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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

    “Messerschmitt Killer”

    Although the Curtiss O-52 Owl was obsolete before it entered combat, one managed to score an unlikely victory in Soviet service. The Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company was for many years the greatest name in American aviation, the premier...

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    Balkan Top Gun

    South African pilot “Pat” Pattle’s star burned brightly over North Africa and Greece during his meteoric combat career. April 20, 1941: one week before Greece capitulated to German and Italian invaders. As waves of Luftwaffe Ju-88s...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Sentinel of Verdun

    One of the very first fighter aces, Jean Navarre terrorized the skies over France by day and the streets of Paris by night. To French infantrymen in Verdun’s trenches early in 1916, cow- ering under German artillery, machine guns,...

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    Clippers to the Rescue

    How giant flying boats helped win the Pacific theater’s war of supply. Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox characterized World War II as “a war of supply.” This was especially true of the Pacific theater, where logistics were...

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    The World’s Most Beautiful Airplanes

    Where does your favorite land on our top-12 list—or is it up in the air? Everybody has their favorites, and they’re beloved for many different reasons. The B-24 that brought your grandfather home from every mission over Germany might...

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    First Military Aviator

    Jean Marie Coutelle offered generals a bird’s-eye view of the battlefield from his “diabolical contraption” The airplane was barely eight years old in 1911 when Italians flew Blériot XIs and Etrich Taubes on aerial reconnaissance...

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    SAC Superfort Survivor

    A long-neglected B-29 takes center stage at Nebraska’s Strategic Air and Space Museum. After more than five years of painstaking work, the Strategic Air and Space Museum’s Boeing TB-29B has at last found a permanent home out of the...

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    Everyman’s Amphibian

    Percival Spencer’s 1941 Air Car design formed the template for two generations of amphibious lightplanes. For ordinary Americans living through the Great Depression, the notion of privately owning a seaplane—even a small one used for...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Briefing- November 2012

    Historic Heinkel Recovered On June 12, one of the best-preserved and least damaged of all World War II aircraft recovered from underwater, a Heinkel He-115B twin-engine floatplane, was gently brought to the surface of a Norwegian fjord...

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    Spin Control

    How pioneering pilots learned to escape the death spiral....

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Screaming Bird of Prey

    Although obsolescent even before World War II began, the Ju-87 Stuka terrorized ground troops and found a late-war niche as a tank-buster. Never has a warplane so obsolete, vulnerable and technologically basic wrought so much damage to its...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    A Wing and a Prayer

    Neil Armstrong’s flying career nearly ended soon after it started, when he was forced to eject from his F9F Panther over Korea....

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    Pioneering Convertiplane

    Gerard Herrick tried to have the best of both worlds—fixed-wing and rotary-wing—with his HV-2A. The concept of rotary-winged aircraft goes all the way back—on paper, at least—to Leonardo da Vinci, but even after the Wright brothers...

  • 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...

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    Aviation History Book Review: Open Cockpit

    Open Cockpit   by Arthur Gould Lee This is one of the best personal memoirs of World War I aviation—in many ways the nonfiction equivalent of V.M. Yeates’ novel Winged Victory. Both Lee and Yeates tell the tale of combat in very...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Book Review: The Oranges are Sweet

    The Oranges are Sweet   by Paul M. Sailer, Loden Books, Wadena, Minn., 2011, $34.99. A helicopter-qualified Vietnam veteran living in Wadena County, Minn., Paul Sailer found a local hero to celebrate in county resident Don Beerbower,...