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Aircraft

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Atomic Airships

    Nuclear-powered airships seemed like a good idea during the Cold War, but for a variety of reasons—some self-evident—they never got off the ground. For the first half of the 20th century, atomic-powered airships were the stuff of...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Father of the Black Box

    James “Crash” Ryan’s research laid the foundation for the modern flight data recorder, contributing greatly to aviation safety. Aircraft flight data recorders were around even before the beginning of manned, powered flight. Early...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Israeli’s Other Air Force

    The founding father of the IAF’s C-130 squadrons reveals the secret history of an innovative transport service. Flying in one of the Israeli Air Force’s aging C-130s is no treat. The smell of exhaust permeates the cargo hold, which is...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Perfect Airlifter

    Lockheed’s long-lived C-130 Hercules has enjoyed an incredible career, and continues to serve some 60 nations in a variety of roles. Kelly Johnson made few mistakes as Lockheed’s star engineer, but he made a beaut when he offered his...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Mustang by Another Name

    The Collings Foundation has returned a rare North American A-36 dive bomber to flying status. Thanks to a surfeit of renovated, rebuilt, restored, repackaged, replicated and reinvented P-51D Mustangs and the resultant Nose Syndrome...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Convertible Flying Boat

    Britain’s Blackburn B-20 attempted to overcome seaplanes’ inherent aerodynamic deficiencies via retractable center and wingtip floats. The Blackburn B-20 was one of World War II’s most advanced but least publicized aircraft. After...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Book Review: The Spirit of St. Louis

    The Spirit of St. Louis   by Charles A. Lindbergh More than eight decades have passed since Charles Lindbergh earned international fame for flying a single-engine plane solo from New York to Paris. He agreed to a book about his 1927...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Book Review: A Higher Call

    A Higher Call: An Inspirational True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the WarTorn Skies of WWII by Adam Makos with Larry Alexander, Berkley-Caliber, New York, N.Y., 2012, $26.95 From aviation’s formative years there has always been a...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Book Review: X-Planes of Europe

    X-Planes of Europe: Secret Research Aircraft from the Golden Age 1946-1974 by Tony Buttler and Jean-Louis Delezenne, Specialty Press, North Branch, Minn., 2012, $56.95. It’s rare when a reference book can also be a guilty pleasure....

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Fox Two!

    The heatseeking AIM-9 Sidewinder went from a laboratory exercise to the preeminent air combat weapon of the jet age. The Cold War flared hot on August 23, 1958, when Communist China bombarded Matsu and Quemoy, islands of the Nationalist...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Flight of the River Phoenix

    After a flying boat made a forced landing in Africa, a comedy of errors kept it jungle-bound for 10 long months. Hard to know which is worse: running out of gas over water in a landplane or doing it in a flying boat over a jungle, but in...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Remembering Wally

    Before he became one of the Mercury Seven, irreverent astronaut Walter Schirra cut his teeth flying Navy fighters. Captain Walter M. Schirra Jr. was best known to the public as the fun-loving prankster of and when he died in May 2007 he...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Sentinel Soars Once More

    A father-and-son team spent eight years piecing together a ground-looped Stinson L-5E. “It was a great day. Just a beautiful morning. It had rained earlier but cleared by 10:30. No crosswind.”That’s how Marty Stickford Jr....

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Flying Heel Lift

    During the interwar years, a Midwestern podiatrist designed one of the most radical aircraft ever to take wing. By the 1920s, the basic configuration of the airplane as we know it today was pretty much settled: an elongated fuselage with...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Briefing- March 2013

    F3F Biplane Barrels Back Grumman F3Fs would have been iconic fighters if only because of the vivid colors that graced every one— bands, chevrons, cowlings and panels of red, blue, green, white and yellow. Most definitely yellow. The...

  • Vietnam Magazine

    More Than Just a Prop

    The versatile Skyraider flew missions that no jet could. Three and a half months after the first American combat troops, two battalions of Marines, waded ashore without resistance at Da Nang, U.S. Air Force jet pilots learned they...