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The USAF Year in Review

The USAF Year in Review

2014 was an interesting year for the U.S. Air Force. From the start of the year, the service found itself moving from one crisis to another, both political and operational. Incoming Secretary Deborah Lee James barely had time to unpack her office before the nuclear cheating scandal exploded. That was followed by the start of the […]
On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1863 – Birth of Léon Levavasseur, French powerplant engineer, aircraft designer and inventor; his innovations will include the V8 engine, direct fuel injection, and evaporative engine cooling. 1948 – First flight of the Lavochkin La-15, an early Soviet jet fighter and contemporary of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15. 1950 – Last flight of the Sud-Ouest SO 8000 […]

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Forgotten DC-3 Caught on Camera

Forgotten DC-3 Caught on Camera

Lying on a black sandy beach in the south of Iceland, the wreckage of a crashed U.S. Navy aircraft looks like something from a post-apocalyptic movie. Amazingly, the crew all survived the impact, when the Douglas Super DC-3 was forced to crash land on Sólheimasandur beach on Nov. 24, 1973. But the plane was abandoned rather than recovered, […]
On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1898 – Birth of Wallace Alexander Smart, Scottish World War I flying ace. 1917 – Death of Paul Joannes Sauvage (shown), the youngest French World War I flying ace; he is killed by anti-aircraft fire. 1934 – First flight of the Curtiss XF13C (Model 70), a U.S. prototype carrier-based monoplane fighter; it is equipped with […]

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“Doc” Nearing First Flight

“Doc” Nearing First Flight

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress known as “Doc” is in the final days of her restoration. There are just a few minor details to finish with the avionics installation, and setting the limits for the flaps and gear doors, but other than that the old girl is ready to go. The restoration team in Wichita, Kan., […]
P-51 Mustang – An old war horse in its second war, free screen saver

P-51 Mustang – An old war horse in its second war, free screen saver

The Mustang soldiered on longer than any other WWII fighter and we tend to forget its valuable role in Korea. There, most of the airplanes and their pilots were replaying roles they had executed so well only five years earlier in various parts of the globe. In Korea they were very much showing the patina […]

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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1911 – Frenchman Henri Jullerot demonstrates the Bristol Boxkite, a pusher biplane based on the successful Farman III, in Calcutta before a crowd of 100,000. 1942 – Pan American Airlines becomes the first commercial airline to schedule a flight around the world. 1944 – First flight of the McDonnell XP-67 Bat (shown), a twin-engine bomber destroyer. 1963 – Birth of Philippe Perrin, French Air Force pilot, test pilot and former […]
Spielberg, Hanks Team Up for 8th AF Tales

Spielberg, Hanks Team Up for 8th AF Tales

In the thin air above 20,000 feet, with Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighters bearing down from all directions, the inside of an unpressurized American bomber in World War II was an altogether foreign world. Freezing cold, oxygen-deprived and hundreds of miles from the nearest friendly fighter escort, the bombers faced desperate odds with each mission deep […]

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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1891 – Birth of Carl “Charly” Degelow, German World War I fighter ace; he is the last German pilot and final German serviceman to be awarded the Blue Max, the German Kingdom of Prussia’s highest order of merit. 1930 – During the British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE), Royal Australian Air Force pilot Stuart Campbell […]
Iconic Firepower: The Ever-Present Sidewinder

Iconic Firepower: The Ever-Present Sidewinder

By Barrett TIllman Kern County, California, 1952: a 1949 Kaiser raced down a desert runway with a streamlined object fitted to a crude bracket on the right side. Lacking a wind tunnel, the passengers — engineers in the front and back seats — took notes on the model’s aerodynamic performance. They were testing the XAAM-N-7, […]
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