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Mini Pilot Reports

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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The Beechcraft T-34: Better, not Older

by Budd Davisson Hereís an interesting question: of all the airplanes still being flown regularly by the U.S. Armed forces, which is the oldest? There are still a few Phantoms out there. They arrived on the scene around 1959. Of course the old ìBuffî, the B-52 first spread its mighty wings an unbelievable 52 years […]

deHavilland DH82 Tiger Moth

The World’s Primary Trainer by Budd Davisson The first time I strapped on a Tiger Moth I had to laugh. For one thing, there was this HUGE compass projecting up off the floor between my knees. It was fashioned of polished brass and swung in gimbals to keep it level in all attitudes. It would […]

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

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 […]

WWI’s Albatros D.III

Lethal Wooden Wonder Letís try to put the Albatros-Flugzeugwerke series of WWI fighters in perspective. First, the Wrights flew in 1903 but didnít really reveal many secrets to the world until 1905. Then it was closer to 1908-1910 that Glenn Curtis jumped into the game with ailerons, elevators and all that other ìrealî airplane stuff […]

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Super Stearman: Bulging Biplane Biceps

by Budd Davisson What do you get when you take any airplane and more than double the horsepower? For one thing you get much bigger grins every time you move the throttle forward for takeoff. The 450 Stearman, the so-called ìSuper Stearman,î is a classic case in point. Originally born with a puny 220 hp, […]
F-16 Viper: The Biggest Bang for the Fighter Buck

F-16 Viper: The Biggest Bang for the Fighter Buck

by Budd Davisson The F-16 Falcon, AKA Viper, is a maverick, borne of mavericks and for years was at odds with much of the Air Force establishment. They resented the fact that the airplane had been literally rammed down their throats by congress as the result of the persuasive lobbying efforts of what has become […]

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Cessna 180 Skywagon

Aviation’s Pick-up Truck by Budd Davisson Personally, Iíve always been a sucker for blue-collar airplanesó those birds that work for a living and always look as if they have grease under their fingernails. And that pretty well describes the Cessna 180 . In 1952, when Cessna decided they needed to pump some testostrone into their 145 […]

Christen Eagle

The Rainbow Bird With the Dacron Plumage by Budd Davisson With fabric feathers and 200 horsepower in its beak, the Eagle II was Californian Frank Christensenís idea of what a two-place, good time flying machine should look and fly like. A slicked-up city cousin of a Pitts Special, the Eagle has its own following that […]
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