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F/A-18 Hornet: a Dynasty in the Making

Jan 30, 2007 1 Comment

by Budd Davisson The Hornet has been a highly controversial airplane from the day it was initially proposed. Hornet detractors point at their hero, the massive F-14, and say the Hornet isnít worthy of following in that great airplaneís steps. No range, no load, no nothiní. Well, folks, guess what? Right or wrong, the Tomcatís [...]

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The Fabulous Ford Trimotor

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson When you climb on board some airplanes, thereís a feeling that can only be described as passing through a portal into history. As I worked my way between the rows of seats up to the cockpit of the Ford 4AT Trimotor, that was one of those momentsóthere was no doubt that what [...]

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J-3 Cub: Piper’s Gift to Mankind

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson Like most pilots, Iím not certain I can remember a time before I flew a J-3. Thatís probably because I too started out in a Cub. I was fifteen years old and even then found one of the biggest hurtles to flying a Cub to be simply getting in it. The dance [...]

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Jon Sharp and Nemesis: The Unbeatable Combination

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson In Formula One racing there are fast airplanes, there are really fast airplanes, and then there is (was) Nemesis. Itís now resting in the Smithsonian, buyt not a racing pilot on the planet doubts that should pilot/designer Jon Sharp decide to pull his now-dusty racer out of the display case to challenge [...]

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deHavilland Comet Wooden Artistry

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson In 1934 the public still viewed aviation as something special. In fact, air racing had become a worldwide obsession, which, like NASCAR many years later, offered great publicity opportunities for the sponsors and the participants. Australian millionaire Sir MacPherson Robertson, recognized the public relations value of air racing and announced he was [...]

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Travelair Mystery Ship: Model “R” for Racing

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

Dawn of a New Era by Budd Davisson It was September 2nd, 1929 and before the day was over, the world of military airplanes had been changed forever. As Doug Davis roared across the finish line and took the checkered flag at Cleveland that afternoon, he had done more than win a race. He and [...]

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The A-10 Warthog Has No Warts

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

The A-10 isnít an airplane. Itís a terrifyingly effective ball peen hammer designed from the onset to do one job and one job only: support the guys on the ground. At the beginning that meant it was to blunt the tank attacks cold war planners knew the Russians would send rolling across Europe in waves. [...]

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P-38 Lightning: A country boy way out of his element

Jan 30, 2007 No Comments

by Budd Davisson When I flew a P-38 for the first time, I have to admit that I had a hard time hearing the engines over the noise of my knees knocking. What was a grassroots pilot like me doing strapped into such a huge piece of iron? That was simple: I wanted a type-rating [...]

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