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Mag: Aviation History Aircraft




  • Aviation History Magazine

    Mystery Ship: July 2018

    Can you identify this un-American airplane?  Click here for the answer!...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Night Raider

    The Avro Lancaster rained terror on Germany but never attained the B-17’s fame, even though it could carry twice the bombload over an equal distance. The brilliant comedic artist Bruce McCall illustrated a 1971 article in playboy...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    From ‘Flying Bathtub’ to Space Shuttle

    What does a Pontiac convertible have to do with a space shuttle? In 1963 a souped-up Catalina ragtop was used to tow the M2-F1—the world’s first manned lifting body and arguably the shuttle’s forerunner—during initial tests of the...

  • Aviation History Magazinee

    The Navy’s Flying Cannon

    Built to counter the German U-boat threat in World War I, the Naval Aircraft Factory N-1 never fulfilled its purpose. In a peculiar contravention of American capitalist principles, the U.S. Navy established its own aircraft production...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Flitfire Flies Again

    When a Piper J-3 Cub owner learned that his airplane boasted an unusually historic provenance, he restored it to its original appearance. The summer and autumn of 1940 was a dark time for the people of Great Britain. As the Luftwaffe...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    COW-Gun Fighter

    A seeming throwback to an earlier era, the Vickers 161 nevertheless packed a heavy punch. There have been many instances in which warplanes were specifically designed around the armament they carried. Few examples have been as extreme or...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Bolo

    When the Douglas B-18 bomber joined ASW patrols, an old dog learned a new trick. On August 22, 1942, Oberleutnant-zur-See Ludwig Forster was enjoying a brief respite from torpedoing Allied merchant ships in the Caribbean Sea when...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Mystery Ship: May 2018

    Can you identify this early jet transport? Click here for the answer!...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Firebombers!

    As last fall’s California wildfires demonstrated, the demand for aerial firefighters and the dangers they face have never been greater  The world’s first practical firebomber was a Stearman, a 1939 Boeing 75 that had been...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    A Ghost in the Machine

    An airline pilot working to rebuild a Grumman Widgeon says he was assisted by a mysterious voice in his head. As Mark Taintor approached the hangar he heard a voice say “turn right.” He looked around and didn’t see anyone. The voice...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    A Pusher Ahead of Its Time

    The Curtiss-Wright XP-55 sweptwing pusher was a plane ahead of its time. “Thinking Outside the Box” is a catchphrase that is heard perhaps too often today, but in 1939 it had not yet come into wide usage. Nevertheless, the concept did...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Saab J21

    Saab’s J21 was among the few aircraft produced in both piston engine and turbojet versions. To most Americans, the name SAAB brings to mind a line of modish and distinctively Swedish auto­mobiles. It might come as a surprise that Saab...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Workhorse of the Fleet

    Vought’s versatile Kingfisher served as a gun spotter, patrol plane, anti-submarine scout, utility transport and trainer, but downed aircrews remembered it best as an “angel on floats” Legendary World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Supersonic Gamble

    Britain and France bet on the prospects of supersonic transport, but ultimately were thwarted by economic and environmental concerns. The Anglo-French Concorde supersonic transport (SST) is an airplane of singular grace and elegance. It...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Style Over Substance

    Lockheed’s XF-90 embodied the rakish appearance of an early jet fighter, but its sleek exterior hid a host of shortcomings. Created by the famous Lockheed “Skunk Works” and heavily publicized as the U.S. Air Force’s next fighter,...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Damned Hunchbacks

    Developed from an airliner, the SM.79 trimotor torpedo bomber emerged as Italy’s most important attack aircraft in the Mediterranean. As the struggle between Allied and Axis forces for control of the Mediterranean Sea reached its...