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Out of India: How My Father Escaped WW II

Out of India: How My Father Escaped WW II

My dad, Lt. Col. Grover F. Nelson (Ret), was stationed in far North East India at the Allied Airbase at Chabua near Assam with the U.S. Army-Air Force during World War II flying supply routes between India, Nepal, Burma and China. At the end of the war, he was 29-year-years old. He was one of […]
Their Finest Hour

Their Finest Hour

The summer of 2020 will mark 80 years since the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and Nazi Germany’s Luftwaffe fought the world’s first great air campaign. The brown-green fighters swept down from altitude, pushing 300mph to attack the serried ranks of gray-green bombers. Within 1,000 feet of the enemy formation, the fighters opened fire, each […]

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Stalin’s Flying Hammer

Stalin’s Flying Hammer

Each of the major World War II combatants had an airplane that personified it and its people: the Japanese Zero, the German Stuka, the British Spitfire, and (of course) the American Flying Fortress, which symbolized the nation’s entire wartime concept of strategic bombing. Soviet Russia had the Il-2 Shturmovik. Built by Ilyushin, the Il-2 was […]
Fairey Rotodyne Compound Gyroplane

Fairey Rotodyne Compound Gyroplane

The Fairey Rotodyne was a 1950’s British compound gyroplane designed and built by Fairey Aviation and intended for commercial and military uses. The Fairey Rotodyne’s first flight was on 6 November 1957. The first transitions to horizontal powered flight were begun in April 1958. Initial problems with tip jet reignition at altitude were solved by […]

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Restoring an F4F Wildcat [VIDEO]

Restoring an F4F Wildcat [VIDEO]

Salvagers recovered a World War II-era Grumman Wildcat that crashed into Lake Michigan. Now, a team of specialists at the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, Michigan are restoring the plane. Great video by Discover UK with a surprise “bonus” ending that details how to make a cigar box banjo!
Gen. Chuck Yeager on Flying P-51 Mustangs

Gen. Chuck Yeager on Flying P-51 Mustangs

As we mourn the passing of an aviation legend, we share this article Gen. Chuck Yeager wrote for Flight Journal. I shot down my first Bf 109 during the first daylight raid on Berlin by American B-17s on March 4, 1944. I was flying a P-51B with the birdcage canopy. The weather was extremely bad, […]

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BMW Electric Wingsuit reaches 186mph!

BMW Electric Wingsuit reaches 186mph!

BMW partnered with German automaker Designworks and Peter Salzman, a professional skydiver and BASE jumper to test fly a chest-mounted twin jet power pack. After 3 years of testing in an indoor wind tunnel, Salzman dropped from a helicopter at 10,000 feet and reached 186mph on the inaugural flight—about 3X faster than a standard nonpowered […]
Last Dogfight of WW I

Last Dogfight of WW I

Did you know that on April 11, 1945 the last aerial combat of WW II was fought between a U.S. L-4 Grasshopper and Luftwaffe Fieseler Storch over Vesbeck, Germany? Here’s the story, in the words of the Grasshopper pilot, Lt. Merritt Duane Francies, U.S. Army, Retired, 5th Armored Division, 71st Field Artillery, 9th Army. “I […]

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Photo by John Dibbs/planepicture.com

One Lucky Bastard!

I grew up during an exciting time for aviation. My first recollection of flying was at about 10 years old when I shook Lucky Lindbergh’s hand. In fourth grade I won a model airplane contest, and the prize was my first ride in an open cockpit plane. I had no goggles. When I raised my […]
Veterans Day and Me: A Personal Essay

Veterans Day and Me: A Personal Essay

Although Veterans Day has the stated purpose of remembering the vets and those in uniform, in reality it means different things to different people. For some it is the half-off sales that surround us. For me, it reminds me of one of those could-of-should-ofs that will always haunt me: I never served in the armed […]
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