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Flight Technology

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Saab J21

    Saab’s J21 was among the few aircraft produced in both piston engine and turbojet versions. To most Americans, the name SAAB brings to mind a line of modish and distinctively Swedish auto­mobiles. It might come as a surprise that Saab...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Delta Dreamer

    Artist-engineer Alexander Lippisch conceived more than 50 radical aircraft designs, including the Nazis’ rocket-powered Me-163. Few aircraft configurations are more familiar than the delta wing, which dominated the sky for many years,...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Workhorse of the Fleet

    Vought’s versatile Kingfisher served as a gun spotter, patrol plane, anti-submarine scout, utility transport and trainer, but downed aircrews remembered it best as an “angel on floats” Legendary World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Made in America

    Long before the United States officially entered World War II, it was the world’s biggest exporter of fighter aircraft. From early 1938 through the end of 1941, the United States, though still technically neutral in the conflict that was...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The ‘Old Bus’ Endures

    Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith’s famous Fokker Southern Cross has pride of place in Brisbane. At Brisbane Airport, not far from where today’s jumbo jets touch down after their transpacific flights, the Fokker F.VIIb/3m trimotor Southern...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Movie Stars With Wings

    Before computer-generated images, aviation films had real airplanes and real aviators at the controls....

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Book Review: Lighter than Air

    Lighter than Air: An Illustrated History of Balloons and Airships  by Tom D. Crouch, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Md., 2009, $35.  Anyone who thinks that the days of lighter-than-air flight are over should pick...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Book Review: North American’s T-6

    North American’s T-6: A Definitive History of the World’s Most Famous Trainer  by Dan Hagedorn, Specialty Press, North Branch, Minn., 2009, $32.95. Using the word “definitive” in a title is risky, but this beautiful volume...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Designer-Pilot Kurt Tank

    Though best known as a designer of airplanes, particularly the lethal Focke-Wulf Fw-190, Tank never lost sight of his pilot roots. Along with the Griffon-engine Spitfire Mk. XVI, the Hawker Tempest V and the Dornier Do-335—not to mention...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Caproni Flying Barrel

    Luigi Stipa claimed his ‘intubed propeller’ was the ancestor of the jet engine. Even in an era when aircraft designers experimented with every conceivable shape and size, the prototype designed by Italian engineer Luigi Stipa and built...

  • 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

    Aviation History Book Review: Gunships

    Gunships: The Story of Spooky, Shadow, Stinger and Spectre by Wayne Mutza, Specialty Press, North Branch, Minn., 2009, $34.95. Wayne Mutza writes for the expert as well as the casual reader. His latest effort, Gunships, is loaded with...

  • 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

    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...