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Mag: Aviation History Hero




  • Aviation History Magazine

    Punching Out: Evolution of the Ejection Seat

    The faster airplanes go, the faster we need to get out of them. If necessity is the mother of invention, combat is its father. Little more than a month after Pearl Harbor, when the United States was belatedly gearing up for war,...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Death on the High Road: The Schweinfurt Raid

    In October 1943, Eighth Air Force bombers flew through hell to bomb Schweinfurt, Germany. For them, Schweinfurt meant only one thing: a killer town that was one of the most savagely defended targets along the aerial high road above...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Sea Sentinel: The Lockheed P2V Neptune

    Lockheed’s P2V Neptune served in Korea and Vietnam, searched for Soviet submarines and even carried nuclear weapons, but today is largely forgotten. “It’s a pilot’s airplane. It has great handling qualities; it’ll do what you...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Small Planes, Big Thrills: The Mighty Midgets

    Born with the homebuilt lightplane movement in the 1920s, the “Builder’s Class” of Formula One racers continues to thrill spectators today at Reno. The annual Reno Air Races usually evoke images of the Unlimited class: highly...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Saburo Sakai: Samurai of the Air

    Legendary Zero pilot Saburo Sakai was Japan’s most recognized ace, but few knew the man behind the legend   Saburo Sakai is probably Japan’s best-known pilot of World War II, with the possible exception of Captain Mitsuo...

  • 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

    The Passion and the Fury: Mick Mannock

    Edward “Mick” Mannock, the Irish-born RAF ace of World War I, proved he was a man of extraordinary gifts with his leadership and combat skills....

  • Aviation History Magazine

    When Birds Strike

    Since the earliest days of manned flight, pilots have sought to safely share the skies with their avian counterparts—with mixed results. On September 7, 1905, less than two years after Orville Wright became the first man to make a...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Immortal Douglas DC-3

    Donald Douglas’ classic transport elevated aviation’s state of the art with its superb combination of beauty and performance. Within a decade of its 1921 founding, the Douglas Aircraft Company had built a solid reputation. The...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Surrounded and Outnumbered

    Against seemingly overwhelming odds, the diminutive Fourteenth Air Force held the line against the Japanese in China during World War II. After almost six months of continuous combat duty in China with the Fourteenth Air Force, Sergeant...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    ‘Lady Lindy’: The Remarkable Life of Amelia Earhart

    A tomboy who defied early-20th-century conventions, Earhart successfully crusaded for women pilots’ place in the sky. They called Amelia Earhart “Lady Lindy” after her first flight across the Atlantic. She was tall...

  • 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

    ‘Patton in a P-51’

    Don Blakeslee’s grit, guts and guidance helped make the “Fighting 4th” one of the finest combat air groups in Europe. Like his British and Commonwealth comrades in the Royal Air Force, American Don Blakeslee of No. 133 “Eagle”...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Hirano’s Zero

    A Mitsubishi Zero shot down at Pearl Harbor revealed surprisingly few facts about the mysterious fighter, but did yield a map that provided tantalizing clues about the location of the Japanese fleet. Shortly before 8 a.m. on December 7,...

  • 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

    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...