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Wildcats Battle Hawks Over Casablanca
By Jack Lambert
When U.S. Navy pilots squared off with the Vichy French in November 1942, both sides flew American-built warplanes.

The World’s Ugliest Airplanes
By Stephan Wilkinson
Some flew just fine, others barely made it into the air—but every plane on our list got hit with an ugly stick.

Bad Boy of the Air
By Derek O’Connor
Daredevil aerobat Bert Acosta was blessed, or maybe cursed, with matinee idol looks and appetites to match.

By Robert Guttman
A 1950s wave of experimental VTOL aircraft proved to be a dead end.

Ambush by the China Blitzers
By Steve Blake
Residents of Nanning were so thrilled to see the Japanese defeated in a 1944 air battle that they honored American P-40 pilots with a parade.

The Truth About Rotaries
By Drew Ames
We separate fact from fiction in the history and operation of rotary engines.



By E.R. Johnson
Amphibian scouts lose the battle for a berth.

By George Furukawa
Pearl Harbor museum rebuilds an F-86 Sabre.


By Don Bedwell
Pilot-adventurer Jimmie Angel sought a “river of gold.”

Letter From Aviation History


Flight Test
By Jon Guttman

Aero Poster



From ugly airplanes to tail-sitting VTOL prototypes, this issue features a fascinating collection of strange flying machines. What’s your pick for the most bizarre aircraft ever to get airborne? Click here to share your comments.