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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, […]
P-47 Thunderbolt In Theater: In Support of D-Day

P-47 Thunderbolt In Theater: In Support of D-Day

By Stan Piet P-47D UN-V, named “Pat,” from the famed 56th FG, 63rd FS, prepares for another fighter sweep in support of the invasion.  The second mount of Capt. Gordon S. Stevens, it survived until early September, being lost with Capt. Roy Fling at the controls. Stevens himself was lost in a “Pat” replacement on […]

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On a Flying Wing and a Prayer

On a Flying Wing and a Prayer

Spring, 1944. My head wound had healed but my back was still killing me when I jumped off the train in occupied France. I had recently escaped from neutral Switzerland after being blown out of my B-24 Liberator while making my 20th bomb run into Germany. Although I landed on the German side of the […]
P-51 Mustang

P-51 Mustang

The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War and in several other conflicts. During World War II Mustang pilots claimed 4,950 enemy aircraft shot down, the most of any Allied fighter. It was conceived, designed and built by North American Aviation […]

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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 […]
Luftwaffe’s  Bf 109E “Emil”

Luftwaffe’s Bf 109E “Emil”

Apart from its combat record, the Bf 109 remains a historic aircraft for sheer numbers produced. More than seven decades after WWII, only the Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik exceeds the Messerschmitt’s total of 34,000 produced, even under the pressure of continual Allied bombing. Nothing else comes close. Frequently, the Soviet Yakovlev fighter series is compared to […]

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The Definition of “Bitchin'” Model 12 Pitts Special

The Definition of “Bitchin'” Model 12 Pitts Special

What’s better than a biplane? That’s obvious: a biplane with a round motor. And whatís better than a biplane with a round motor? A round-motored biplane that’s designed by Curtis Pitts! When you’re saddling up the Model 12, it feels like a much bigger than a normal two-place Pitts, when in reality it’s not. As […]
Today in Aviation History: Corky Meyer Test-Flies the F9F Panther

Today in Aviation History: Corky Meyer Test-Flies the F9F Panther

Sixty-seven years ago today, Flight Journal’s old friend and former Grumman test pilot Corwin H. (“Corky”) Meyer took off from the company’s 5,000 foot runaway at Bethpage, Long Island, New York, in the first prototype XF9F-2 Panther, Bu. No. 122475. In this article, he takes the reader along on some wild rides. Corky was world renown as […]

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No Tailhook? No Way!

No Tailhook? No Way!

Out-of-fuel Spitfire and a Carrier: No options As the Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vc approached the stern of the aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-7), Pilot Officer Jerry Smith, RCAF, knew he was quickly running out of options. His first approach had been high and much too fast, and the 21-year-old fighter pilot knew that unless he […]
Bob Hoover, Flying Legend, Goes West at 94

Bob Hoover, Flying Legend, Goes West at 94

News of the death of legendary test pilot and aerobatics pioneer Bob Hoover this morning has brought grief to the aviation community. Hoover, known among his many fans as the “pilot’s pilot,” died at about 2 a.m. Pacific Time, according to reports. He was 94 years old. Hoover’s flying career began when he was a […]
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