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Vultee Trainer Readied to Fly Again

Jan 20, 2015 No Comments

A U.S. Army trainer plane from World War II, close to going airborne for the first time in 70 years, will make that “maiden voyage” from California’s Modesto Airport. The Vultee BT-13 Valiant was in pieces, spread between three hangars at the airport, when Jason Reid purchased it from the Commemorative Air Force there. When he’s [...]

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Belgian Rattlesnake – The long-serving Lewis Machine gun

Jan 20, 2015 No Comments

Today the name of Isaac Newton Lewis is little known outside of firearms circles, but he exerted a major influence on aerial combat.
In 1911, Colonel Lewis, a U.S. Army ordnance officer, adapted a machine gun design patented by inventor Samuel McLean. With a soldier’s eye toward utility, Lewis worked with the Automatic Arms Co. in New York to simplify the original design as a workable weapon. Light and potent, it was a revolutionary design.

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On This Day in Aviation History

Jan 16, 2015 No Comments

1910 – Birth of David McCampbell, American World War II fighter pilot and the U.S. Navy’s all-time leading ace. 1933 – Jean Mermoz and crew make a non-stop flight from Senegal to Argentina, across South Atlantic, in 17 hours, 27 min. 1962 – First flight of the Fuji KM-2 (shown), Japanese propeller-driven light aircraft; it is a license-built version of Beechcraft’s T-34 Mentor [...]

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Indian Air Force to Get First Tejas LCA

Jan 16, 2015 No Comments

Thirty-two years after the project was sanctioned, the first of the indigenously-built Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is finally expected to be handed over to the Indian Air Force tomorrow. This will be the start of a process of induction of the fighters being built at home under a project which has already estimated to [...]

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On This Day in Aviation History

Jan 15, 2015 No Comments

1898 – Birth of George Donald Tod, American World War I flying ace. 1915 – The first aircraft to be launched from a submarine (U-12) is a Friedrichshafen FF.29, a German two-seat floatplane. 1931 – Italian Gen. Italo Balbo leads the first formation flight across the South Atlantic; 12 Savoia-Marchetti S.55s land in Rio de [...]

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U-2 Funding Restarted, Missions Resume

Jan 15, 2015 No Comments

The Pentagon is, once again, reversing its own position on which platform to use for its high-altitude reconnaissance mission – the venerable Lockheed Martin U-2 or Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned aircraft. The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has directed the U.S. Air Force to restart modest funding not only for operations of the high-flying U-2, but [...]

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On This Day in Aviation History

Jan 13, 2015 No Comments

1899 – Birth of Harold John “Jackie” Walkerdine, British World War I flying ace and World War II pilot. 1919 – Death of Hans Christian Friedrich Donhauser, German World War I flying ace and smallest aviator in the German air force, in a crash near Coblenz, Germany. 1936 – Howard Hughes begins a record-breaking sprint across the U.S. [...]

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P-38 Rescued from Guadalcanal Swamp

Jan 13, 2015 No Comments

The journey to return U.S. Army Air Forces Maj. Peyton Mathis Jr.’s remains to his hometown, 70 years after he was killed on Guadalcanal, began with another pilot’s hunch. Anders Markwarth, 44, a Guadalcanal resident, has always been interested in airplanes, especially varbirds. A former airline pilot, he now works with a fuel company on [...]

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