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On this Day in Aviation History — Japan Fighters Intercept Chinese Plane

On this Day in Aviation History — Japan Fighters Intercept Chinese Plane

Japan scrambled fighter jets after a Chinese plane was seen Thursday near small islands in the East China Sea that are claimed by both countries. This is the first time that the dispute over the islands — which Japan calls Senkaku and China refers to as Diaoyu — has involved aircraft, introducing a new sphere of […]
Pearl Harbor: the Sleeping Giant Awakens

Pearl Harbor: the Sleeping Giant Awakens

War was coming to the ocean called “Pacific.” Imperial Japan, in need of oil to feed its growing ambition, squirmed under the stricture of an American embargo (implemented because of Japan’s aggression toward China). Japan would not be denied its self-proclaimed destiny, so Tokyo’s warlords cast covetous eyes southward to the petroleum-rich Dutch East Indies, […]

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T-6 Texan II

USAF Grounds T-6A Texan II Aircraft

The Air Force grounded T-6A Texan II flying operations Nov. 15 after pilots reported oxygen problems — the fourth incident since Nov. 1. According to officials of the 71st Flying Training Wing at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, four instructor pilots and one student pilot reported physiological incidents while flying. “Vance Air Force Base is […]
P-38 Lightning: A country boy way out of his element

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

When I flew a P-38 for the first time, I had 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 in the airplay […]

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Aviation Insider: F-35 Lightning II

Aviation Insider: F-35 Lightning II

Is it striking out? By Robert F. Dorr When the 100th F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter was delivered on December 13, it was a “big deal for the Air Force,” said chief of staff Gen. Mark Welsh. Welsh is the most visible face and the strongest voice supporting the F-35. A respected fighter pilot, […]
Stearman PT-17/N2S: The Biplane With So Many Lives

Stearman PT-17/N2S: The Biplane With So Many Lives

The PT-17 Stearman is literally the airplane that has always seemed to just be “there.” Although, it is most often thought of as the school marm that taught a generation of airmen the skills necessary to win a war, she has actually lived three distinct lives and is entering a fourth, from military trainer to […]

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Flight Journal’s Budd Davisson recalls – the First Ride

Flight Journal’s Budd Davisson recalls – the First Ride

Everyone has to start somewhere The trainer theme of this issue reverberates with me personally, so I hope you won’t mind if I climb out from behind my editor’s desk and talk like the pilot I am and always have been. When looking at some of the trainer images, I couldn’t help but reflect on […]
Mitsubishi A6M Zero: Terror of the Pacific

Mitsubishi A6M Zero: Terror of the Pacific

Zero! Normally that’s a number signifying nothing, but to those who know history it indicates an able foe. A dainty, but lethal, dancer that cut a swath across the Pacific so bloody that for the first six months of World War Two it appeared as if nothing could stop it. The stories that filtered back […]

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Aviation History – First Helicopter Flight-November 13, 1907

Aviation History – First Helicopter Flight-November 13, 1907

On 13 November 1907, French engineer and bicycle maker Paul Cornu made history by becoming the first man to fly in a rotary wing aircraft. The primitive helicopter – a twin-rotor craft powered by a 24-horsepower engine – only lifted Cornu about 1.5m off the ground, holding him there for 20 seconds at Coquainvilliers, near […]
A Tribute to our Veterans: Do It Now

A Tribute to our Veterans: Do It Now

Living history has a shelf life, and the expiration date cannot be extended. I’ve been interviewing WW II veterans since the early 1970s when I got serious about writing history, and it’s been a bittersweet experience. Anyone who’s made a career documenting aviation (or anything else) will tell you the same thing: you make older […]
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