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Sukhoi Su-27: Is the Flanker the World’s Best?

Sukhoi Su-27: Is the Flanker the World’s Best?

The question on the table is: “Is the Su-27 the best fighter in the world?” Starting a conversation by saying any airplane is the best at anything is right up there with politics, religion and blondes vs redheads vs brunettes for sparking spirited debate. Still, if you read the popular press, the Su-27 is the […]

Walt Boyne speaks from experience about flying

My first assignment out of flying school was to Castle Air Force Base, with the 330th Bomb Squadron of the 93rd Bomb Group. There in January, 1953 I was introduced to the Boeing B-50D Superfortress.    The introduction was a little rough, for the day I arrived, a B-50D from  another squadron had gone in, […]

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F8 Wings Folded

On January 22, 1968, I was a young LTJG at Miramar, attached to Navy Fighter Squadron VF-53 preparing for a deployment to Vietnam aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard. As a final part of the pre-deployment regimen, all pilots were briefed to fly [ FMLP ] Field Mirror Landing Practice about 2100 that night. This was our last chance […]

The MiG-15: Crude but Wildly Effective

by Budd Davisson The Yalu river runs wide and dark across the huge peninsula that is Korea. On either side, the topography is the same and at 40,000 feet, the hard blue sky doesnít change color just because the politics below are different. One morning in 1950, however, when American and ROK (Republic of Korea) […]

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F4U Corsair: The Gullwing Legend

by Budd Davisson A peanut. Thatís what you feel like after youíve scaled the side of a Corsair and into the cockpit. You are so small and inconsequential compared to the airplane that you feel like a peanut. This thing is BIG! And intimidating! If looks could kill, you wouldnít even have to fire it […]

Magnificent Pain: The Art of the Sukhoi 31

by Budd Davisson The world of serious, unlimited aerobatics, as seen from the inside is primarily one of grunts and groans and the never ending search for better and better machines capable of illiciting said grunts and groans. Standing at the head of the search for aerobatic excellence is the Sukhoi design bureau in Moscow. […]

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Aerial Walkin’ With the Spacewalker

As I was reaching down to the sides of the little cockpit for the seat belts, I found myself asking what seemed to be a logical question: If you built a model airplane that is on a 1:1 scale, where do you draw the line between model and real airplanes? Certainly the Spacewalker begs that […]

Pitts Special: The soul of the man lives on

by Budd Davisson Okay, letís get one thing absolutely clear: the Pitts Special is NOT, repeat NOT, just an airplane. I know some people think that it is, but ask any long time Pitts driver and weíll all tell you the same thing: there are airplanes and there are Pitts Specials and the two shouldnít […]

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Douglas C-47: A Gooney by any Other Name is Still a Gooney

by Budd Davisson Supreme Commander-Europe, General Dwight Eisenhower, didnít hesitate when ask to list the Allied weapons that most helped end the war. In no particular order he said, ìThe bazooka, the jeep, the atom bomb and the C-47.î The bazooka made the lowly GI into a feared tank killer. The Jeep gave his commanders […]

Edge 540: Man Carrying RC Ship

by Budd Davisson If you ever want to know exactly how the little plastic pilot in an R/C pattern ship feels, go strap on an Edge 540. In truth, no 1:1 scale airplanes give the three-dimensional freedom a pattern ship has because of the power-to-weight ratio, but the Edge comes terribly close. The Bill and […]
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