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Naval Aviation

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Build Your Own Bearcat

    Kits of Grumman’s F8F Bearcat have been produced in all the popular sizes, but the 1/48th scale versions have recently become more difficult to find on hobby shop shelves. Hobbycraft’s kit (HC-1442) is the easiest to locate and most...

  • 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....

  • Military History Magazine

    Valor: First Navy Ace of WWII

    Lieutenant Edward “Butch” O’Hare U.S. Navy Medal of Honor Pacific Ocean Papua New Guinea Feb. 20, 1942 Early in World War II, less than three months after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese held the initiative throughout the Pacific. The...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Sea Sentinel: The Lockheed P2V Neptune

    Lockheed’s P2V Neptune served in Korea and Vietnam, searched for Soviet submarines and even carried nuclear weapons, but today is largely forgotten. “It’s a pilot’s airplane. It has great handling qualities; it’ll do what you...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Origins of Topgun

    The Navy Fighter Weapons School, the official name for Topgun, was created in response to the poor performance of U.S. Navy fighters and their missiles in the first few years of the air war over North Vietnam. When the Navy compared its...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Build Your Own Topgun Tomcat

    Fujimi’s 1/72nd-scale kit of the Grumman F-14A, which first ap­peared in 1988, is one of the most detailed examples available of the U.S. Navy’s legendary Tomcat.    Cockpit construction starts with an overall coat of light...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    An Ace in the Hole: “Diz” Laird

    U.S. Navy Commander Dean “Diz” Laird went from shooting down Japanese airplanes to flying replicas of them over Pearl Harbor At a luncheon of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society in San Diego, president Chuck Sweeney let me make an...

  • Vietnam Magazine

    Arsenal | A-6 Intruder: Cutting-edge Attack in Vietnam

    The Grumman A-6 Intruder, developed in the late 1950s as a long-range all-weather nuclear strike aircraft, arrived in Southeast Asia in June 1965 and notched a number of firsts in Vietnam:  The Navy’s first attack plane able to...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Flying the Fury- FJ-4

    North American’s FJ-4 was low-slung, sex and built for speed. The FJ-4 Fury slipped through the sound barrier with ease—my grandmother would have said “like grease through a goose.” Essentially a souped-up F-86 Sabrejet, it was...

  • Aviation History Magazinee

    The Navy’s Flying Cannon

    Built to counter the German U-boat threat in World War I, the Naval Aircraft Factory N-1 never fulfilled its purpose. In a peculiar contravention of American capitalist principles, the U.S. Navy established its own aircraft production...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Breaking the Color Barrier

    Jesse Brown, the U.S. Navy’s first black aviator, overcame hardship and prejudice in his quest for wings of gold. Jesse Leroy Brown set his sights on flying when he was just a youngster working in Mississippi’s corn and cotton fields....

  • 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

    F8F Bearcat: An 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

    Building your own Martin PBM-5 Mariner

    Aviation historians generally agree that if it had not been for the Consolidated PBY Catalina, the Martin PBM-5 Mariner would have been considered the most famous flying boat of World War II. Model kits of Mariners are rare birds, mostly...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The F-14 Tomcat Sharpens Its Claws at Topgun

    A former Topgun instructor describes a typical combat training mission during his time at the Navy Fighter Weapons School. In September 1982 I was one of eight students being briefed in a classroom at the Navy Fighter Weapons School at...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Crewing A Combat Mariner

    Ordnance specialist Jack Christopher helped turn the stately Martin PBM-5 flying boat into an aggressive attacker of Japanese shipping. Throughout World War II, fighters, bombers and reconnaissance planes dominated headlines around the...