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Aviation Insider: F-35 Lightning II

Aviation Insider: F-35 Lightning II

When the 100th F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter was delivered on December 13, 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 […]

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The A-10 Warthog Has No Warts

The A-10 Warthog 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. […]
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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BAE Systems Hawk — The RAF’s amazing Trainer

BAE Systems Hawk — The RAF’s amazing Trainer

A British single-engine, advanced trainer jet, the BAE Systems Hawk was first flown in 1974 as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk. Subsequently produced by its successor companies, British Aerospace and BAE Systems, the Hawk has been used in a training capacity and as a low-cost combat aircraft. Currently still in production in the UK and under […]
An F-100 Driver Story

An F-100 Driver Story

Del Rio was several times a movie set for a West Texas border town. It’s windy, and the weather tends toward extremes. A large U.S. Air Force Base 6 miles east of town was named after Jack T. Laughlin, a B-17 pilot and Del Rio native killed over Java within a few weeks of the […]

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T-6 Texan II

USAF Grounds T-6A Texan II Aircraft

The Air Force grounded T-6A Texan II flying operations Nov. 15 after pilots reported oxygen problems — the fourth incident since Nov. 1. According to officials of the 71st Flying Training Wing at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, four instructor pilots and one student pilot reported physiological incidents while flying. “Vance Air Force Base is […]
An F-8 Crusader Jet Pilot’s Story …  I FELL 15,000 FEET AND LIVED

An F-8 Crusader Jet Pilot’s Story … I FELL 15,000 FEET AND LIVED

“‘Jud you’re on fire, get the hell out of there!” Needless to say that startling command got my attention. As you will read in this report, this was just the beginning of my problems! It had all started in the brilliant sunlight 20,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean as I nudged my F-8 Crusader jet […]

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A formation of colorful AT-6 Texans line up for a photo pass.

The AT-6 Texan from the Cockpit Pilot View

The best indication of how good a trainer the AT-6 Texan was/is can be seen by the fact that here we are forty years into the jet age and there are still countries around the world using the North America aerial classroom as first-line trainers. As recently as five years ago, major air forces still […]
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