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Flight Technology

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Book Review: Touching Space

    Touching Space: The Story of Project Manhigh by Gregory P. Kennedy, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglen, Pa., 2007, $24.95. When we think of the nation’s space program, the first landing on the moon always comes to mind. But the road to the...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Udvar-Hazy Center’s Seiran

    The sole surviving Aichi M6A1 floatplane bomber has been restored to fighting trim. The only remaining example of an Aichi M6A1 Seiran floatplane, part of Japan’s audacious plan to launch bombers against U.S. coastal cities and the...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Ford’s Forgotten Aviation Legacy

    Henry Ford applied the principles of his progressive automobile production lines to manufacture the rugged, reliable Tri-Motor and later the Consolidated B-24. Henry Ford rarely gets mentioned these days in connection with the history of...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Fettered Eagles

    Great aircraft don’t always make it past the prototype stage, leaving their designers to lament what might have been. A good airplane that does not go into production is bad for almost everyone concerned—the designer, the company, the...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Book Review: The God Machine

    The God Machine: From Boomerangs to Black Hawks, The Story of the Helicopter by James R. Chiles, Bantam Books, New York, 2007, $25. From its unusual title to the final page, this is a fascinating history of the development of the...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Unfettered Turkeys

    It’s easy enough to design a bad airplane, but it takes real gumption to put it into production despite all signs to the contrary. There are many reasons why less than first-rate aircraft are produced in quantity. The most dominant...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Anthony Fokker’s Fünfdecker

    With the V8, Anthony Fokker pursued a questionable concept into extreme territory. “Fokker is still the old Fokker,” wrote Lieutenant Rudolf Stark after seeing Fokker D.VII and E.V fighters on August 24, 1918, “for every new machine...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Letters from Readers- July 2008

    Seiran Engine Surfaces I was delighted to see the article in your May issue about the Japanese subs that carried Aichi M6A1 Seiran floatplanes (“Japan’s Panama Canal Buster,” by John Geoghegan). A few years ago, my organization...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Book Review: X-15

    X-15: Extending the Frontiers of Flight by Dennis R. Jenkins, NASA, available for free download, 2007. It is usually unwise to call a book “definitive” because you never know what is waiting at the publishers, but I can say...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Greatest Balloon Buster

    Willy Coppens specialized in the most dangerous occupation of a World War I airman—flaming kite balloons deep behind enemy lines. First used by the Revolutionary French army in 1795, captive or kite balloons, also known as Drachen...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Arado 234: Archetype of Jet-Powered Bombers

    No one at the Westphalia airfield outside Munster on July 30, 1943, knew just how important the flight they witnessed would be to the future of military aviation. That day marked the beginning of a cascade of events that would lead to the...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Road Not Taken

    Although many designers have tried to build a practical flying car, the idea never took off. Traffic is one of the banes of modern existence. What road- weary commuter has not dreamed of being able to simply fly over gridlocked traffic to...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Bonney Gull

    Leonard Bonney reverted to man’s oldest intuitive flight design. It used to be that there were weights and balances in relating history. Major events drew more attention, while lesser ones passed into oblivion. No more— YouTube has...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Symphony of Flight

    Octave Chanute conducted from behind the scenes. The letter, dated May 13, 1900, was astonishing in its directness, lacking even the customary salutation. “For some years,” it began, “I have been afflicted with the belief that flight...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    June Bug Centennial

    Plenty of experiments end in failure, so it’s not surprising very few people actually witnessed the Wright brothers’ Flyer inaugurate the aerial age at Kitty Hawk. In fact, the Wrights didn’t send an account of their flights to the...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    A Hawk Between Two Wars

    Curtiss Hawk biplanes became the classic embodiment of interwar fighter aviation. The classic single-seat biplane fighters produced by the Curtiss Airplane and Motor Company were among the best-known military airplanes of the 1920s and...