For many, the B-47 Stratojet was the most impressive aircraft of the day. It was the Air Force’s first jet powered bomber and it took replaced the propeller and jet driven B-36 Peacemaker. For this article, the multi-faceted Walt Boyne, known as a familiar face on many TV aviation documentaries as the former Director of […]
In the summer of 1941, with a world war knocking at America’s door, the U.S. Army was itching for a “low and slow” observation plane. The Army wanted one that could loiter near and over the hidden enemy and, when spotted, could then coordinate with artillery units to rain destruction down upon the foe. During […]
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.
Some days you just can’t win for losing, as F-14 test pilot, Pete Purvis found out much to his chagrin. Read how a test shot of a Sparrow missile went severely wrong and 39 seconds later, he and his RIO were hanging in their parachutes. Not a good day! Click here.
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 […]
Not all of fighter aviation is aimed at protecting the fair damsel from the marauding Count von Evil. In fact, history shows that fighter jocks themselves have often provided whimsical, if not overly efficient episodes that have left their mark in the annals of fighterdom. “Ever shoot down a balloon?” Sam Flynn was in an […]
From its inception, the 56th was destined for excellence and historical significance. As the first fighter group to be challenged, and possibly intimidated, by Republic’s new radial-engined beast, the group took on that mission and remained faithful to its charge till the end of hostilities. As part of a pre-war build-up of 35 Army Air […]
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 […]
“Kill the F-16, right-hand turn, 18 thousand feet, over the Farms.” And so another victory is claimed in the perpetual war occurring in the Nevada skies north of Las Vegas. It is not part of some separating-a-tourist-from-his-money air-combat experience but the deadly game of “good guy” Blue Air jets fighting the “bad guy” Red Air […]
Like every other new pilot in 1942, Cary Benjamin “Ben” Jones experienced an abrupt introduction to combat. At that point in the war, the enemy had been flying combat for several years, but almost every American pilot, Jones included, was new to that particular lethal game. Still, he flew P-40s in the Mediterranean, Africa, Sicily, […]