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The Mighty Eighth

The Mighty Eighth

What a difference a year can make The changes came unbelievably fast. On January 1, 1943, the U.S. 8th Army Air Force in Britain numbered six bomb groups and one fighter group. Twelve months later the lineup had expanded to 26 bomb groups and 10 fighter. But even that was incomplete. Through 1944, the Eighth […]
D-Day: Planning the  Aerial  Assault

D-Day: Planning the Aerial Assault

Today the numbers involved in Operation Overlord are unthinkable: 6,000 bombers, more than 5,000 fighters, some 1,600 transport aircraft, and 2,500 gliders. All crammed into scores of airfields throughout Britain, but mainly in southern England. All were serviced, armed, and assigned aircrews, eager to take off on the day called “D.” That spring, the American […]

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Happy Birthday Chuck Yeager

Happy Birthday Chuck Yeager

Now 94, Charles Elwood “Chuck” Yeager was born February 13, 1923 and is a retired Major General of the United States Air Force. A noted test pilot, he was the first pilot to travel faster than sound (1947). Originally retiring in 1975 as a Brigadier General, Yeager was promoted to Major General while on the Air Force’s […]
Spike Aerospace Subsonic Jet

Spike Aerospace Subsonic Jet

This summer, Spike Aerospace’s prototype of its 18-passenger supersonic business jet will take flight. The scale prototype of its S-512 Quiet Supersonic Jet will demonstrate low-speed aerodynamic flight characteristics. Bigger prototypes and a supersonic demonstrator will follow by the end of next year. Spike Aerospace president and CEO Vik Kachoria says, “We made a lot of progress […]

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Milton Caniff & The Art of War

Milton Caniff & The Art of War

Milton Caniff never served in the military, but, his spirit was on virtually every battlefield of WW II. His artwork on the nose of fighters and bombers and in thousands of military papers touched those in combat in ways nothing else could.     Born in 1907, Caniff moved from Ohio to New York in […]
The World’s Fastest Pony Kegs: GeeBee R-1 and R-2

The World’s Fastest Pony Kegs: GeeBee R-1 and R-2

Today it’s impossible to think of the golden age of air racing without an R-1 or R-2 Gee Bee roaring across the mind’s eye. To the aviation public, the Gee Bees air racing — and vice versa. And that’ s only right. When Granville engineer, Pete Miller, drafted the first lines for the “R” series of […]

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Geoff Wellum: Teenage Spitfire Pilot

Geoff Wellum: Teenage Spitfire Pilot

One of the “Few” Remembers. The mood was, “We’ll have a go at you.” You didn’t allow yourself to dwell on the losses, or the seriousness of the situation. You had tomorrow morning to look to. You made a resolve to do the best you could. The thought of defeat never entered our heads. Nobody […]
Oops! Wrong Carrier

Oops! Wrong Carrier

Other than a ramp strike, probably the most embarrassing error in carrier aviation is landing on the wrong flight deck. That’s what happened to this VF-111 “Sundowners” pilot who returned to his home, USS Lake Champlain (CVA-39), with a billboard’s worth of non-regulation markings applied to his F9F-5 Panther. During the period immediately after the […]

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The Words Are the Easy Part

The Words Are the Easy Part

Barrett Tillman, historian, author and Flight Journal regular is fond of saying, “God forgives man that time spent looking at airplane photos.” Outside of actually flying, nothing gives aviation types as much pleasure as looking at high-quality (or interesting) photos of flying machines. It almost makes no difference what kind of airplane. We’ll look at […]
Fairey Swordfish: The Hundred Knot Warrior

Fairey Swordfish: The Hundred Knot Warrior

It’s impossible to look at the Fairey Swordfish, affectionately known as the “Stringbag,” and not say, “You have to be kidding! This was one of the Royal Navy’s most effective weapons of WW II?” A gigantic, bi-winged personification of the word “anachronistic,” as the saying goes, the Swordfish may have been ugly, but it was […]
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