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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

    Avro Lancaster: The 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

    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,...