soul of the man lives on

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson Okay, letís get one thing absolutely clear: the Pitts Special is NOT, repeat NOT, just an airplane. I know some people think that it is, but ask any long time Pitts driver and weíll all tell you the same thing: there are airplanes and there are Pitts Specials and the two shouldnít [...]

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Mitsubishi A6M Zero: Terror of the Pacific

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson  Zero! Normally thatís a number signifying nothing, but to those who know history it indicates an able foe. A dainty, but lethal, dancer that cut a swath across the Pacific so bloody that for the first six months of World War Two it appeared as if nothing could stop it. The stories [...]

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deHavilland DH82 Tiger Moth

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

The World’s Primary Trainer by Budd Davisson The first time I strapped on a Tiger Moth I had to laugh. For one thing, there was this HUGE compass projecting up off the floor between my knees. It was fashioned of polished brass and swung in gimbals to keep it level in all attitudes. It would [...]

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