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Aviation History January 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
R 86,71
R 434,12
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min
aviation history online

ACROSS THE HYPERSONIC DIVIDE On the morning of November 9, 1961, a broad white contrail appeared in the sky over Nevada’s dry Mud Lake. Soon the sudden boom and crackling rumble of an igniting rocket engine filled the air, and U.S. Air Force test pilot Major Robert White accelerated to become the first man to take an airplane to Mach 6. White’s North American X-15 flew to speeds and altitudes never previously achieved by winged vehicles, paving the way for manned spaceflight. WHY PILOTS LOVED THE F-105 “THUD” A fast mover designed to carry a nuclear weapon, the Republic F-105 Thunderchief became the Vietnam War’s most important conventional fighterbomber. Aircrews loved it: Thud pilot Vic Vizcarra called it “the Cadillac of the air.” Some of the admiration probably wasn’t deserved, as the F-105…

4 min

As we watched the aircraft cruise north, we noticed a thin trail of smoke coming from the tail. The smoke became thicker as the aircraft banked to the west, the pilot probably wanting to return to the Cleveland airport. As the smoking aircraft began to lose altitude, I ran upstairs in our home to better observe from the rooftop. Smoke was pouring from the tail and an active fire from the rear engines behind the cockpit could be seen on both sides of the fuselage. As I watched from my vantage point, I saw a parachute open and almost immediately an explosion separated the empennage from the fuselage and the aircraft disappeared from view. By this time the entire neighborhood had seen the incident and our mother, always an adventuresome person,…

1 min
fisher xp-75 crash

The September issue story about the experimental XP-75 [“Extremes”] brought back memories. It was a warm, clear summer morning in 1944 when my brothers and I looked up to see an XP-75 heading north over our westside neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio. We were aware that the new experimental aircraft was being developed and tested at the Cleveland Municipal Airport not far from our home, and we knew it was an XP-75 because of the distinctive sound created by the contrarotating propellers. NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE U.S. AIR FORCE/VESELENAK PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION…

2 min
indochina invader flies again

A Douglas A-26 Invader that spent a year and a half flying for the French in Indochina during 1952 and ’53 has hit the air again, making its first flight on November 1, 2020, after a 21-year restoration. The airplane is being operated for the Commemorative Air Force by the Sierra Hotel Sponsor Group and is based at Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport in Oklahoma. The Invader is currently flying under the name Lil Twister, a nod to the fact that it was badly damaged by a tornado early in its restoration. But the inauthentic name may not survive when it comes time to choose a proper military paint job. The biggest challenge during the return to flight was replacement of a wing spar cap strip, cracked during retrieval of the airplane from a…

1 min
pole-to-pole peace flight

On September 21, 2020—the United Nations’ International Day of Peace—an extensively modified 1983 twin-engine Gulfstream Turbine Commander 900 christened Citizen of the World landed in San Diego, bringing to a delayed close a remarkable 26,000-mile “Peace Flight” over both poles, 22 countries and six continents by local pilot and retired naval officer Robert DeLaurentis. Behind the publicity gesture under the banner of “Oneness for Humanity: One Planet, One People, One Plane,” DeLaurentis’ flight was the result of long and careful preparation to test new materials and technology for NASA. The flight, which began on November 16, 2019, was not without unexpected tests of the pilot’s fortitude, navigational skills and ingenuity. The covid-19 pandemic caused delays that extended a planned five-month series of flights to a total of nine months. Although the…

1 min
jimmy stewart’s cessna on a stick

Besides the 80-odd films in which he appeared, Hollywood icon James M. Stewart had a parallel aviation career, including service in the U.S. Army Air Corps, Army Air Forces and Air Force Reserve between 1941 and 1968. In that milieu he is best remembered for flying 20 missions in Consolidated B-24s, for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal and the French Croix de Guerre. He also flew Boeing B-52s over Vietnam before retiring as a brigadier general. Jimmy Stewart’s flying was hardly limited to bombers, however, and in September 2020 one of his personal aircraft was unveiled as a monument at Indiana County Jimmy Stewart Airport, in his hometown of Indiana, Pa. Discovered derelict at Dallas Executive Airport in 2015, Stewart’s former private plane, Cessna 310F N6775X, was…