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Aviation History November 2020

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.

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United States
R 86,71
R 434,12
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 WOLFPACK AT WAR Commanding officer “Hub” Zemke and his P-47 Thunderbolt pilots of the fabled 56th Fighter Group overcame a rusty start against experienced Luftwaffe Experten to become the most lethal Eighth Air Force group of World War II. The “Wolfpack” developed P-47 tactics to a high art and racked up a total of 992½ victories despite losing many aces to enemy fire and capture. MIG MADNESS: THE AIR WAR OVER KOREA The aggressiveness of leading American pilots helped secure air superiority for U.N. forces in the Korean War. But many of the top aces in Korea suffered from an affliction known as “MiG Madness,” an obsession over victory tallies that sometimes caused them to take unnecessary risks in combat.…

4 min
gunship evolution

Thank you for your article describing the history of the fixed-wing gunship [September]. I had the pleasure of being a charter member of the 14th Field Maintenance Squadron, stationed at Phan Rang Air Base in 1969-70. We supported the 17th Special Operations Squadron AC-119G, call sign Shadow, and 18th SOS AC-119K, call sign Stinger. These aircraft were the weapon systems most feared by the NVA in Vietnam. They replaced the AC-47, call sign Puff, stationed at Nha Trang Air Base, which were transferred to the Vietnamese air force in 1969. The 17th and 18th SOS never had an outpost or troops in contact overrun when they were providing aerial support. The AC-130s, call sign Specter, were stationed at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand, where they mainly flew interdiction on…

2 min
peter jackson’s troubled aviation empire

New Zealand filmmaker and private pilot Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) is obsessed with World War I aircraft. He has amassed the world’s largest collection of original and replica 1914-1918 airplanes: 40-plus aircraft, plus a few World War II warbirds. Jackson also formed a remarkable restoration/replication company called The Vintage Aviator, and he created Wingnut Wings, designers of the highest-quality WWI plastic model kits ever marketed. Unfortunately, Jackson’s aviation empire seems to be on the verge of collapse. The Vintage Aviator operation was managed by a colorful but controversial American old-plane pro, Gene DeMarco, who in the 1990s ran the restoration workshop at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, in the Hudson River Valley of New York. In 1999 DeMarco was convicted of having stolen a Piper J-3 Cub while at ORA. Apparently…

1 min
a spit does its bit…again

July 5 marked the 72nd anniversary of Britain’s National Health Service, but it caught people in a less than celebratory mood as they struggled to control the covid-19 pandemic. Amid that a familiar name from an earlier national crisis turned up in the form of a Supermarine Spitfire—in this instance a sleek blue photoreconnaissance Spitfire PR Mark XI, PL983 “L,” restored and owned by the Aircraft Restoration Company at Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire. To gratefully recognize all the medical and healthcare personnel for their aboveand-beyond efforts and at the same time to financially support the NHS in its endeavors, the ARC arranged to have about 80,000 names handwritten on the Spitfire and flown around the country along with the words “THANK U NHS” displayed prominently under the wings. As the…

1 min
battle of britain heinkel from spain

The Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust in Hawkinge, England, announced in September 2019 that it was acquiring a new battle participant, of a sort, for its aircraft collection. The museum has gone to great lengths to collect representative aircraft that were critical to the Battle of Britain’s outcome. In this case it is a rare German Heinkel He-111H-2 twin-engine bomber that ended up in Spain, where it was re-engined as a CASA 2.111B. In 1968 the bomber left Tablada to appear in the Battle of Britain film, although it has not been determined if it actually flew in the movie. After the Spanish Heinkel changed hands several times, it was bought by the Kent museum from the Imperial War Museum at Duxford. In the process of restoration some discoveries delayed…

1 min
turning of the tides

On the evening of November 11, 1940, the British aircraft carrier Illustrious positioned itself in the Mediterranean within striking distance of southern Italy. Its mission, codenamed Operation Judgment, was an air attack on the Italian navy’s heavily defended main base at Taranto, a port in the arch of Italy’s boot heel. From Taranto, the powerful Regia Marina was able to threaten Malta and Britain’s other interests in the Mediterranean, control the flow of oil from the Mideast and maintain a lifeline to its North African forces. Just before 8:30 p.m., the first of two waves of Fairey Swordfish—anachronistic-looking open-cockpit biplanes, some armed with 1,600-pound torpedoes and others carrying bombs—took off from Illustrious on their risky night mission. In all, 21 Swordfish attacked the Italian harbor that night. By the time the…