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Charles Lindbergh standing beside the Spirit of St. Louis. Photograph by American Commercial Photographers (attrib.), 1927. Missouri History Museum Photographs and Prints Collections. Lindbergh, Charles A. Collection. n22380.

On This Day in Aviation History

1927 – Charles Lindbergh lands his new Ryan monoplane, the “Spirit of St. Louis,” in St. Louis, Mo., after a record non-stop overnight flight from San Diego, Calif., of 14 hours, 25 min. 1957 – Death of Victor Herbert Strahm, American World War I flying ace, who served in World War II and was chief test pilot for the U.S. Army Air Forces. […]
F/A-18 Hornet: a Dynasty in the Making

F/A-18 Hornet: a Dynasty in the Making

The Hornet has been a highly controversial airplane from the day it was initially proposed. Hornet detractors point at their hero, the massive F-14, and say the Hornet isn’t worthy of following in that great airplane’s steps. No range, no load, no nothin’. Well, folks, guess what? Right or wrong, the Tomcat’s on it’s way […]

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Fighter of the Week: the Lockheed P-38 Lightning

Fighter of the Week: the Lockheed P-38 Lightning

A WW II-era American piston-engined fighter aircraft, the Lockheed P-38 Lightning was developed for the United States Army Air Corps. It had distinctive twin tail booms and a central nacelle containing the cockpit and armament. The P-38 was used for interception, dive bombing, level bombing, ground attack, night fighting, photo reconnaissance, and escort missions for […]
Aviation Insider: F-35 Lightning II

Aviation Insider: F-35 Lightning II

When the 100th F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter was delivered, it was a “big deal for the Air Force,” said chief of staff Gen. Mark Welsh. Welsh is the most visible face and the strongest voice supporting the F-35. A respected fighter pilot, Welsh is trying to steer his service at a time when […]

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The A-10 Has No Warts

The A-10 Has No Warts

The A-10 isn’t an airplane. It’s a terrifyingly effective ball peen hammer designed from the onset to do one job and one job only: support the guys on the ground. At the beginning that meant it was to blunt the tank attacks cold war planners knew the Russians would send rolling across Europe in waves. […]
Stearman PT-17/N2S: The Biplane With So Many Lives

Stearman PT-17/N2S: The Biplane With So Many Lives

The PT-17 Stearman is literally the airplane that has always seemed to just be “there.” Although, it is most often thought of as the school marm that taught a generation of airmen the skills necessary to win a war, she has actually lived three distinct lives and is entering a fourth, from military trainer to […]

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Rare WW II film: Luftwaffe Aircraft and Ground Crew

Rare WW II film: Luftwaffe Aircraft and Ground Crew

Here’s something you don’t see every day. A taste of the WW II front lines from the Luftwaffe’s point of view. This rare WW II German film (with audio), showis Luftwaffe Stukas, Ju 88 s, Bf 109 s, Bf 110 s in aerial action. Also included German ground crew fueling Stuka dive bombers, as well […]
Belgian Rattlesnake  – The Lewis Machine gun

Belgian Rattlesnake – The Lewis Machine gun

Today the name of Isaac Newton Lewis is little known outside of firearms circles, but he exerted a major influence on aerial combat. In 1911, Colonel Lewis, a U.S. Army ordnance officer, adapted a machine gun design patented by inventor Samuel McLean. With a soldier’s eye toward utility, Lewis worked with the Automatic Arms Co. in New York to simplify the original design as a workable weapon. Light and potent, it was a revolutionary design.

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Iconic Firepower: Aircrew Sidearms

Iconic Firepower: Aircrew Sidearms

The last ditch defense By Barrett Tillman Murvaux, France, September 29, 1918. The mortally wounded American ace slid from his SPAD and staggered into the tall grass. As German infantry approached he drew his Colt M1911 pistol and prepared to die fighting. The Arizonan fired at least three rounds in the dusk encounter before he […]
How the USAF Almost Brought Back the P-51 Mustang

How the USAF Almost Brought Back the P-51 Mustang

Today’s pilots are expensively trained and politically expensive to lose. A pilot lost over Serbia or Syria has major diplomatic repercussions, which is why drones are becoming the aircraft of choice. The Air Force does like its high-priced jets, and cost is a lingering issue for hundred-million-dollar aircraft like the F-35. But while a propeller-driven […]
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