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D-Day: Planning the  Aerial  Assault

D-Day: Planning the Aerial Assault

Today the numbers involved in Operation Overlord are unthinkable: 6,000 bombers, more than 5,000 fighters, some 1,600 transport aircraft, and 2,500 gliders. All crammed into scores of airfields throughout Britain, but mainly in southern England. All were serviced, armed, and assigned aircrews, eager to take off on the day called “D.” That spring, the American […]
D-Day Fighter Pilot Accounts: Little Friends over the Beach

D-Day Fighter Pilot Accounts: Little Friends over the Beach

They must have been a sight for sore eyes to the soldiers on the beach as wave after wave of fighters, bombers, and paratrooper-stuffed transports, some towing gliders, passed overhead, all of them adorned with black and white painted stripes. The invasion was on, and many of the fighter pilots expecting a Luftwaffe slugfest were […]

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The Fewest of the Few: How the Supermarine Spitfire Won the Battle of Britain

The Fewest of the Few: How the Supermarine Spitfire Won the Battle of Britain

Those who have previously studied the Battle of Britain have most often come the conclusion that, although the Spitfire was an integral part to the Royal Air Force’s defense of Britain, it was ultimately the workhorse Hawker Hurricane that won the battle. However, a new theory proposed by aviation historian Ryan Clauser challenges that school […]
Great Planes: The B-24 Liberator

Great Planes: The B-24 Liberator

Throughout the history of aviation only a few aircraft have excelled to become legend. One of them is the Consolidated B-24 Liberator. Enjoy this terrific documentary!

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When Plumbing Fixtures Ruled the Skies

When Plumbing Fixtures Ruled the Skies

By the time the first shot was fired in 1914 during the “war to end all wars,” the airplane was barely out of its infancy stage. The early “knights of the air” puttering around in their mostly wooden and fabric-covered flying contraptions were mere observers to the large-scale battles that lay below them. As they […]
On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1938 – First flight of the Bell P-39 Airacobra, a principal American fighter in service at the start of World War II. It is the first fighter in history with a tricycle undercarriage and the first to have the engine installed in the center fuselage, behind the pilot. 1962 – The Royal Canadian Air Force […]

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F8 Wings Folded

F8 Wings Folded

On January 22, 1968, I was a young LTJG at Miramar, attached to Navy Fighter Squadron VF-53 preparing for a deployment to Vietnam aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard. As a final part of the pre-deployment regimen, all pilots were briefed to fly [ FMLP ] Field Mirror Landing Practice about 2100 that night. This was our last chance […]
Forgotten DC-3 Caught on Camera

Forgotten DC-3 Caught on Camera

Lying on a black sandy beach in the south of Iceland, the wreckage of a crashed U.S. Navy aircraft looks like something from a post-apocalyptic movie. Amazingly, the crew all survived the impact, when the Douglas Super DC-3 was forced to crash land on Sólheimasandur beach on Nov. 24, 1973. But the plane was abandoned rather than recovered, […]

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Looking Back: Project FICON

Looking Back: Project FICON

U.S. Navy aircraft carriers are a dominant presence in waters around the world, and interestingly enough, the Air Force once tried to make a flying version. During World War II, bomber aircraft could fly thousands of miles to their targets, unlike gas-guzzling fighters, which had much shorter ranges. This was a big problem for bombers, since they were sitting […]
World War II  – The Pioneer Jets

World War II – The Pioneer Jets

The history of technology is replete with a concept called “multiple independent discovery.” Examples are the incandescent lightbulb by the American inventor Thomas Edison and the British inventor Joseph Swan in 1879, and the computer by Briton Alan Turing and Polish-American Emil Post in 1936. During the 1930s, on opposite sides of the English Channel, […]
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