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Helborne 513: October Issue

Of Pop Guns and Peashooters

Aftermath – December 8 and Onward

Burnelli CBY-3 Loadmaster – Right Idea, Wrong Time

Riders on the Storm – Attack of the Navy’s Little-Known Seawolves

Pivotal Tactics - Behind the Legendary Battle of Britain

WW II First Dogfights Available Now at AirAgeStore.com

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Do It Now – A Tribute to our Veterans

Do It Now – A Tribute to our Veterans

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 […]
The Fabulous Ford Trimotor

The Fabulous Ford Trimotor

When you climb on board some airplanes, there’s a feeling that can only be described as passing through a portal into history. As I worked my way between the rows of seats up to the cockpit of the Ford 4AT Trimotor, that was one of those moments: there was no doubt that what I was […]

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They Weren’t All Fighters

They Weren’t All Fighters

It was a global war foughton an industrial scale unlike anything before or since. Conservatively, it consumed at least 55 million lives while overturning the way humans regarded their nations, their worlds, and themselves. It also spurred the greatest technological revolution of all time: in five years, going from 250mph biplane fighters in some nations to 550mph jets and ocean-spanning bombers that delivered atomic weapons. Supporting the vast American effort were huge training establishments for the U.S. Army Air Force (AAF) and the U.S. Navy (USN). This is their story.
Aftermath – December 8 and Onward

Aftermath – December 8 and Onward

The images of the attack on Pearl Harbor will be forever etched in the mind’s eye of Americans everywhere. As with the images of the airliners hitting the World Trade Center towers, the fire and smoke of December 7, 1941, can’t be erased from our memories. We seldom see, however, photos that portray the aftermath […]

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Photo courtesy of Stan Piet

Of Pop Guns and Peashooters

Back in the mid-1930s, when I was a teenager in California, I used to spend a lot of time fishing off the municipal pier at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. I was standing on the pier one day when a flight of 16 to 20 Boeing P-26s came roaring by fast and low in tight formation. I will never forget the look of the pilots, with their heads sticking out of the cockpit and their white silk scarves billowing behind them, all looking like Eddie Rickenbacker.
Supermarine Spitfire – Free Wylam Drawing

Supermarine Spitfire – Free Wylam Drawing

Somewhere there is probably a list of the world’s most beautiful airplanes but the process of selecting those airplanes has undoubtedly prompted numerous fistfights. However, when it came to putting the Spitfire on, or at the top, of the list, it’s doubtful anyone anywhere disagreed. Reginald Mitchell created a piece of art as much as […]

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Riders on the Storm – Attack of the Navy’s Little-Known Seawolves

Riders on the Storm – Attack of the Navy’s Little-Known Seawolves

“Riders on the storm. Riders on the storm. Into this house we’re born. Into this world we’re thrown.” —The Doors, 1971 Seawolf Formation In 1967, the U.S. Navy established Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron Three, commonly known as HA(L)-3, unclassified call sign: “Seawolf.” The in-country formation and disestablishment in 1972 was a historic first. The Navy […]
Burnelli CBY-3 Loadmaster – Right Idea, Wrong Time

Burnelli CBY-3 Loadmaster – Right Idea, Wrong Time

Aviation’s evolutionary tree is littered with thousands of different approaches to taking man to the skies and above. Combinations of thrust and lift to achieve flight have and continue to be constantly under revision and research. The old adage that under the right conditions you can make a kitchen sink fly probably could be demonstrated, […]

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America’s Aerial Warriors Today

America’s Aerial Warriors Today

Life begins at 40 or 50, or … It’s a sure fact of life that we all reach a point where we can’t begin to guess how long ago something in our lives happened. Did such and such happen five years ago? Or was it 10? We get to the point where we can’t even […]
Boeing’s First Flying Fortress

Boeing’s First Flying Fortress

On 8 August 1934, the U.S. Army Air Corps entered a proposal for a multi-engine bomber to replace the Martin B-10. Looking for a bomber capable of reinforcing the air forces in Hawaii, Panama, and Alaska, the USAAF’s requirements stated that it needed to carry a useful bomb load at an altitude of 10,000 feet […]
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