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Aviation History

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Engine With a Saddle

    What the bantamweight Bearcat lacked in finesse it made up for with brute strength. The Grumman F8F Bearcat is the Dodge Viper of airplanes. Both are outrageous, lightweight, in-your-face- American, monster-motor artifacts of...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Twin-Boom Boondoggle

    The Hughes D-2 went up in flames before the Army Air Forces even had an opportunity to test it. Howard Hughes’ obsession with record-breaking is well documented. Everything we know about the eccentric multimillionaire suggests that,...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Scratch-Built Peashooter

    After a decade of dedicated effort, the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s P-26A reproduction is nearing completion. Amid the din of pounding rivet guns, skilled workmen are busy building a cutting-edge fighter—cutting-edge for 1933,...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Briefing- May 2010

    BABY P-38 Texan Jim O’Hara learned to fly when he was 62, an age that most student pilots would assume was on short final to geezer-dom. Yet just four years later, O’Hara, a retired Tulane University aeronautical engineering professor,...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Wings of Prey

    A flexible combat simulation puts you in the driver’s seat of 40 historic warbirds. Combat flight sims typically focus on a particular aircraft or a set of planes common to a theater. Wings of Prey ($50, requires Microsoft Windows...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Book Review: Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo

    Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Captain Ted W. Lawson On April 18, 1942, Americans got some very welcome news: 16 North American B-25 Mitchell medium bombers had raided Tokyo and four other major Japanese cities in retaliation for the attack...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aircraft of the Western Front

    SPAD XIII vs FOKKER D VII: Western Front 1918      SE 5A vs ALBATROS D V: Western Front 1917-18 by Jon Guttman, Osprey, Colchester, England, 2009, $17.95. Jon Guttman parlays his knowledge of World War I aviation with...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    British Airships 1905-30

    British Airships 1905-30 by Ian Castle, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, England, 2009, $17.95. By 1914 British airship technology was lagging far behind Germany’s, with no rigid airship program and few airships of any other description. But...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Book Review: Northrop’s Night Hunter

    Northrop’s Night Hunter: P-61 Black Widow by Jeff Kolln, Specialty Press, North Branch, Minn., 2009, $39.95. Unquestionably the finest Allied night fighter of World War II, the Northrop P-61 Black Widow entered service in 1944 and served...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Book Review: The First Jet Pilot

    The First Jet Pilot: The Story of German Test Pilot Erich Warsitz by Lutz Warsitz, trans. by Geoffrey Brooks, Pen & Sword, South Yorkshire, England, $39.99. Test pilot Erich Warsitz is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking flight...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Book Review: DC-3- A Legend in Her Time

    DC-3: A Legend in Her Time, A 75th Anniversary Photographic Tribute  by Bruce McAllister, Roundup Press, Boulder, Colo., 2010, $49.95.  It has been said that the Douglas DC-3 transport helped lift America out of the Depression...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Ethereal Dreams of Imperial Airships

    R 101’s ill-fated final flight brought Britain’s long-range dirigible program to a tragic conclusion. In 1904 novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling penned With the Night Mail, a “Story of 2000 AD,” tracing a voyage from London to...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Homebuilt Visionary

    Long before the kitplane craze, Bernard Pietenpol designed airplanes that average consumers could build and fly themselves. About 80 years ago a group of aviation enthusiasts concluded that the “big guys” had cornered the market on...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Japan’s Fleet of Flying Forts

    In late May 1945, U.S. Army Air Forces intelligence officers were intrigued by the results of a photoreconnaissance sweep over an airfield near Tokyo. Clearly visible in photos of Tachikawa, home base for Japan’s Army Aviation Technical...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Sabre’s Cutting Edge

    Napier’s temperamental 24-cylinder gem was one of the most innovative engines of its time. Enigmatic, charismatic and, yes, a pain in the rear are just some of the descriptions that could be applied to the Napier Sabre, surely the most...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Harbinger of a New Era

    Willy Messerschmitt’s Me-262 was not quite the game changer it might have been if produced earlier and in greater numbers, but after its 1944 debut, air combat would never be the same. On the morning of August 27, 1939, a new era dawned...