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Mach 3.18 in-flight breakup of an SR-71 Blackbird

Mach 3.18 in-flight breakup of an SR-71 Blackbird

Among professional aviators, there’s a well-worn saying: Flying is simply hours of boredom punctuated by moments of stark terror.  But I don’t recall too many periods of boredom during my 30-year career with Lockheed, most of which was spent as a test pilot.  By far, the most memorable flight occurred on Jan. 25, 1966.  Jim […]
Country music star Aaron Tippin pilots a B-29

Country music star Aaron Tippin pilots a B-29

Not only is Aaron Tippin a world-famous country singer, he’s also an accomplished pilot! He recently completed his check ride in “Fifi,” the only B-29 Superfortress still flying today. Here’s his story: “Getting checked out in the B-29 on this beautiful September day is a lifelong dream and the coolest thing ever”, Tippin exclaims. Now Aaron […]

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ITA 1/72 Shawnee "Flying Banana" - 600x120

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Aardvarks Down: Last F-111s Fly

Aardvarks Down: Last F-111s Fly

On December 3, 2010, another great aircraft was retired from service, and this time it was in Australia. The F-111 was one of the most controversial aircraft ever flown by the USAF. It was battle-tested in the Vietnam War and proved to be one of the most effective attack aircraft in the Gulf War. The […]
SpaceX’s Dragon Spacecraft  Makes a Big Splash

SpaceX’s Dragon Spacecraft Makes a Big Splash

Space flight history was recently enjoyed by the SpaceX Company, when its Falcon 9 launch system successfully carried its Dragon spacecraft into low orbit and returned it safely to a predetermined splashdown point some 500 miles (804 kilometers) off the coast of southern California. This was the first time a commercial company had successfully recovered […]

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WW II First Dogfights

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Sally B is 65

Sally B is 65

Europe has two potentially airworthy Boeing B-17s, one in France (currently not airworthy), and the best known, the Duxford-based Sally B (pictured earlier in 2010). 2010 is the 75th anniversary of the first flight of Boeing’s legendary B-17 Fortress, and it is also the 65th anniversary of B-17G Sally B (ex 44-85784 and N17TE, F-BGSR, […]
Russia’s Other  Big Biplane

Russia’s Other Big Biplane

A huge production number characterized both of Russia’s well-known biplanes. More than 20,000 examples of the large, postwar Antonov An-2 have been built, but eclipsing this is massive production of an estimated 40,000+ examples of the Polikarpov PO-2. The PO-2 is a smaller biplane than the An-2 and much older in concept, the prototype first […]

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Freighter-Town USA

Freighter-Town USA

As the world’s fleet of aging Boeing 727 and DC-8 freighters needs replacement, up steps Miami-based Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI). AEI has been converting out-of-time passenger airliners at Miami since 1958, and to date has converted more than 350 different aircraft to carry the world’s air freight. Conversions of older Boeing 737-200s, 300s and 400s […]
Hydrogen-fueled propulsive system takes wing

Hydrogen-fueled propulsive system takes wing

The AeroVironment (AV) Global Observer unmanned air vehicle has flown successfully at Edwards Air Force Base in California. This is a high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft system that is touted by AV “to combine the best attributes of satellites and both manned and unmanned aircraft.” Its revolutionary liquid hydrogen-fueled propulsive system, an LH2 internal combustion powerplant […]

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Third Time’s the Charm:  Boeing Wins the KC-X Competition

Third Time’s the Charm: Boeing Wins the KC-X Competition

The Boeing Airplane Company won the KC-X competition the first time it was held more than 10 years ago, but the contract was rescinded due to high program leasing plan costs and heavy lobbying by the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS). The second time around, EADS won the KC-X competition in February 2008, […]
X-47B UCAS-D  enters  flight-test  activities

X-47B UCAS-D enters flight-test activities

The first of two Northrop Grumman X-47B Unmanned Combat Aircraft System-Demonstration (UCAS-D) air vehicles built for the U.S. Navy has been successfully flown at Edwards AFB, California. Aircraft carrier demonstration sea trials will follow after thorough flight testing of the X-47B unoccupied UCAS-D air vehicles is complete. The X-47B UCAS-D air vehicles are strike fighter […]
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