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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


From da Vinci to Voyager

Published: November 04, 2013 at 1:53 pm
In 1505-06, Leonardo da Vinci envisioned a day when humans would fly like birds. [Biblioteca Reale, Turin; Inset, NASA] "One can draw an imaginary line from the genius of the Renaissance [Leonardo da Vinci], who dreamed about human flight by …

Table of Contents—November 2013 'Aviation History'

Published: September 06, 2013 at 2:14 pm
Reginal Mitchell's Supermarine Spitfire; the mysterious disappearance of the Hawaii Clipper; Max Immelmann, the "Fokker Scourge;" the effort to cut off Hitler's oil supply in Ploesti; a dramatic search-and-rescue in Greenland during World War II.

Douglas World Cruiser Redux

Stephan Wilkinson | Published: September 06, 2013 at 2:14 pm
Beginning next spring, the World Cruiser replica "Seattle II" is poised to reprise the 1924 round-the-world flight made by its forebear. [Image: Bob Dempster] Any American who can fog a mirror will know the name of the airplane and aviator …

A Tigercat Roars Again

Stephan Wilkinson | Published: September 06, 2013 at 2:13 pm
James Slattery's Grumman F7F-3N Tigercat made its debut at the EAA AirVenture this summer. [Image: Jim Koepnick] The only reason to restore a Grumman F7F Tigercat is because it's so beautiful. The airplane was rejected as a carrier-borne fighter, the …

Sikorsky Prize Goes to Canadians

Nan Siegel | Published: September 06, 2013 at 2:13 pm
Todd Reichert prepares to make history during the June 13 attempt to meet the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Challenge. [Image: Aerovelo] After 33 years, the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Challenge has at last been met. The …

Germany Retires Its Last Phantom

Published: September 06, 2013 at 2:13 pm
Germany's first McDonnell-Douglas F-4F Phantom II rests after its final flight. [Image: A. Dijksterhuis] On June 29 Germany became the latest—but by no means the last—country to retire its McDonnell-Douglas F-4F Phantom II fighter-bombers, after 41 years of service. Of …

Ploesti—The Rest of the Story

Barrett Tillman | Published: September 06, 2013 at 2:01 pm
The Fifteenth Air Force struggled for four long months to shut off Hitler’s Balkan oil supply near Ploesti.

Wave-Top Marauder

Evan Hadingham | Published: July 12, 2013 at 1:53 pm
A faded wartime diary provides a window on the RAF's risky low-level bombing missions in the Adriatic.

'Flying Pencil' Recovery

Jon Guttman | Published: July 12, 2013 at 1:52 pm
On August 26, 1940, German Dornier Do-17Zs of Kampfgeschwader 3 on a mission to bomb British airfields at Hornchurch and Debden were attacked by Boulton-Paul Defiants of No. 264 Squadron, Royal Air Force. Escorting Messerschmitt Me-109Es came to their aid, …

Coast to Coast on Sun Power

Martin A. Bartels | Published: July 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm
The Solar Impulse soars over the Golden Gate Bridge during tests in April 2013. [Image: Solar Impulse] Imagine flying 900 miles at about 40 mph in a cockpit that has half the interior space of a Mini Cooper, with wings …

New Drone Designs Take Wing

Published: July 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm
Even as debate continues over the ethical use of drones in foreign and domestic airspace, two new drone designs are nearing full airworthiness.

Table of Contents—September 2013, Aviation History

Published: July 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm
The September 2013 issue of Aviation History explores the Luftwaffe's Stuka, the Martin Marauder, the birth of the Bell 47 helicopter, and the Fokker Triplane, among many other aviation wonders.

Jet Aircraft Development

Published: June 12, 2013 at 8:16 pm
The Cold War accelerated jet aircraft development without a shot being fired in the 1940s.

Table of Contents—July 2013 Aviation History

Published: May 06, 2013 at 11:35 am
The July 2013 issue of Aviation History offers compelling stories, including Dambusters (a complex RAF bombing mission over Germany), a profile of the Heinkel He-162, and the noble story of the 1926 team of U.S. Army airmen who flew 22,000 miles around Latin America.

The Dambusters

Nicholas O'Dell | Published: May 03, 2013 at 2:42 pm
View our exclusive animation and preview our story about the bold British raid on Germany’s strategic river dams.

Collier Goes to Curiosity

Published: May 03, 2013 at 2:14 pm
A remarkable self-portrait of the Curiousity rover on Mars. (© NASA/JPL Mars Science Laboratory/Curiousity Project) Every year the National Aeronautic Association awards the  Robert J. Collier Trophy for "the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to …
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