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Royal Air Force

  • Military History Book Reviews

    Book Review: RAF

    Richard Overy delivers a lively account of the 1918 founding and postwar maturation of Britain’s autonomous Royal Air Force...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    New Mossie Shapes Up

    Among the rarest classic airplanes are those made of wood, for they suffer grievously if left to absorb water and rot over years of imperfect storage. Rarer still—in this case the plywood de Havilland Mosquito fighter-bomber—are those...

  • Military History Magazine

    What We Learned: the Battle of Britain

    The Battle of Britain was history’s first major confrontation fought entirely by aircraft. To equate it to the era of spaceflight, picture waking up one night to watch hundreds of satellites zapping each other with firefly flashes at...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Build your own 303 Squadron Hurricane

    Hasagawa’s Hawker Hurricane Mk.I in 1/48th scale is an excellent replica of the fighter used by Flying Officer Witold Urbanowicz in No. 303 Squadron. The cockpit is constructed from a tubular framework that should be painted RAF interior...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Avro Lancaster: The Night Raider

    The Avro Lancaster rained terror on Germany but never attained the B-17’s fame, even though it could carry twice the bombload over an equal distance. The brilliant comedic artist Bruce McCall illustrated a 1971 article in playboy...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Passion and the Fury: Mick Mannock

    Edward “Mick” Mannock, the Irish-born RAF ace of World War I, proved he was a man of extraordinary gifts with his leadership and combat skills....

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Modeling Mannock’s S.E.5a

    The Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a was considered superior to any Ger­man aircraft over the trenches from the fall of 1917 until the Fokker D.VII began opposing it in May 1918. What gave the British fighter its edge was a redesigned upper...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History DVD Review: Flying the Secret Sky

    Flying the Secret Sky: The Story of RAF Ferry Command flyingthesecretsky.com, $24.95 In mid-1940, Britain desperately needed aircraft. Although President Franklin D. Roosevelt made American warplanes available to the British through...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Roald Dahl’s Wartime Adventures

    The celebrated children’s author flew Gloster Gladiators and Hawker Hurricanes for the RAF before he earned fame and fortune as a writer. Two hefty airmen grunted in unison as they lifted the pilot from the cockpit of his Hawker...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Tin Triangle Tales

    Fast, agile and futuristic, the RAF’s Avro Vulcan nuclear bomber left an indelible impression on the crewmen who flew it during the Cold War. The sleek, delta-wing bomber lands in the ocean, then slowly sinks to the bottom—part of a...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Devil in the Dark

    After sundown, the Luftwaffe’s leading night fighter wreaked havoc on RAF bomber formations. German took an enormous toll on the RAF’s Bomber Command during World War II. Among the most aggressive Nachtjäger, or night fighters,...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Stringbag Back in the Air

    The Fairey Swordfish biplane torpedo bomber was one of the most unusual yet effective World War II aircraft. The Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm deployed it as late as May 1945, which would have been akin to the U.S. Army Air Forces ending...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    The Dambusters

    After 70 years, the bold British raid on Germany’s strategic river dams remains one of history’s most audacious bombing missions—a testament to ingenious engineering and the bravery of RAF aircrews.   As a red...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    All in the Game

    Despite the failure of his 1924 around-the-world attempt, Archibald MacLaren remained optimistic that such a flight ‘by one British machine and one British engine’ was possible. Flying perilously low, desperately seeking a passage...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    ‘The Few’ Live on at Duxford

    There’s no better place to explore the Battle of Britain’s legacy than at the Imperial War Museum’s historic airfield. More than any other air attraction in Britain, the Imperial War Museum Duxford evokes the spirit of “the Few,”...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Air Battle for Fortress Malta

    Royal Air Force fighter pilots, including a group of American volunteers, paid a heavy price during their brave defense of the strategic archipelago. On March 21, 1942, Pilot Officer Howard Coffin, an American from Los Angeles and a...