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Elliptical Elegance: December Issue

Bad Kitty! VF-19 “Satan’s Kittens”

WW II Pilot Bernie Sledzick – Little Guy in a Big Airplane

WWII Heritage Days

Mustangs at Heart

Warbirds – A Personal History

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On this Day in Aviation

On this Day in Aviation

December 4, 1952 The Grumman XS2F-1 makes its first flight. The Grumman XS2F-1 flew for the first time 67 years ago today. Three major variants emerged from this aircraft type and were eventually designated as the S-2 Tracker, the E-1 Tracer, and the C-1 Trader. The C-1 Trader was derived from the S-2 Tracker and […]
P-40 – By any other Name

P-40 – By any other Name

The British Commonwealth and Soviet air forces used the name Tomahawk for models equivalent to the P-40B and P-40C, and the name Kittyhawk for models equivalent to the P-40D and all later variants. P-40s first saw combat with the British Commonwealth squadrons of the Desert Air Force in the Middle East and North African campaigns, […]

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The A-36A Apache  Attack/dive bomber version of the P-51 Mustang

The A-36A Apache Attack/dive bomber version of the P-51 Mustang

The first A-36A Apache rolled out of the North American Aviation Inglewood, CA plant in September 1942, and rapidly progressed through flight testing in October. With deliveries starting soon after, the first production machines continued the use of nose-mounted .50 cal. machine guns along with four wing mounted .50 cal machine guns. Also known by […]
Super Stearman Saturday

Super Stearman Saturday

What do you get when you take any airplane and more than double its horsepower? For one thing you get much bigger grins every time you move the throttle forward for takeoff. The 450 Stearman, the so-called “Super Stearman,” is a classic case in point. Originally born with a puny 220 hp, W-670 Continental radial […]

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Friday Fighter, P-40 Warhawk

Friday Fighter, P-40 Warhawk

Perhaps the most famous fighter to come from World War Two, the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk developed from the P-36 Hawk, via the P-37. Many variants were built, some in large numbers, under names including the Hawk, Tomahawk and Kittyhawk. The first Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was a P-36 running with a supercharged Allison engine. The blend […]
The Curtiss C-46 Commando became the air transport heavyweight champ of World War II. ©John M. Dibbs/The Plane Picture Company

Warbird Wednesday – C-46 Commando

The Classic C-46 Commando was originally marketed by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation as a pressurized 20-passenger “sub-stratosphere transport” for the masses but earned its stripes doing heavy lifting in WW II. Curtiss-Wright Corporation designed and built its proposed CW-20T twin-engine passenger airliner as an advanced higher-flying, larger-capacity alternative to the Douglas DC-3. The CW-20 was designed […]

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DeHavilland Comet: Wooden Artistry

DeHavilland Comet: Wooden Artistry

In 1934 the public still viewed aviation as something special. In fact, air racing had become a worldwide obsession, which, like NASCAR many years later, offered great publicity opportunities for the sponsors and the participants. Australian millionaire Sir MacPherson Robertson, recognized the public relations value of air racing and announced he was sponsoring a race […]
Martin B-26 Marauder

Martin B-26 Marauder

A twin-engined medium bomber built by the Glenn L. Martin Company from 1941 to 1945, the B-26 Marauder first flew on 25 November 1940 piloted by Martin test pilot William Kenneth Ebel, co-pilot Ed Fenimore and flight engineer Al Malewski. The B-26 was first used in the Pacific Theater of World War II in early […]

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Bad Kitty! VF-19 “Satan’s Kittens”

Bad Kitty! VF-19 “Satan’s Kittens”

VF-19 “Satan’s Kittens” Chew Up the Enemy “I had well over 1,000 hours of time in the air before I entered combat. Most of that was as an instrument instructor flying the SNJ. Instrument flying really teaches you the finer points of flying an airplane. It also makes you focus and for some reason I […]
Grumman’s AF Guardian

Grumman’s AF Guardian

The story behind the avenger’s replacement By mid-1944 the U.S. Navy knew that it would take much longer than previously thought for the Allies to win WW II. The Japanese were still putting up very stiff resistance to the American demand for complete capitulation. Thus, it was expected that an invasion of Japan in late […]
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