ZINIO logo

Aviation History March 2021

Aviation History Magazine is an authoritative, in-depth history of world aviation from its origins to the Space Age. Aviation History offers air enthusiasts the most detailed coverage of the history of manned flight, with action-packed stories and illustrations that put the reader in the cockpit with pilots and military (army, navy, and marine)aviators to experience aviation’s greatest dramas.

United States
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min
aviation history online

You’ll find much more from Aviation History on the web’s leading history resource: historynet.com 10 INCREDIBLE AERIAL RESCUES Aircraft quickly developed into weapons of war, but less expected was their role as rescuers. Today it seems natural that aircraft—particularly helicopters—should be used as angels of mercy to pluck the endangered from peril. Landplanes, seaplanes, STOL-craft and sophisticated fling-wings have extended air rescue operations to distances, altitudes and environmental conditions that were once unimaginable. These 10 great aerial rescues show that aircraft have revolutionized lifesaving efforts. AROUND-THE-WORLD FLIGHT “FOREDOOMED TO FAILURE” In August 1922 the crew of a steam launch in the Bay of Bengal rescued two exhausted and half-starved airmen who had endured two interminable days desperately clinging to the upturned floats of their capsized seaplane. This minor epic of survival marked the ignominious…

4 min

TRI-MOTOR RIDE 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 me on the very plane featured in your article when it appeared in Smyrna, Tenn., at the site of the former Sewart Air Force Base (near Nashville). Dad was a 20-year Air Force and Korean War veteran and retired at Sewart in 1968. I remember the waiver we signed before the flight that among other things outlined how to exit the aircraft if it caught fire! We sat right behind the pilot, who sat a level higher than we did but with no…

2 min
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 fuselage an airfoil would revolutionize aircraft design. That makes sense intuitively, but it’s a flawed aerodynamic concept. If you turn a nicely streamlined tubular fuselage into a big, fat airfoil, you’re adding lift but at the cost of substantial drag. High-aspect-ratio wings like those of a modern airliner produce all the lift that’s needed for cruise. An airfoil-shaped fuselage with stubby, low-aspect-ratio wings shoves its bluff way through the air while leaving behind induced, profile and form drag, thanks to its flat-plate and wetted surface area. The Loadmaster flew in South America as an airliner and…

1 min
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 took the big carrier fighter up for its first post-restoration flight. Accepted by the U.S. Navy on March 2, 1945, F6F-5 Bu.No. 78645 flew its first two tours with fighter squadron VF-14 and then served in a variety of units and markings, the last as a pilotless drone at Naval Air Station Squantum in Quincy, Mass. Owner Evan Fagen selected the new livery and chose the markings of F6F-5 No. 115 (Bu.No. 72534), which served with VF-83 on the aircraft carrier Essex during the Battle of Okinawa.…

1 min
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 the airport. The dome hangar in which the smaller airplanes will be kept is a restored relic in its own right, having served as Fairchild Aircraft’s flight test hangar since 1943. Museum president John Seburn is confident that, within the parameters necessitated by the pandemic, the newly refurbished hangar will reopen for visitors early this summer. Situated between the National Air and Space Museum in the Washington, D.C./Chantilly, Va., area and the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, the Hagerstown Aviation Museum serves as a reminder of a…

2 min
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 field near the small Kansas town of Bazaar. All eight people on board were killed. Among them was one of America’s biggest celebrities of the day, Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne. Born in Norway, Rockne became Notre Dame’s coach in 1918. Over the next 13 seasons he led the “Fighting Irish” to a stellar 105-12-5 record and three national championships. Names forever associated with Notre Dame teams of the era include Rockne, George Gipp (of “win one for the Gipper” fame) and the undefeated 1924 team’s backfield,…