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Aviation History Briefing


Bata Lockheed Electra

Stephan Wilkinson | Published: May 04, 2015 at 1:06 pm
Bata's 1937 Lockheed 10A Electra helped pioneer the corporate airplane concept. Many of us assume that corporate flying was developed by Texas oil barons and Midwestern entrepreneurs during the 1930s, but it was a Czech shoe company, Bata, that pioneered …

Widow Makers at Work

Jon Guttman | Published: May 04, 2015 at 1:02 pm
The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum's P-61B in June 2014. Mid-Atlantic Air Museum It has been 70 years since Northrop P-61B-1NO no. 42-39445 of the 550th Night Fighter Squadron, Thirteenth Air Force, left Hollandia airfield on a "proficiency flight" on January 10, …

Drones vs. Poachers

Published: May 04, 2015 at 12:55 pm
The drones are flown from a mobile command post. The Lindbergh Foundation Poachers are killing so many elephants and rhinos in Africa that biologists predict both species may soon be extinct without massive intervention. According to the Charles A. and …

Savannah’s Flying Fortress

Stephan Wilkinson | Published: May 04, 2015 at 1:07 am
Volunteers pose with 'City of Savannah' as it nears completion. Gulf Stream Aerospace They called it the Mighty Eighth—the Eighth Air Force, the most effective bomber force of World War II. Though "thousand-plane raids" are bruited as the criterion of …

Third Time’s the Charm?

Stephan Wilkinson | Published: March 11, 2015 at 2:51 pm
Britain's most star-crossed restoration project is back in the air.

Smithsonian Treasures on Display

Published: March 11, 2015 at 2:50 pm
A recent media preview at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center provided an opportunity to check out some fascinating projects.

Immaculate Restorations

Stephan Wilkinson | Published: March 11, 2015 at 2:50 pm
MeierMotors, thanks to PRman/webmaster Matthias Dorst, has flooded warbird forums with photos of MM’s restorers at work on a variety of notable airplanes.

Herk Rescue Mission

Published: March 11, 2015 at 2:50 pm
Former hostages and rescuer reunite near Secord's C-130 in 2013. Mack Secord On November 24, 1964, Mrs. Marilyn Wendler was an 11-year-old missionary's daughter scrambling aboard a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules piloted by Captain Mack Secord, of the 464th …

Movie Messerschmitts Sold

Jon Guttman | Published: January 08, 2015 at 4:04 pm
Stunt pilot Connie Edwards' cache of HA-1112 Buchons shown as sold to Swiss company Boschung Global Ltd. [Image: c. Boschung Global] The Swiss company Boschung Global Ltd. announced on November 13, 2014, that it has taken possession of six rare …

EAA’s Standard J-1 Returns

Stephan Wilkinson | Published: January 08, 2015 at 4:04 pm
The EAA's Standard J-1, decked out in the markings of fictional barnstormer Waldo Pepper, takes to the air again. [Jason Toney/EAA] The square-cut 1916-18 Standard J-1 biplane is notorious for being mistaken as a Curtiss JN-4 Jenny, a situation not …

Thinking Outside the Gondola

Published: January 08, 2015 at 4:04 pm
On October 24, 2014, Alan Eustace ascended to 135,890 feet wearing a pressure suit with life support system before exceeding the speed of sound in a record-breaking skydive. [J. Martin Harris] A little more than two years after Felix Baumgartner's …

Google Takes Over Moffett Field

Published: January 08, 2015 at 4:04 pm
USS Macon was stored inside the massive Hangar One at Moffett Field in 1934. Underwood Archives/Getty Images With a 200-foot-high ceiling and a floor surface covering eight acres, Hangar One at Moffett Field in Mountain View, Calif., is an appropriate …

Gee Bee Super Q.E.D. II

Stephan Wilkinson | Published: November 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm
The Super Q.E.D. II first flew in September 2013, and made its public debut at Oshkosh in the summer of 2014.

Original Air Force One

Dick Smith | Published: November 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm
An L-749 Constellation is the first aircraft to carry the coveted call sign "Air Force One."

Travel Air Type R Replica

Stephan Wilkinson | Published: November 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm
The Travel Air Type R, popularly known as the “Mystery Ship,” was the first civilian air racer to beat military-backed modified fighters.

National Aviation Heritage Invitational

Nicholas A. Veronico | Published: November 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm
This year’s grand champion and winner of the Neil A. Armstrong National Aviation Heritage Trophy was a beautiful 1934 Waco YKC cabin-class biplane.
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