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Aviation History May 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

BILLY MITCHELL’S AERIAL BLITZKRIEG Led by Colonel William “Billy” Mitchell, the U.S. Army Air Service embarked on its first major campaign in September 1918—at the time, the largest air force ever committed to battle—at St. Mihiel, France, presaging the combined-arms assaults to follow. A zealous advocate of offensive air power, Mitchell spent the rest of his contentious career trying to bolster America’s air assets. CLIPPERS CIRCLE THE GLOBE Two hours into its flight from New Zealand to Hawaii on December 8, 1941, Pan Am’s Pacific Clipper received word of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Captain Robert Ford was directed to divert his flight path and return to the United States by any route that would avoid enemy interception. By the time the Boeing 314 landed in New York a month later, the…

4 min

> Before leaving the replacement air group, F-14 pilots were well educated on the TF30 engine’s limitations and knew the workarounds so that the “sudden and scary” things that Wilkinson talks about did not happen in an air combat maneuver environment. His next attempt is nothing but hearsay: “Some Tomcat crews described their mount as ‘a nice aircraft powered by two pieces of junk.’” Nobody I knew in the Tomcat community ever said that. His seven-paragraph history of the AWG-9/AIM-54 Phoenix, while again informative, does nothing to support his argument. Neither does his nine paragraphs detailing the history of the Iranian F-14 sale. In fact, he shoots down (like a Libyan Flogger?) his own thesis by stating, “With excellent visibility,…20mm cannon, automatic maneuvering flaps and dogfight radar mode, it was…

1 min
tomcat pilot

Regarding the cover story about the F-14 Tomcat by Stephan Wilkinson [March], I understand that by pairing a renowned airframe with a provocative coverline you hoped to sell more magazines. The problem arises when Wilkinson, while being informative in several areas, does not come close to supporting the cover’s “never lived up to its Hollywood image” claim. His first attack on the Tomcat’s reputation is merely conjecture when he states, “Had the early Tomcats ever gone into serious combat, more of them might have been lost to compressor stalls than to enemy action.” >…

2 min
spirit of st. louis 2 takes flight

When we last checked on Robert Ragozzino he had just completed a promising taxi test in his scratch-built replica of the Ryan NYP Spirit of St. Louis, inching him toward his goal of re-creating Charles Lindbergh’s nonstop solo flight to Paris. Ragozzino took another important step on January 11 when he made two successful test flights in his Spirit of St. Louis 2. The first flight, which departed from a former Strategic Air Command base in Burns Flat, Okla., lasted less than an hour, while the second stretched to nearly two, marking an important milestone in the project’s up-and-down history. “It’s a big step forward,” Ragozzino said after completing the flights, “but I’ve got a whole list of things I want to change.” Wearing a leather flying helmet and ear plugs because…

1 min
topgun goes commercial

The next air-to-air fighter training involving American pilots is likely to pit Topgun against “hired gun,” as a Canadian commercial operator, Top Aces Corporation, will be leasing General Dynamics F-16 fighters from its base in Mesa, Ariz., to the U.S. Department of Defense—the first private contractor to provide supersonic fourth-generation aircraft for the purpose. In January Top Aces received four F-16As, flown in from Israel aboard a Ukrainian-registered Antonov An-124 cargo plane, the first of what may total 29 “aggressor” fighters acquired from the Israelis for a reported $100 million. The 40-year-old F-16As and F-16Bs include some combat veterans with shootdowns to their credit. One F-16A was the fourth in the eight-plane formation that bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak on June 7, 1981, and went on to share in…

1 min
all-woman afghan airline flight

Aviation history was made on February 24 when a Boeing 737-500 of Kam Air, Afghanistan’s only private airline, left Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, flew 350 nautical miles and landed at Herat 90 minutes later. The two pilots and four-member flight crew reportedly performed their tasks with complete professionalism. What made the otherwise routine hop significant was that in a country in which opportunities for women are limited, all six members of the 737’s crew were female, starting with 32-year-old Ukrainian Captain Veronica Borysova and 22-year-old Afghan copilot Mohadese Mirzaee. Although their flight sets an inspiring precedent, neither the airline nor the crew were keen to publicize their achievement too much. That is because Afghanistan remains a nation violently divided. The airline was founded on August 31, 2003, by Zmarai Kamgar…