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Rockoons: A Short Chapter  in Atmospheric Research

Rockoons: A Short Chapter in Atmospheric Research

At first glance, rockets and balloons would appear to be entirely separate technological species that would have little to do with one another. A modern rocket is a highly complex feat of engineering and, if powerful enough, can escape the Earth altogether. A balloon is as simple as simple gets (within reason), but even modern […]
Mitsubishi A6M Zero: Terror of the Pacific

Mitsubishi A6M Zero: Terror of the Pacific

Zero! Normally that’s a number signifying nothing, but to those who know history it indicates an able foe. A dainty, but lethal, dancer that cut a swath across the Pacific so bloody that for the first six months of World War Two it appeared as if nothing could stop it. The stories that filtered back […]

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10  Aviation  Myths  of World War II Fact vs. Fiction

10 Aviation Myths of World War II Fact vs. Fiction

Seventy years later, the Second World War remains the defining event of the 20th century and for the generations who experienced it. It led to the half-century Cold War and still shapes the geopolitical map today. Decades of lies and legends still swirl around the crucial events of mankind’s greatest conflict, and many of them […]
In Theater: Chariots of the Vanquished

In Theater: Chariots of the Vanquished

By Stan Piet By mid-August 1945, the Japanese Empire was near collapse. Months of sustained bombing and two atomic attacks had devastated its prime cities and a widening blockade was strangling its faltering war industry and starving citizens. But Tokyo’s ingrained militaristic “fight to the death culture” still held sway, and an all out invasion […]

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Honoring the ‘Flying Minute Men’

Honoring the ‘Flying Minute Men’

Flying Piper Cubs and Stinson biplanes, aircraft sometimes borrowed for the mission, the Civil Air Patrol guarded the American coast and helped turn back the U-boat onslaught that might otherwise have turned the tide of World War II. Men and women answered the call to serve as the nation went to war, joining the volunteer […]
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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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. […]
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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Curtiss P-40 Warhawk – WW II Fighter – Warbird of the week

Curtiss P-40 Warhawk – WW II Fighter – Warbird of the week

One of the all time famous fighters to come out of WW 2, the P-40 was conceived as a pursuit aircraft and was agile at low and medium altitudes. However, it suffered from a lack of power at higher altitudes. At medium and high speeds it was one of the tightest-turning early monoplane designs of […]
Can Big Data Save Old Warplanes?

Can Big Data Save Old Warplanes?

It’s been a tough year or so for Air Force maintainers. High-profile aircraft failures plagued the service recently, including emergency landings of C-5 cargo aircraft, the grounding of the B-1 bomber fleet, and the loss of a C-130 propeller in mid-flight. The immediate causes of these accidents vary, the but root cause is the same: age. The average age […]
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