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Aviation History

  • World War II Magazine

    WWII Book Review: Flying Tigers

    Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941–1942 By Daniel Ford. 384 pp. Smithsonian Books, 2007. $15.95. A few World War II flying units have attained legendary status: RAF Fighter Command’s “The Few,” the...

  • MHQ Magazine

    The Year Air Power Came of Age

    In 1917 over Flanders fields, a fundamental shift in the airplane’s role signaled its ascendancy as a deadly offensive weapon. The air campaign over Flanders in 1917 represents a watershed in the development of air power. While aerial...

  • MHQ Magazine

    Flying Blind: The Army Air Corps Delivers the Mail

    Tasked with carrying the mail when commercial airmail contracts were canceled in early 1934, the army air corps was thoroughly unprepared for the job— resulting in nearly a dozen airman deaths and accusations of ‘legalized murder’....

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Building Rudel’s Tank-Busting Stuka

    Academy’s 1/72nd-scale kit (no. 1641) of the Junkers Ju-87G-1 Stuka is the early long-winged version of the dive bomber. It comes with two underwing 37mm “tank-busting” cannons. Start by painting the cockpit and gunner/radio...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Flying Cowboy: Frederick Libby

    Frederick Libby became America’s first ace while flying as an observer-gunner in a spindly British pusher-propelled biplane. The apprentice airman could scarcely believe his situation. Yesterday he had been a supply truck driver with the...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Antonov’s Heavy Hauler for Hire

    The Antonov State Company outdid itself at thinking big with the An-225 Mriya, the world’s largest airplane. There’s no getting around the fact that Russia is a big country. Perhaps that explains why Russians seem to have always been...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Flying Container Ship: The XC-120

    The Fairchild XC-120 “Pack plane” featured an intriguing modular transport design that never achieved full maturity. Fairchild’s C-119 was one of the most utilitarian military cargo planes of the post-World War II era. First flown in...

  • Vietnam Magazine

    Vietnam Book Review: Phantom Reflections

    Phantom Reflections by Colonel Mike McCarthy. Praeger Security International, Westport, Conn., 2006, hardcover $35. One of the toughest roles to endure in life is that of the disaster or combat survivor. Relief at being alive often...

  • Vietnam Magazine

    Shadow and Stinger

    Shadow and Stinger by William P. Head. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, 2007, hardcover $49.95. All who served in Vietnam in the mid- 60s knew the venerable AC-47, better known as “Puff the Magic Dragon,” which entered...

  • Vietnam Magazine

    Vietnam Book Review: Green Hornet

    Green Hornets: The History of the U.S. Air Force 20th Special Operations Squadron by Wayne Mutza. Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, Pa., 2007, hardcover $40.95. Wayne Mutza, a noted military aviation author, has written a tightly focused...

  • Vietnam Magazine

    Arsenal | A-4 Skyhawk

    From the first shot to the last, the Navy’s most prodigious attack aircraft of the war. On August 5, 1964, aircraft from the USS Constellation and Ticonderoga struck the North Vietnamese fuel depot at Vinh and three enemy PT boat bases....

  • HistoryNet Video

    VIDEO: Blue Angels’ Fat Albert Flies Again

    “Fat Albert,” the Navy’s flight demonstration squadron’s C-130T Hercules transport plane, made its return with a flat pass during a July 14, 2018, air show in Pensacola, Florida, where the Blue Angels are...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Marathons in the Air

    There’s a good reason why the flight endurance record has stood since 1959: Who wants to spend more than 65 days crammed in a lightplane?   Before the advent of aerial refueling, fuel tank capacity was the main determining...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Web Update: Spirit of St. Louis 2

    The 91st anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s record-making transatlantic flight has come and gone while Spirit of St. Louis 2, a scratch-built replica of the famous airplane, remains grounded (see “Spirit of St. Louis 2,” March 2018...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Bloody 100th

    The Eighth Air Force’s 100th Bomb Group earned its nickname the hard way in the brutal skies over Germany. Only one World War II U.S. Army Air Forces tail flash survives in the present-day U.S. Air Force: the Square D. Seventy-five...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Percival Spencer’s Air Car: 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...