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Legendary Heavy Hitter: June Issue

The Legend of Maj. Paul "Pappy" Gunn

Their Finest Hour

Butcher Bird Hellcat & Corsair: A test pilot recalls

Stinson’s Big-Guy L-Bird

Stalin’s Flying Hammer

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8 Things You May Not Know About Memorial Day

8 Things You May Not Know About Memorial Day

From its Civil War origins to its modern-day traditions, find out more about America’s most solemn holiday. Memorial Day and its traditions may have ancient roots. While the first commemorative Memorial Day events weren’t held in the United States until the late 19th century, the practice of honoring those who have fallen in battle dates […]
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 […]

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Ryan XV-8A (Fleep), 1963

Building the Rogallo Wing & Mercury Recovery Capsule

You have probably read accounts about the recovery systems for space capsules. I was an employee in the Flight Engineering Department at Ryan Aeronautical Company in San Diego, California and participated in this and many other aviation projects. This was a time, beginning after the end of WWII, that no longer exists in the field […]
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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