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Next-Gen Fighter

Next-Gen Fighter

On 16 June, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. described the Next Generation Air Dominance Fighter (NGAD) to the House Armed Services Committee in testimony relating to the fiscal 2022 budget request. Brown said he wants the NGAD to have “multirole” capability, with combat capabilities that assure air dominance but also […]
Butcher Bird  Hellcat & Corsair: A test pilot recalls

Butcher Bird Hellcat & Corsair: A test pilot recalls

During WW II, we in the military were not allowed to save notes, keep diaries or take pictures, and being a Boy Scout type, I lived by the rules. Now, decades later, when I’m called to write about some of my flight experiences, I wish that I had bent the rules a little. Thank goodness […]

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The Grumman Skyrocket

The Grumman Skyrocket

Intended for use on carriers, the Grumman XF5F-1 Skyrocket had folding wings and was intended to have an airspeed of over 300mph. It used two Pratt & Whitney Wright R-1820 engines, and first flew on April 1, 1940. Although it had good flight characteristics and a maximum speed of 383mph at 20,000 feet, it had […]
Travelair Mystery Ship: Model “R” for Racing

Travelair Mystery Ship: Model “R” for Racing

Dawn of a New Era It was September 2nd, 1929 and before the day was over, the world of military airplanes had been changed forever.As Doug Davis roared across the finish line and took the checkered flag at Cleveland that afternoon, he had done more than win a race. He and the red and black […]

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Creating the Military “IoT”

Creating the Military “IoT”

On Dec. 9, the joint force took another step toward achieving a military Internet of Things (IoT) when fifth-generation aircraft overcame long standing connectivity limitations to share actionable operational data in their native secure digital “languages” with and through multiple sources for the first time. This test was the latest demonstration of the transformative warfighting […]
Rare Bird: Pitcairn Autogiro

Rare Bird: Pitcairn Autogiro

“This is a real prehistoric monster in flight. Once the helicopter was built, these autogiros became dinosaurs,” stated the late Jack Tiffany of Spring Valley, Ohio, at the time, co-owner (with Jim Hammond of Yellow Springs, Ohio) of the Pitcairn PA-18 N1267B (c/n G-65), the only example of the type flying in the U.S., when […]

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The Legend of Maj. Paul “Pappy” Gunn

The Legend of Maj. Paul “Pappy” Gunn

“Pappy” Gunn had served in the U.S. Navy for twenty years before retiring to start airlines in Hawaii and the Philippines. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, he returned to the service — and received a Distinguished Flying Cross for flying in medical supplies to besieged troops on the Bataan Peninsula. He was evacuated to Australia, […]
Kettering Bug (USAF photo)

Early UAV Development and Dahlgren

Anyone familiar with Dahlgren history has almost certainly heard of Carl Norden and Dahlgren’s role in the development of his famous bombsight. It’s less well known that he came to Dahlgren two years before his first bombsight tests and almost five years before testing the first version of his famous bombsight in 1924. This earlier […]

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Building the XQ-2C Drone

Building the XQ-2C Drone

In the early 1960s, the government needed an interim replacement for the U2 “spy plane”, one that would not carry a pilot. The new, still secret, Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” was not yet ready to replace the U2. As it turned out, eight days after Captain Francis Gary powers was shot down on May 1, 1960 […]
“Wise Guy” is Back

“Wise Guy” is Back

Thirteen years after being retired on August 14, 2008, B-52H Stratofortress 60-0034 “Wise Guy” returned to the fleet at Minot AFB in North Dakota. The aircraft began its journey back to the sky at the 309th Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona in 2019. After initial refurbishment, she was […]
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