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Monday Mustang: the Might P-51

Monday Mustang: the Might P-51

The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War and in several other conflicts. During World War II Mustang pilots claimed 4,950 enemy aircraft shot down, the most of any Allied fighter. It was conceived, designed and built by North American Aviation […]
From the Archive: Mentoring a Thunderbird Pilot

From the Archive: Mentoring a Thunderbird Pilot

As one of six stars of the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds squadron, Maj. Jason Curtis has all the qualities of an elite pilot. He’s intelligent, focused, personable and flies with unparalleled precision. He’s also humble — and quick to credit those who guided him during his childhood in Kalispell. Curtis, 33, is returning to his hometown […]

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Wednesday Warbird: Grumman’s F6F Hellcat

Wednesday Warbird: 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 […]
The Dragon’s Den

The Dragon’s Den

As everyone knows, few DH 89 Dragon Rapides remain airworthy today. Constructed of wood and fabric, time has deteriorated their glued joints, and timber airframe components have rotted on these iconic 1930s British passenger biplanes. So the arrival of a Dragon Rapide at the EAA’s AirVenture Oshkosh was a delightful surprise. Touching down at Oshkosh […]

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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 […]
Lee Lauderback Sets a Record

Lee Lauderback Sets a Record

“I think the thing I like most about my time with the Mustang has been the people I’ve met through it.” The speaker is Lee Lauderback, founder/owner of Stallion 51, the longtime Mustang check-out haven in Kissimmee, Florida. He recently had a good week in which he logged his 10,000th hour in the P-51D and […]

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Warbirds – A Personal  History

Warbirds – A Personal History

My own interest in warbirds goes back to the BT-13 my father bought and parked in front of his store to draw in customers; that was when I was six years old. Other kids had jungle gyms to climb on—I had a BT-13, and surplus airplanes were everywhere. On our semimonthly trip to visit my […]
Monday Mustang

Monday Mustang

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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America’s Aerial Warriors Today

America’s Aerial Warriors Today

Life begins at 40 or 50, or … It’s a sure fact of life that we all reach a point where we can’t begin to guess how long ago something in our lives happened. Did such and such happen five years ago? Or was it 10? We get to the point where we can’t even […]
MiG-15: Crude but Effective

MiG-15: Crude but Effective

The Yalu river runs wide and dark across the huge peninsula that is Korea. On either side, the topography is the same and at 40,000 feet, the hard blue sky doesn’t change color just because the politics below are different. One morning in 1950, however, when American and ROK (Republic of Korea) pilots came back […]
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