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Aviation History

  • Aviation History Magazine

    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...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    The Rise and Fall of the Union Balloon Corps

    Great weapon or ‘fanciful contraption’? DURING THE 1862 SEVEN DAYS’ Battles on Richmond’s doorstep, Union and Confederate soldiers often spotted immense balloons floating high above the encampments and battlefields. They were...

  • World War II Magazine

    WWII Book Review: Mission to Berlin

    Mission to Berlin: The American Airmen Who Struck the Heart of Hitler’s Reich By Robert F. Dorr. 336 pp. Zenith Press, 2011. $28.  On February 3, 1945, more than a thousand heavy bombers of the U.S. Eighth Air Force, protected by...

  • World War II Magazine

    Plot Against a Pilot?

    Werner Goering was a skilled B-17 commander, but his family background became a security issue in this strange tale of loyalty to crew and country. On November 21, 1944, a young U.S. Army Air Forces first lieutenant named Werner Goering...

  • World War II Magazine

    First Strike Against Japan

    Long before the United States entered the war, an American aviator hatched a brazen scheme—which President Roosevelt authorized—to preemptively attack Japan. Claire Chennault wanted to bomb Japan. Using B-17 bombers flying from Chinese...

  • HistoryNet

    Ploesti: Anatomy of a Disaster

    Brave U.S. airmen persevered in the face of horrendously daunting circumstances. On June 11, 1942, 13 B-24D Liberator bombers flew from Fayid, Egypt, and bombed the oil complex at Ploesti, Romania. These aircraft were part of a secret...

  • HistoryNet

    Japan’s “Stealth” Kamikazes

    Deadly suicide attacks by obsolete wooden biplanes threatened to defeat state-of-the-art U.S. radar and gunnery. The carnage was frightful. During the prolonged April-June 1945 fighting in the invasion and capture of Okinawa – the...

  • HistoryNet

    Tuskegee Airmen, 1941-45

    The first African-American U.S. fighter pilots not only destroyed Nazi planes but also shattered racial stereotype. By the beginning of World War II, African-Americans had fought in the United States’ wars since the American Revolution....

  • 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....

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Crafting a Classic Catalina

    Kits of the Consolidated PBY-5/5A are produced in most popular scales. Since the flying boat is quite large in real life, so are most replicas—except for the Catalina produced by Mini­craft Models in 1/144th scale. This diminutive model...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    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...

  • Vietnam Magazine

    Lightning Bug War Over North Vietnam

    A top-secret, highly successful and still unheralded program in Vietnam presaged today’s drone victories in the war on terror. At a surface-to-air missile site south of Hanoi on February 13, 1966, radar appeared to lock in on a lone...

  • Vietnam Magazine

    When Pigs Fly

    Five unlikely passengers add a surprising twist to a mundane chopper flight. I was prepared for another routine trip to Dak Pek to deliver the monthly payroll sheets and funds for the Civilian Irregular Defense Group troops. Routine meant...

  • Vietnam Magazine

    Vietnam Book Review: USAF and VNAF A-1 Skyraider Units

    USAF and VNAF A-1 Skyraider Units of the Vietnam War by Byron E. Hukee, Osprey Publishing, 2012 Nicknamed the “Spad,” after a World War I biplane, because of its seeming obsolescence in a jet-dominated decade, the Douglas Skyraider in...

  • Vietnam Magazine

    Vietnam Book Review: USAF McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II

    USAF McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II  by Peter Davies, Osprey Publishing, 2013 The F4H-1 Phantom II was originally designed for the U.S. Navy, and when it first emerged from McDonnell’s St. Louis factory—a big, heavy two-seater...