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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, December 10, 1963

On this Day, December 10, 1963

In an attempt to set a world absolute altitude record, Colonel Charles E. (“Chuck”) Yeager, U.S. Air Force, took a Lockheed NF-104A Starfighter Aerospace Trainer, 56-0762, on a zoom climb profile above 100,000 feet (30,480 meters) at Edwards Air Force Base, in the high desert of southern California. This was Colonel Yeager’s fourth attempt at […]
Pearl Harbor: the Inside Story

Pearl Harbor: the Inside Story

At approximately 7:55 AM (local time), on December 7, 1941, the US Navy was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy, and the US forces were taken completely off guard. 96 ships were stationed at Pearl Harbor, but the Japanese aircraft’s primary targets were the big battleships moored on Battleship Row at Ford Island. The Japanese aircraft […]

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The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver

The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver

A carrier-based dive bomber aircraft produced for the US Navy during WW II, the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver was a replacement for the Douglas SBD Dauntless. The SB2C was much faster than the SBD and the crew nicknames for the aircraft included the Big-Tailed Beast or just the derogatory Beast, Two-Cee, and Son-of-a-Bitch 2nd Class, (after […]
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 […]

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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, […]
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 […]

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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 […]
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 […]

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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 […]
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 […]
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