Aviation History11 min letti
Leave No Man Behind
DURING WORLD WAR II THE U.S. MILITARY DEVELOPED RUDIMENTARY CAPABILITIES TO RESCUE DOWNED AIRCREW MEMBERS WHO DITCHED IN THE SEA—A SCENARIO THAT UNTIL THEN HAD USUALLY AMOUNTED TO A DEATH SENTENCE. Amphibious aircraft, originally designed for maritim
Aviation History1 min letti
Super Blues
At Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., on November 16, 2020, the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, better known as the Blue Angels, performed its final flight in the legacy F/A-18 Hornet, which has been the team’s airplane of choice for 34 year
Aviation History2 min letti
Last Down For A Legend
At 9:15 a.m. on March 31, 1931, Transcontinental and Western Air Flight 599 took off from Kansas City, Mo., bound for Wichita, Kan. About 75 minutes into the flight, the Fokker F-10 trimotor’s right wing detached, causing the airplane to crash in a f
Aviation History3 min letti
Mailbag
Thanks so much for the story on the development and history of the Ford Tri-Motor [“Tale of the Tin Goose,” November 2020]. I have always been fascinated by that aircraft. Back in the mid-2000s I bought as a Father’s Day gift a flight for my Dad and
Aviation History1 min letti
Hagerstown Aviation Museum’s New Home
Maryland’s Hagerstown Aviation Museum is in the process of moving the aircraft it has acquired over the past 25 years from its current location northeast of Hagerstown Regional Airport to New Heights Industrial Park along Showalter Road, southwest of
Aviation History1 min letti
Hawkeye
by Brigadier General Giora Even-Epstein, Grub Street, 2020, $32.95. As a former fighter pilot and air attaché to Israel, I had high hopes for this book, and it did not disappoint. Hawkeye is not just an autobiographical collection of “there I was” wa
Aviation History7 min letti
Into Cold Air
ON FRONT STREET, OUTSIDE CITY HALL, A BRONZE BUST OF NOME’S MOST FAMOUS VISITOR, EXPLORER ROALD ENGELBREGT GRAVNING AMUNDSEN, GREETS TOURISTS AND FELLOW ADVENTURERS—MUSHERS AT THE IDITAROD TRAIL SLED DOG RACE’S FINISH LINE. The beak-nosed old salt lo
Aviation History11 min letti
Angels From Above
SPECIAL FORCES CAME OF AGE DURING WORLD WAR II. From Merrill’s Marauders in the U.S. Army to the British Special Air Service (SAS) and Germany’s Fallschirmjäger, all the major combatants exploited the great technological innovations of the interwar y
Aviation History4 min letti
Forgotten X-plane
While experimental aircraft such as the Bell X-1 and North American X-15 are familiar to most aviation history enthusiasts, some other X-planes remain unheralded or even obscure. Among these lesser-known aircraft is the X-14, which was designed as a
Aviation History8 min letti
The Greatest Flight
THE MID-1920S WAS AN ERA MARKED BY AVIATION CHALLENGES, AS PILOTS PUSHED THEMSELVES AND THEIR AIRPLANES TO THE LIMIT ON RECORD-BREAKING FLIGHT ATTEMPTS. In April 1924 four Douglas World Cruiser biplanes, each with a two-man crew, began an around-the-
Aviation History1 min letti
Macarthur’s Air Force
by Bill Yenne, Osprey Publishing, 2019, $30. Within a few months of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the American position in the Far East had turned from precarious to grim. On May 6, 1942, Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright surrendered Corregidor, ca
Aviation History1 min letti
Death N’ Destruction Reigns Again
Fagen Fighters WWII Museum started 2021 on a high note when a Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat joined its roster of restored warbirds in Granite Falls, Minn., after 2½ years of work by Steve Hinton Jr. of Fighter Rebuilders in Chino, Calif. On January 3 Hinton
Aviation History4 min letti
An Early Birdman
In September 1910, prior to a San Francisco air meet, the American News Service touted James Cairn Mars of Muskegon, Mich., as “the most daring of American aviators.” Mars, better known as “Bud,” had gained a reputation for death-defying flights in e
Aviation History11 min letti
Tomcatting
IN 1961, WHEN U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ROBERT MCNAMARA PROPOSED THE GENERAL DYNAMICS F-111 AARDVARK AS A SWISS ARMY KNIFE SUITABLE FOR ALL THREE MAJOR FLYING SERVICES, THAT INCLUDED A NAVY VERSION, THE F-111B. The B turned out to be too complex, und
Aviation History2 min letti
Return Of The Boeing 737 Max
From the time it entered service in February 1968, the Boeing 737 narrow-body short-range airliner established a sterling record for reliability and efficiency that only improved in the course of three upgrades, culminating in the 2016 debut of the f
Aviation History2 min letti
Aviation To The Rescue
In our January 2016 feature “Angels of Mercy” (see historynet.com/angels-of-mercy.htm), contributing editor Stephan Wilkinson wrote, “These 10 great aerial rescues demonstrate that aircraft serve a far nobler purpose than hauling passengers and cargo
Aviation History1 min letti
Tomcat Rio
by Dave “Bio” Baranek, Skyhorse Publishing, 2020, $27.99. This memoir is the latest in a trilogy from retired naval flight officer Dave Baranek. The first two books were well-received, covering the author’s early career, including his evolution as a
Aviation History1 min letti
Aviation History Online
You’ll find much more from Aviation History on the web’s leading history resource: historynet.com Aircraft quickly developed into weapons of war, but less expected was their role as rescuers. Today it seems natural that aircraft—particularly helicopt
Aviation History2 min lettiInternational Relations
Vietnam’s Final Air Campaign
by Stephen Emerson, Pen & Sword Books, 2019, $22.95. Nearing the end of his first full term as president in 1968, Lyndon B. Johnson faced the reality that the United States was bogged down in the morass of Vietnam and opted not to seek reelection. Th
Aviation History1 min letti
Aviation History
MICHAEL A. REINSTEIN CHAIRMAN & PUBLISHER DAVID STEINHAFEL PUBLISHER ALEX NEILL EDITOR IN CHIEF CARL VON WODTKE EDITOR LARRY PORGES SENIOR EDITOR JON GUTTMAN RESEARCH DIRECTOR STEPHAN WILKINSON CONTRIBUTING EDITOR ARTHUR H. SANFELICI EDITOR EMERITUS
Aviation History2 min letti
Style
ART Born in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, Steve Karp tinkered with mechanical devices from an early age. “All through my childhood, much to my parents’ chagrin, I would take everything apart,” says Karp. That fascination led to building plastic scale
Aviation History2 min letti
Burnelli’s Dead End
The New England Air Museum has restored an airplane that represents a fascinating but pointless path in American aviation history. The one-of-a-kind 1947 CBY-3 Loadmaster was Vincent Burnelli’s final attempt to prove that making an airplane’s fuselag
Aviation History2 min letti
Video Tomcat Tales
Speed & Angels Productions, 2020, $19.95 DVD, $29.95 BluRay, also available for streaming at f14tomcats.com. Did you ever wish you could hang out with Tomcat pilots and RIOs (radar intercept officers) telling stories at the O-club? Well, now you can…
Aviation History1 min letti
Mystery Ship
Match the pilot who first achieved sustained, controlled, heavier-than-air flight with the country in which he did it. A. René VallonB. Alberto Santos-DumontC. Yoshitoshi TokugawaD. Alberto BraniffE. Samuel Franklin CodyF. Hans F. DonsG. Albert Kimme
Aviation History3 min letti
Taking Flight
By Raquel Ramsey and Tricia Aurand, University Press of Kansas, 2020, $29.95. Nadine Ramsey dropped out of high school to work as a secretary, helping support her family in the aftermath of her father’s suicide. But the blossoming aviation industry o
Aviation History4 min letti
Telescoping-wing Airplanes
The notion of altering the geometry of an airplane’s wings in flight to enhance its performance has long interested aircraft designers. They’ve understood that a plane with smaller wings could fly faster, but larger wings would permit lower stalling,
Aviation History1 min letti
“ABLE MABEL” Martin AM-1/-1Q Mauler
by Bob Kowalski, Ginter Books, 2020, $37.95. Combat experience in World War II compelled the U.S. Navy to reassess its carrier based aircraft. In 1943 it issued a new requirement for a carrier-based strike plane to replace both the existing dive and
Aviation History2 min letti
Lifesaver
Initially conceived during World War II, U.S. military combat search-and-rescue tools and techniques came of age during the Korean War. More reliable helicopters and the introduction of Grumman’s amphibious SA-16 Albatross helped save at least a thou
Aviation History2 min letti
Special Delivery
A century ago, on February 22, 1921, the U.S. Postal Service set out to prove that airplanes could deliver mail across the continent faster than trains. Transcontinental airmail actually began in the United States a year earlier, in 1920, though plan
Aviation History1 min letti
Lockheed Xf-90 Penetration Fighter
The period from 1945 through 1960 saw a proliferation of diverse and exotic aircraft designs. Among the most memorable and influential, if not successful, was the Lockheed XF-90. Widely publicized both by Lockheed and Westinghouse, which supplied its
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