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WWI’s Albatros D.III

WWI’s Albatros D.III

Lethal Wooden Wonder Let’s try to put the Albatros-Flugzeugwerke series of WWI fighters in perspective. First, the Wrights flew in 1903 but didn’t really reveal many secrets to the world until 1905. Then it was closer to 1908-1910 that Glenn Curtis jumped into the game with ailerons, elevators and all that other ìrealî airplane stuff. […]
Magnificent Pain: The Art of the Sukhoi 31

Magnificent Pain: The Art of the Sukhoi 31

The world of serious, unlimited aerobatics, as seen from the inside is primarily one of grunts and groans and the never ending search for better and better machines capable of illiciting said grunts and groans. Standing at the head of the search for aerobatic excellence is the Sukhoi design bureau in Moscow. For nearly thirty […]

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deHavilland DH82 Tiger Moth

deHavilland DH82 Tiger Moth

The World’s Primary Trainer The first time I strapped on a Tiger Moth I had to laugh. For one thing, there was this HUGE compass projecting up off the floor between my knees. It was fashioned of polished brass and swung in gimbals to keep it level in all attitudes. It would have been more […]
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Christen Eagle — The Rainbow Bird With the Dacron Plumage

With fabric feathers and 200 horsepower in its beak, the Eagle II was Californian Frank Christensen’s idea of what a two-place, good time flying machine should look and fly like. A slicked-up city cousin of a Pitts Special, the Eagle has its own following that is every bit as rabid about their airplane as the […]

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P-38 Lightning: A country boy way out of his element

P-38 Lightning: A country boy way out of his element

When I flew a P-38 for the first time, I had to admit that I had a hard time hearing the engines over the noise of my knees knocking. What was a grassroots pilot like me doing strapped into such a huge piece of iron? That was simple: I wanted a type-rating in the airplay […]
Ford Trimotor  – Ford’s Fabulous Tri-Motor classic airplane

Ford Trimotor – Ford’s Fabulous Tri-Motor classic airplane

When you climb on board some airplanes, there’s a feeling that can only be described as passing through a portal into history. As I worked my way between the rows of seats up to the cockpit of the Ford 4AT Trimotor, that was one of those moments: there was no doubt that what I was […]

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Model 12 Pitts Special Biplane –  The Definition of “Bitchin'”

Model 12 Pitts Special Biplane – The Definition of “Bitchin'”

What’s better than a biplane? That’s obvious: a biplane with a round motor. And what ís better than a biplane with a round motor? A round-motored biplane that’s designed by Curtis Pitts! When you’re saddling up the Model 12, it feels like a much bigger than a normal two-place Pitts, when in reality it’s not. […]
Piper J-3 Cub: Piper’s Lightweight aircraft is a  gift to mankind

Piper J-3 Cub: Piper’s Lightweight aircraft is a gift to mankind

Like most pilots, I’m not certain I can remember a time before I flew a J-3. That’s probably because I too started out in a Cub. I was fifteen years old and even then found one of the biggest hurdles to flying a Cub to be simply getting in it. The dance includes the following […]

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Aviation Photography – The Words Are the Easy Part

Aviation Photography – The Words Are the Easy Part

Barrett Tillman, historian, author and Flight Journal regular is fond of saying, “God forgives man that time spent looking at airplane photos.” Outside of actually flying, nothing gives aviation types as much pleasure as looking at high-quality (or interesting) photos of flying machines. It almost makes no difference what kind of airplane. We’ll look at […]
WW II’s Submarine-Sinking Fairey Swordfish

WW II’s Submarine-Sinking Fairey Swordfish

It’s impossible to look at the Fairey Swordfish, affectionately known as the “Stringbag,” and not say, “You have to be kidding! This was one of the Royal Navy’s most effective weapons of WW II?” A gigantic, bi-winged personification of the word “anachronistic,” as the saying goes, the Swordfish may have been ugly, but it was […]
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