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Pearl Harbor: December 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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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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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 […]
Historic Mars Landing

Historic Mars Landing

The NASA Perseverance rover has safely landed on Mars after a nearly 300 million-mile 6-month journey from Earth. “Percy” had a perfect touchdown and will soon begin to explore the Red Planet. Even more exciting, a micro helicopter, “Ingenuity,” is attached to the underside of the rover. Over the next few weeks, it will first […]

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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 […]
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 […]
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