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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1913 – Attempting to establish a new women’s altitude record, pioneering American female pilot Bernetta Miller is covered with oil and temporarily blinded when her oil flow indicator smashes. She makes a safe emergency landing in New York, N.Y. 1920 – Birth of Ferruccio Serafini, World War II Italian fighter ace. 1940 – The Brazilian Air Force, originally […]
DC-3 Gooney – Memories of First Flight

DC-3 Gooney – Memories of First Flight

Everyone has a first flight: Mine was in a Gooney Life is a million episodes stitched together to form a ragged continuum. However, regardless of how many episodes are involved, there is always the first one. This is especially true of those of us who have lived a sizeable portion of our lives in the […]

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Vultee Trainer Readied to Fly Again

Vultee Trainer Readied to Fly Again

A U.S. Army trainer plane from World War II, close to going airborne for the first time in 70 years, will make that “maiden voyage” from California’s Modesto Airport. The Vultee BT-13 Valiant was in pieces, spread between three hangars at the airport, when Jason Reid purchased it from the Commemorative Air Force there. When he’s […]
Belgian Rattlesnake  – The long-serving Lewis Machine gun

Belgian Rattlesnake – The long-serving Lewis Machine gun

Today the name of Isaac Newton Lewis is little known outside of firearms circles, but he exerted a major influence on aerial combat. In 1911, Colonel Lewis, a U.S. Army ordnance officer, adapted a machine gun design patented by inventor Samuel McLean. With a soldier’s eye toward utility, Lewis worked with the Automatic Arms Co. in New York to simplify the original design as a workable weapon. Light and potent, it was a revolutionary design.

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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1910 – Birth of David McCampbell, American World War II fighter pilot and the U.S. Navy’s all-time leading ace. 1933 – Jean Mermoz and crew make a non-stop flight from Senegal to Argentina, across South Atlantic, in 17 hours, 27 min. 1962 – First flight of the Fuji KM-2 (shown), Japanese propeller-driven light aircraft; it is a license-built version of Beechcraft’s T-34 Mentor […]
Indian Air Force to Get First Tejas LCA

Indian Air Force to Get First Tejas LCA

Thirty-two years after the project was sanctioned, the first of the indigenously-built Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is finally expected to be handed over to the Indian Air Force tomorrow. This will be the start of a process of induction of the fighters being built at home under a project which has already estimated to […]

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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1898 – Birth of George Donald Tod, American World War I flying ace. 1915 – The first aircraft to be launched from a submarine (U-12) is a Friedrichshafen FF.29, a German two-seat floatplane. 1931 – Italian Gen. Italo Balbo leads the first formation flight across the South Atlantic; 12 Savoia-Marchetti S.55s land in Rio de […]
U-2 Funding Restarted, Missions Resume

U-2 Funding Restarted, Missions Resume

The Pentagon is, once again, reversing its own position on which platform to use for its high-altitude reconnaissance mission – the venerable Lockheed Martin U-2 or Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned aircraft. The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has directed the U.S. Air Force to restart modest funding not only for operations of the high-flying U-2, but […]

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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1899 – Birth of Harold John “Jackie” Walkerdine, British World War I flying ace and World War II pilot. 1919 – Death of Hans Christian Friedrich Donhauser, German World War I flying ace and smallest aviator in the German air force, in a crash near Coblenz, Germany. 1936 – Howard Hughes begins a record-breaking sprint across the U.S. […]
P-38 Rescued from Guadalcanal Swamp

P-38 Rescued from Guadalcanal Swamp

The journey to return U.S. Army Air Forces Maj. Peyton Mathis Jr.’s remains to his hometown, 70 years after he was killed on Guadalcanal, began with another pilot’s hunch. Anders Markwarth, 44, a Guadalcanal resident, has always been interested in airplanes, especially varbirds. A former airline pilot, he now works with a fuel company on […]
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