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Up Close: F4U CORSAIR

Up Close: F4U CORSAIR

Bent-Wing Beauty You don’t have to inspect a Corsair closely to know that it is a very complex airplane. The characteristics that make it so identifiable—among them, its inverted “gull” wing—must have kept manufacturing people up nights trying to figure out how to build them fast enough to meet the requirements of the War. From […]
Iconic Firepower: Aircrew Sidearms

Iconic Firepower: Aircrew Sidearms

The last ditch defense By Barrett Tillman Murvaux, France, September 29, 1918. The mortally wounded American ace slid from his SPAD and staggered into the tall grass. As German infantry approached he drew his Colt M1911 pistol and prepared to die fighting. The Arizonan fired at least three rounds in the dusk encounter before he […]

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P-47 Thunderbolt on D-Day

P-47 Thunderbolt on D-Day

By Stan Piet P-47D UN-V, named “Pat,” from the famed 56th FG, 63rd FS, prepares for another fighter sweep in support of the invasion.  The second mount of Capt. Gordon S. Stevens, it survived until early September, being lost with Capt. Roy Fling at the controls. Stevens himself was lost in a “Pat” replacement on […]
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.

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Iconic Firepower: Sidewinder

Iconic Firepower: 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, […]
Italian Flight Demo Team Shows Skills

Italian Flight Demo Team Shows Skills

Italy’s national acrobatics flying team entertained Americans and Italians during a brief demonstration over Aviano Air Base in northeastern Italy Friday. Frecce Tricolori is based at nearby Rivolto Air Base and performs at air shows around the world. It’s become a tradition for the team to provide a brief demonstration of its abilities over Aviano. […]

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Downloadable Drawing: FW-190A

Downloadable Drawing: FW-190A

Flight Journal readers are the winners when it comes to stuff being lost in our attic. Until John Dibbs offered us his fantastic photos of the Flying Heritage Collection’s one-of-a-kind, original flying FW-190A we’d never poked around in our archives to see what we had in the way of Focke-Wulf drawings. And you won’t believe […]
Luftwaffe’s  Bf 109E “Emil”

Luftwaffe’s Bf 109E “Emil”

Apart from its combat record, the Bf 109 remains a historic aircraft for sheer numbers produced. More than seven decades after WWII, only the Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik exceeds the Messerschmitt’s total of 34,000 produced, even under the pressure of continual Allied bombing. Nothing else comes close. Frequently, the Soviet Yakovlev fighter series is compared to […]

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The Turncoat’s Raid

The Turncoat’s Raid

Our Bombers Were Led by a Japanese Officer. He was called the Benedict Arnold of Mindanao, a turncoat to the Empire of Japan. Yet few turncoats were as honorably and honestly motivated as Minoru Wada, a WW II Japanese prisoner of war, who voluntarily led an American air strike against his own military because of […]
P-51 Mustang: John Landers and “Big Beautiful Doll”

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

One thing we often forget is that war is always fought by kids and, in the case of WW II 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 in a […]
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