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Aviation

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Origins of Topgun

    The Navy Fighter Weapons School, the official name for Topgun, was created in response to the poor performance of U.S. Navy fighters and their missiles in the first few years of the air war over North Vietnam. When the Navy compared its...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Small Planes, Big Thrills: The Mighty Midgets

    Born with the homebuilt lightplane movement in the 1920s, the “Builder’s Class” of Formula One racers continues to thrill spectators today at Reno. The annual Reno Air Races usually evoke images of the Unlimited class: highly...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Top Gun from Down Under

    Flying mainly over North Africa and in defense of his home island, Australian ace of aces Clive Caldwell shot down a mixed bag of Axis airmen, including Germans, Italians and Japanese. As with other members of the Commonwealth, Australia...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Passion and the Fury: Edward Mick Mannock

    Edward “Mick” Mannock, the Irish-born RAF ace of World War I, proved he was a man of extraordinary gifts with his leadership and combat skills....

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Homebuilt Macchi M.5 Replica

    When I first read that a Holland, Mich., aviation enthusiast and former pilot had built a Macchi M.5 “fighter plane,” I put that description down to a newspaper columnist’s overheated and underinformed enthusiasm. After all, the 1917...

  • Vietnam Magazine

    Valor | Mike Novosel

    Bomber-turned-medevac pilot saved more than 5,000 lives...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    When Birds Strike

    Since the earliest days of manned flight, pilots have sought to safely share the skies with their avian counterparts—with mixed results. On September 7, 1905, less than two years after Orville Wright became the first man to make a...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Surrounded and Outnumbered

    Against seemingly overwhelming odds, the diminutive Fourteenth Air Force held the line against the Japanese in China during World War II. After almost six months of continuous combat duty in China with the Fourteenth Air Force, Sergeant...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Bolo

    When the Douglas B-18 bomber joined ASW patrols, an old dog learned a new trick. On August 22, 1942, Oberleutnant-zur-See Ludwig Forster was enjoying a brief respite from torpedoing Allied merchant ships in the Caribbean Sea when...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Roadable Airplane

    The Gwinn Aircar came tantalizingly close to fulfilling the dream of a roadable airplane. A safe airplane as easy to operate and as cheap to buy as the average automobile. This was the American dream in the air-minded 1930s. I lived...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Mystery Ship: May 2018

    Can you identify this early jet transport? Click here for the answer!...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Firebombers!

    As last fall’s California wildfires demonstrated, the demand for aerial firefighters and the dangers they face have never been greater  The world’s first practical firebomber was a Stearman, a 1939 Boeing 75 that had been...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    A Ghost in the Machine

    An airline pilot working to rebuild a Grumman Widgeon says he was assisted by a mysterious voice in his head. As Mark Taintor approached the hangar he heard a voice say “turn right.” He looked around and didn’t see anyone. The voice...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Build Your Own “Arizona” Kingfisher

    Until recently, about the only place to find a Vought OS2U King­fisher model was at model club swap meets. Then Revell USA reissued its Mono­gram Models 1/48th-scale kit of the floatplane (#6907), which is simple and inexpensive, with...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Crewing A Combat Mariner

    Ordnance specialist Jack Christopher helped turn the stately Martin PBM-5 flying boat into an aggressive attacker of Japanese shipping. Throughout World War II, fighters, bombers and reconnaissance planes dominated headlines around the...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Damned Hunchbacks

    Developed from an airliner, the SM.79 trimotor torpedo bomber emerged as Italy’s most important attack aircraft in the Mediterranean. As the struggle between Allied and Axis forces for control of the Mediterranean Sea reached its...