News and Stories

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

Sep 28, 2011 No Comments

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 [...]

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Country music star Aaron Tippin pilots a B-29

Sep 28, 2011 No Comments

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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Aardvarks Down: Last F-111s Fly

Sep 26, 2011 No Comments

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 [...]

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SpaceX’s Dragon Spacecraft Makes a Big Splash

Sep 26, 2011 No Comments

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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Sally B is 65

Sep 26, 2011 No Comments

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, [...]

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Russia’s Other Big Biplane

Sep 26, 2011 No Comments

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

Sep 26, 2011 No Comments

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 [...]

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Hydrogen-fueled propulsive system takes wing

Sep 26, 2011 No Comments

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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