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Nocturnal Hunter — the first Corsair equipped with radar

Nocturnal Hunter — the first Corsair equipped with radar

Hunched in the cockpit of an F4U-2 Corsair in the darkest, blackest night he could remember, Second Lieutenant Frank Lang peered at the 6-inch scope in the center of his instrument panel and saw nothing significant to break up the green-yellow line inscribing a circle around the dial.
P-51 Mustang: John Landers and “Big Beautiful Doll”

P-51 Mustang: John Landers and “Big Beautiful Doll”

by Budd Davisson One thing we often forget is that war is always fought by kids and, in the case of WWII aviators, that meant they were also extremely inexperienced. When I flew my first fighter, which happened to be the Mustang, I was 29 years old and had nearly 2,500 hours of flight time […]

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Magnificent Pain: The Art of the Sukhoi 31

Magnificent Pain: The Art of the Sukhoi 31

The world of serious, unlimited aerobatics, as seen from the inside is primarily one of grunts and groans and the never ending search for better and better machines capable of illiciting said grunts and groans. Standing at the head of the search for aerobatic excellence is the Sukhoi design bureau in Moscow. For nearly thirty […]
F/A-18 Hornet: a Dynasty in the Making

F/A-18 Hornet: a Dynasty in the Making

The Hornet has been a highly controversial airplane from the day it was initially proposed. Hornet detractors point at their hero, the massive F-14, and say the Hornet isn’t worthy of following in that great airplane’s steps. No range, no load, no nothin’. Well, folks, guess what? Right or wrong, the Tomcat’s on it’s way […]

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The A-10 Warthog Has No Warts

The A-10 Warthog Has No Warts

The A-10 isn’t an airplane. It’s a terrifyingly effective ball peen hammer designed from the onset to do one job and one job only: support the guys on the ground. At the beginning that meant it was to blunt the tank attacks cold war planners knew the Russians would send rolling across Europe in waves. […]
deHavilland DH82 Tiger Moth

deHavilland DH82 Tiger Moth

The World’s Primary Trainer The first time I strapped on a Tiger Moth I had to laugh. For one thing, there was this HUGE compass projecting up off the floor between my knees. It was fashioned of polished brass and swung in gimbals to keep it level in all attitudes. It would have been more […]

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Travelair Mystery Ship: Model “R” for Racing

Travelair Mystery Ship: Model “R” for Racing

Dawn of a New Era It was September 2nd, 1929 and before the day was over, the world of military airplanes had been changed forever.As Doug Davis roared across the finish line and took the checkered flag at Cleveland that afternoon, he had done more than win a race. He and the red and black […]
Fighter Pilot: The Hero Comes of Age

Fighter Pilot: The Hero Comes of Age

The movies and the fighter pilot were made for each other. The motion-picture concept is generally credited to Thomas Edison in 1889, and he continually improved it through the 1890s into the next century. By the time World War I had begun, crude commercial movies were available, with the first heroes frequently being cowboys with […]

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WW II Snapshot: A Moment Frozen in Time

WW II Snapshot: A Moment Frozen in Time

What do you see in this picture? Sharper than most WW II images, this one is of a fairly tranquil scene on the deck of CV-6, USS Enterprise. The shot was taken on May 15, 1942, and the red circles in their insignias had been painted over. That’s barely five months after Pearl Harbor and […]
Video: Japanese Zero Starts Up

Video: Japanese Zero Starts Up

This is a startup and short flight exhibiting absolutely the rarest of all the flyable warbirds in existence today: the Japanese A6M5 Zero! This is the example owned and flown by the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, California, USA. It is the ONLY example of a WWII Japanese aircraft flying in the world today […]
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