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.
Everyone has a first flight: Mine was in a Gooney Life is a million episodes stitched together to form a ragged continuum. However, regardless of how many episodes are involved, there is always the first one. This is especially true of those of us who have lived a sizeable portion of our lives in the […]
16 to 18 January 1957 In a demonstration of the B-52 Stratofortress’s global reach, B-52Bs 53-0394, -0397 and -0398 made a non-stop flight around the world during Operation POWER FLIGHT, which covered 21,145nm in 45 hours 19 minutes (537 mph) with four in-flight refuelings by KC-97s. Led by M GEN Archie Old, Jr., Commander 15th […]
When I saw the article on Al Williams, I remembered some photos and information given to me by the wife of Al’s son, Jack, back in the 80’s. I had met Jack when he and his family were living in Charlotte, NC, and he shared with me some of the fascinating photos and stories of […]
Tale of the FW 190 In August 1941, a new shape appeared over the French coast: a blunt-nosed, elegantly pugnacious profile possessed of startling performance bearing black crosses. It was the product of a two-year program that immediately changed the Channel air war. Britain’s standard Spitfire Mk V could not compete with the Luftwaffe’s new […]
When the time comes, there is something to be said for going out in style. Richard Zeiler has just the ride for that. Zeiler, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who flew a Cessna L-19 Bird Dog in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969, spent the better part of a quarter century leading a team of […]
Attached is a picture of my father (tall fellow standing) on an aircraft that appears to be shot down. My father immigrated from Denmark and joined the Canadian Army, 9 Canadian Field Squadron R.C.E.,formed in England April 1943. I know he was serving during the campaign in Italy. This picture came to my attention just last week […]
Looking back at the Travel Air Manufacturing Company of the late 1920s from this end of history’s telescope, it looks like an aviation dream team. Of course, at the time, there was no way to know that each of the company’s founders, Walter Beech, Clyde Cessna and Lloyd Stearman would go on to become aviation […]
Today in 1969: NASA announced the astronauts selected for the first lunar landing: (left to right below) Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., Neil A. Armstrong, and Michael Collins. This photo of the crew was taken the following day. Michael Collins piloted the command module Columbia alone in lunar orbit while they were on the Moon’s […]
Heroes on Deck, a one-hour documentary featuring secret World War II pilot training missions on Lake Michigan, will have its world premiere today in Kalamazoo, Mich. The film, written, executive produced, and directed by Emmy Award-winning and Kalamazoo College alumnus John Davies, “Heroes on Deck” tells the story of a little known chapter of United States […]