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Fieseler Storch: First STOL Aircraft

Fieseler Storch: First STOL Aircraft

The Fi-156 Fieseler Storch began in 1935 as Gerhard Fieseler’s answer to a German air ministry specification for a general purpose airplane that could take off and land in an extremely short distance. Fieseler’s chief designer, Reinhold Mewes, decided for ease of maintenance that the airplane should be completely conventional in its construction, and so […]
Hellcat at Work – free wallpaper!

Hellcat at Work – free wallpaper!

The mighty Grumman F6F Hellcat needs no introduction. It carried the fight to the enemy throughout the Pacific and emerged as the most successful fighter of the Pacific Theater of Operations. More important, it was the airplane that could be counted on to bring a pilot home almost regardless of the amount of damage it […]

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Russian & Chinese Stealth Fighters

Russian & Chinese Stealth Fighters

Russia and China are producing stealth fighters, but how good are they? A recent Forbes commentary is illuminating. China’s Chengdu J-20 Mighty Dragon has been described as the first credible operational fifth-generation stealth fighter designed outside the U.S. The 2017 photo at the top shows China’s domestically built J-20, courtesy of XINHUA News Agency via […]
Grumman TBF Avenger – WW II Torpedo Bomber

Grumman TBF Avenger – WW II Torpedo Bomber

Entering service in 1942, the Grumman TBF Avenger first saw action during the Battle of Midway. Developed by Grumman for the US Navy and Marine Corp, the torpedo bomber, was also used by several allied air and naval services. The Avenger’s crew members included the pilot, a turret gunner and a radioman/bombardier/ventral gunner. For armament, […]

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Stinson’s Big-Guy L-Bird

Stinson’s Big-Guy L-Bird

As soon as the airplane joined motorized ground vehicles as tools of war, its ability to see over the horizon made it an invaluable tactical device. It was more mobile than a tethered balloon and could be used to transport messages and leaders from point to point, whenever and wherever it was needed. There was […]
Next-Gen Fighter

Next-Gen Fighter

On 16 June, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. described the Next Generation Air Dominance Fighter (NGAD) to the House Armed Services Committee in testimony relating to the fiscal 2022 budget request. Brown said he wants the NGAD to have “multirole” capability, with combat capabilities that assure air dominance but also […]

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Butcher Bird  Hellcat & Corsair: A test pilot recalls

Butcher Bird Hellcat & Corsair: A test pilot recalls

During WW II, we in the military were not allowed to save notes, keep diaries or take pictures, and being a Boy Scout type, I lived by the rules. Now, decades later, when I’m called to write about some of my flight experiences, I wish that I had bent the rules a little. Thank goodness […]
The Grumman Skyrocket

The Grumman Skyrocket

Intended for use on carriers, the Grumman XF5F-1 Skyrocket had folding wings and was intended to have an airspeed of over 300mph. It used two Pratt & Whitney Wright R-1820 engines, and first flew on April 1, 1940. Although it had good flight characteristics and a maximum speed of 383mph at 20,000 feet, it had […]

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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 […]
Creating the Military “IoT”

Creating the Military “IoT”

On Dec. 9, the joint force took another step toward achieving a military Internet of Things (IoT) when fifth-generation aircraft overcame long standing connectivity limitations to share actionable operational data in their native secure digital “languages” with and through multiple sources for the first time. This test was the latest demonstration of the transformative warfighting […]
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