Mini Pilot Reports

WWI’s Albatros D.III

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

Lethal Wooden Wonder Letís try to put the Albatros-Flugzeugwerke series of WWI fighters in perspective. First, the Wrights flew in 1903 but didnít really reveal many secrets to the world until 1905. Then it was closer to 1908-1910 that Glenn Curtis jumped into the game with ailerons, elevators and all that other ìrealî airplane stuff [...]

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F-16 Viper: The Biggest Bang for the Fighter Buck

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson The F-16 Falcon, AKA Viper, is a maverick, borne of mavericks and for years was at odds with much of the Air Force establishment. They resented the fact that the airplane had been literally rammed down their throats by congress as the result of the persuasive lobbying efforts of what has become [...]

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Curtis P-40 Warhawk:

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

Warrior to the end by Budd Davisson The P-40 Warhawk will never be enshrined in the Hall of Fame of Fantastic Fighters. It was too slow, couldnít turn tight enough, was hard to handle on the ground and, compared to some fighters, had nasty stall characteristics. Further, its hydraulic system was too complicated, its landing [...]

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The Mighty Monocoupe

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

Big Legend in a Small Package by Budd Davisson Trying to characterize the Monocoupe in only a few words is like trying to explain icons like Jimmy Stewart, George Patton or the P-51 Mustang in twenty-five words or less. In its time, the Monocoupe stood tall as the first truly high performance airplane available to [...]

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The Definition of “Bitchin’” Model 12 Pitts Special

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson Whatís better than a biplane? Thatís obvious: a biplane with a round motor. And whatís better than a biplane with a round motor? A round-motored biplane thatís designed by Curtis Pitts! When youíre saddling up the Model 12, it feels like a much bigger than a normal two-place Pitts, when in reality [...]

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The Marvelous Gooney Bird: Douglas DC-3/C-47

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson It could be argued that modern air transportation began in 1931with the tragic death of Knute Rockne, the much-loved Notre Dame football coach. A national figure of legendary status, his death in a Fokker Tri-motor airliner touched off a national furor to upgrade airline transportation. The airlines responded immediately with frantic demands [...]

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Sukhoi Su-27: Is the Flanker the World’s Best?

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson The question on the table is: ìIs the Su-27 the best fighter in the world?î Starting a conversation by saying any airplane is the best at anything is right up there with politics, religion and blondes vs redheads vs brunettes for sparking spirited debate. Still, if you read the popular press, the [...]

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