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Record-Setting Transcontinental Glider Flight

Record-Setting Transcontinental Glider Flight

After the Wright brothers’ first successful flights on December 17, 1903, it wasn’t long before adven­turous souls of both sexes began attempting to set distance and speed records. It was truly the golden age of barnstorming and of stunt flying. In 1911, for instance, Calbraith Perry Rodgers piloted the Vin Fiz, the first airplane to […]
Lost Cause: Luftwaffe Bombers

Lost Cause: Luftwaffe Bombers

In World War II, the Luftwaffe produced a galaxy of combat airmen whose records can never be approached. Maj. Erich Hartmann remains the world’s leading fighter ace, and Col. Hans-Ulrich Rudel dominates the lethal trade of tank buster. Their names, and others, are known to two generations of aviation-history students. But who were the Reich’s […]

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Up Close: Hurricane Hawker

Up Close: Hurricane Hawker

The Overlooked Warrior by Barrett Tillman Nearly 20 years after WW I, the RAF still flew biplane fighters. Consequently, the Hawker Hurricane made its mark as Britain’s first monoplane fighter, heralding a new era in military aviation. Designed by Sir Sydney Camm and first flown in late 1935, the Hurricane featured a thick airfoil that […]
U.S. 8th Army Air Force – The Mighty Eighth

U.S. 8th Army Air Force – The Mighty Eighth

What a difference a year can make The changes came unbelievably fast. On January 1, 1943, the U.S. 8th Army Air Force in Britain numbered six bomb groups and one fighter group. Twelve months later the lineup had expanded to 26 bomb groups and 10 fighter. But even that was incomplete. Through 1944, the Eighth […]

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Monday Multi-Wing S.E.5a Scout

Monday Multi-Wing S.E.5a Scout

by Budd Davisson When World War One broke out in 1914, the airplane was barely eleven years old and was nothing more than a plodding, noisy kite barely more dangerous than an observation balloon. As a weapon, it was difficult to take seriously. Four short years later it had been transformed into a multi-dimensional weapon […]
A P-40 Fighter Pilot’s Inspiration: six year old Georgie Boy

A P-40 Fighter Pilot’s Inspiration: six year old Georgie Boy

The “greatest generation” as a whole did not need a reason to fight. Provoked by a ferocious Axis that threatened to enslave the world, hundreds and thousands of young men answered the call to arms.  Preserving freedom, peace and security for future generations were the primary reason men signed up for service. Others saw it […]

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Friday Fighter: Grumman’s F6F Hellcat

Friday Fighter: Grumman’s F6F Hellcat

by Budd Davisson Okay, so we’ll admit it: just about every successful fighter of WWII was sleeker and sexier than a Hellcat. However, when it comes to fighters, “beauty is in the doing” and the Hellcat could do it. In spades! In terms of what it contributed to victory, it was the uncontested King of […]
Multi-Engine Monday: B-25 Mitchells over the Mediterranean

Multi-Engine Monday: B-25 Mitchells over the Mediterranean

Wavetop warfare: Skip-bombing and Big Guns When the North American NA-62, officially dubbed B-25, first flew in August of 1940, it was less than a roaring success. The UK and France had just chosen the smaller Douglas DB-7 Boston (A-20 Havoc) attack bomber over the North American design. However, in the years leading up to […]

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Thursday Thunderbolts: 56th FG Jugs

Thursday Thunderbolts: 56th FG Jugs

By Stan Piet As the long-lived Thunderbolt group in the ETO, the 56th FG certainly sported some of the most varied camouflage plus squadron and individual markings in England. Upon arrival at Kings Cliffe in January 1943, its first combat-ready P-47C models bore a factory-standard olive drab over neutral gray livery. As the Thunderbolt was […]
Cold War Wednesday! Sukhoi Su-27

Cold War Wednesday! Sukhoi Su-27

The question on the table is: “Is the Su-27 the best fighter in the world?” Starting a conversation by saying any airplane is the best at anything is right up there with politics, religion and blondes vs redheads vs brunettes for sparking spirited debate. Still, if you read the popular press, the Su-27 is the […]
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