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Science & Engineering

  • Military History Magazine

    Killer U-Boats

    Prior to World War I, Krupp’s shipyard in Kiel, Germany, turned a maritime novelty into a deadly naval weapon. World War I saw the first widespread use of four game-changing weapons: aircraft, tanks, machine guns and submarines. Of the...

  • 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

    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

    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 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

    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

    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

    Battle With the Air

    After establishing a new flight record over Lake Erie in 1910, Glenn Curtiss nearly came to grief on his return trip to Cleveland. Thousands of Clevelanders watched as Glenn Hammond Curtiss paced the Euclid Beach Park pier on the morning...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Built for Speed: The Napier-Heston T.5

    Britain hoped to take the airspeed record back from Germany with the Napier-Heston T.5, but it literally fell flat on its first flight. In 1935 the British engine manufacturer D. Napier and Son came out with an extremely advanced, hugely...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Aviation History Book Review: Chinese Aircraft

    Chinese Aircraft: China’s Aviation Industry Since 1951 by Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov, Hikoki Productions Ltd., Manchester, UK, distributed by Specialty Press, North Branch, Minn., 2009, $56.95.  China’s aircraft industry...