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Aviation History

Authoritative, in-depth history of world aviation from its origins to the Space Age. Aviation History offers air enthusiasts the most detailed coverage of the history of manned flight, with action-packed stories and illustrations that put the reader in the cockpit to experience aviation’s greatest dramas.




  • Aviation History Magazine

    Fritz Opel’s Manned Rocket

    June 11, 1928, Wasserkrupe, Germany— The world’s first rocket-propelled manned aircraft took to the sky. The sailplane, designed by Alexander Lippisch and called the Ente (German for “duck”), was powered by two black-powder rockets...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Airware Review: Cold War Gone Hot

    Wings Over Europe asks “What if?” The Cold War is one part of history rarely visited by aviation simulations. Perhaps scenarios where American Navy fighters stared down Russian bombers and ended without any shots being fired would make...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Book Review: I’ll Fly Away

    I’ll Fly Away: A World War II Pilot’s Lifetime of Adventures From Biplanes to Jumbo Jets by Jack Race with William F. Hallstead, University of Scranton Press, Scranton, Pa., 2006, $20 softcover. Jack Race soloed in an Aeronca C-3 at...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Book Review: Dictatorship of the Air

    Scott W. Palmer, author of Dictatorship of the Air: Culture and the Fate of Modern Russia (Cambridge University Press, New York, 2006, $40), has accomplished that most difficult task, writing a readable scholarly book. Well accoutered with...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The U.S. Navy’s Last Flying Boat

    Development of Martin’s P6M was delayed until its time ran out. Middle River, Maryland, July 14, 1955: Martin Aircraft’s XP6M-1 Seamaster, the world’s first jet-powered seaplane, taxied into the river for the first flight of what one...

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    Interview: Three Wars and Admirals’ Stripes

    Q: USS Hornet was sunk during the Battle of Santa Cruz, but you were on the aircraft carrier Enterprise, right? A: Yes, however, when I got back to our task force, I saw a carrier in flames and feared it was Enterprise. It turned out to be...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Three Wars and Admirals’ Stripes

    During a 36-year career, ‘Red’ Carmody went from flying dive bombers in World War II to commanding an aircraft carrier off Vietnam. The contact report on October 26, 1942, came from Lieutenant Commander James R.“Bucky” Lee,...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Paper Airplanes

    On the eve of World War II, the U.S. Army Air Corps ordered hundreds of medium bombers right off the drawing board—before they had even been test flown. In the late 1930s, U.S. Army Air Corps doctrine had been centered on using...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Glory & Appendicitis

    Endurance fliers Louise Thaden and Frances Marsalis triumphed over exhaustion—and media hype—in 1932. In July 1932, Louise McPhetridge Thaden received a call from Charles S. “Casey” Jones, manager of Curtiss Airport at Valley...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Return to USS Macon

    More than 70 years after the giant airship went down off the coast of California, a research expedition captures ghostly images of genius from a bygone era. Sitting inside Western Flyer’s command center three miles off the California...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Letter from the Editor- May 2007

    Spotlight on the Doolittle Raiders One of the organizations honoring servicemen and -women during last Veteran’s Day in Washington, D.C., was the American Veterans Center, sponsoring its ninth annual four-day conference. Presentations by...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Outgunned: An Me-109 pilot acknowledges defeat

    August 31, 1940, proved to be Lieutenant Wilhelm “Willy” Fronhofer’s unlucky day. During a cross-Channel raid, a British fighter got on his tail and blasted away with its eight .303 Browning machine guns at his Messerschmitt Me-109....

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Labor of Love

    How an unusual eBay offering led to the experience of a lifetime. Will never forget the moment for the rest of my life. It was about 9 p.m. on Friday, January 27, 2006, and I was sitting at my computer in my office when I clicked on a link...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Into the Air

    Louis XVI appointed two of his courtiers to become France’s first air travelers. Just before 2 P.M. on Friday, November 21, 1738 near the Bois de Boulogne, two men stood inside a circular wicker basket draped with blue cloth. One of...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Briefing- May 2007

    American MiGs It wasn’t exactly a closely guarded secret, but last November the U.S. Air Force for the first time acknowledged that it flew Communist-built fighters at the Tonopah Test Range northwest of Las Vegas, Nev., from 1977 to...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Letters from Readers- May 2007

    More Musical Musings We received a number of letters from readers who were intrigued by Jack Lambert’s “Reflections From the Cockpit,” the collection of aviator songs and verse that appeared in the January 2007 issue. For many it...