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Mag: Aviation History Aircraft




  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Roadable Airplane

    The Gwinn Aircar came tantalizingly close to fulfilling the dream of a roadable airplane. A safe airplane as easy to operate and as cheap to buy as the average automobile. This was the American dream in the air-minded 1930s. I lived...

  • 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

    OS2U Kingfisher: 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...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Dragonfly Dreams

    Although Miles Aircraft’s odd-looking Libellula flew well, British officials swatted it down. The conventional image of an airplane—a tubular fuselage with a pair of wings attached somewhere near the center and a rudder and elevators...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Mystery Ship: March 2018

    Can you identify the parasitic airplane? Click here for the answer!  ...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Myth of the Zero

    Mitsubishi’s legendary A6M ran circles around opposing fighters early in World War II, but by 1945 its odds of surviving a dogfight were close to zero. Has there ever been a warplane as mythic as the Mitsubishi Zero? Legend, mystery,...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Project Tip-Tow

    The “floating wingtip” concept led to Cold War experiments that had pilots tip-towing on the verge of disaster. The history of aviation is full of ideas that seemed ingenious when first pro- posed but failed in practice. These notions...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Mystery Ship: January 2018

    Can you identify this unusual raceplane? Click here for the answer!...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Republic’s Fleeting Masterpiece

    Despite its sleek lines and unparalleled performance, there would be no pot of gold at the end of this Rainbow. In real estate, it’s location, location, location. In aircraft, it’s timing, timing, timing. Some examples proving this...