The Tuskegee Airmen   They were the only fighter pilots to fight on two fronts. One against the Luftwaffe’s best and the other against America’s worst. During World War II the military considered Black men to be inferior and unable to master the complicated task of flying a high performance fighter. “The negro had demonstrated […]

The BUFF in Vietnam   “The B-52 was designed for one purpose only and that was to carry nuclear weapons.” As the longest serving combat aircraft in history the B-52 Stratofortress has had a long and somewhat controversial career. Like almost every military aircraft ever built the B-52 would be used in a role for […]

Air War Over Vietnam   It was one of the most massive aerial bombing campaigns in history. In March 1965 the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy launched Operation Rolling Thunder over North Vietnam. What began as an operation of psychological and strategic persuasion, quickly changed to tactical interdiction. As a survivor of 100 missions […]

The Remarkable Aerovan   You can still see it in the lines. The Lockheed C-130 Hercules, the most successful military transport in history, owes its success in many ways to two innovative brothers from Britain. The high tail, the low sill for loading and the high mid – mounted wing, as seen in all heavy […]

The Best Combat Aircraft of World War II   That title has to go to the de Havilland Mosquito – “the wooden wonder.” Designed as a bomber the versatile Mosquito would be used as a fighter-bomber, night-fighter, photo reconnaissance, pathfinder, courier, and anti-shipping aircraft. Through the use of nonstrategic materials the Mosquito was produced quickly […]

The Saga of the Flying Tank   In the 1930s, maverick inventor and engineer, John Walter Christie proclaimed, ‘the flying tank is a machine to end war.’ It was a bold statement and like Alfred Nobel, Hiram Maxim and the Wright brothers, who all believed that their inventions would make war unthinkable, Christie’s idea of […]

Canards at War   What do the Wright Flyer and the Eurofighter Typhoon have in common? Both are airplanes of course and while vastly different in performance each shares an unusual design feature – the canard. While the Wright Brothers were the first to use the canard, or foreplane configuration, for control it wasn’t until […]

 F-20 Tigershark – Right Aircraft, Wrong Time?   Fast, maneuverable, easy to fly and easy to maintain the Northrop F-20 Tigershark was a remarkable fighter. Pitched as low cost with the ability to operate from short runways and take on the Soviets best, the F-20 seemed ideal for cash strapped air forces. Powered by a single […]

Boeing 2707 SST vs. Concorde   It was a super sonic challenge. When the British and French announced their plans to build the world’s first super sonic transport in 1962 the Americans were caught off guard. At the time it was thought that all future air travel would be in the supersonic realm. Leaving it […]

A Pair of Hunchbacks   Germany knew the Allies were coming.  The planned invasion of Europe by British, American and Canadian troops was not a question of if, but when.  For Hitler the challenge was threefold: destroy the coming Allied armies, restore Germany’s military dominance and turn his remaining resources against the vast Russian army […]