Plane of the Week: Grumman F6F Hellcat

Designed as a successor to the Grumman F4F Wildcat, the F6F Hellcat became America’s dominant fighter during the second half of the Pacific War. The highly successful Grumman F4F Wildcat had its first flight in September 1937 and began its service with the US Navy and British Royal Navy in December 1940. As early as [...]

By |February 9th, 2018|Plane Of The Week|0 Comments

Eddie Rickenbacker: Ace of Aces, Race Car Driver, Air Transportation Pioneer

Not every fighter pilot was considered an ace during World War I, let alone the ace of aces. But for Eddie Rickenbacker, that’s precisely what he was. An Early Life (With a Purpose) Edward Vernon Rickenbacker was born on October 8, 1890 in Columbus, Ohio. His parents were German-speaking Swiss immigrants and he was the [...]

By |January 19th, 2018|Pilot Profile|Comments Off on Eddie Rickenbacker: Ace of Aces, Race Car Driver, Air Transportation Pioneer

The Guinea Pig Club: RAF Pilots and the Advancement of Plastic Surgery

We are incredibly lucky to presently live in a world with advanced medical technology. It wasn’t all that long ago, really, when commonplace surgeries today would have been nothing more than a pipe dream. World War II changed the world in many ways. During this time, aircraft advanced, weapons advanced, and numerous technologies advanced—because they [...]

By |January 8th, 2018|Aviation History|Comments Off on The Guinea Pig Club: RAF Pilots and the Advancement of Plastic Surgery

Plane of the Week: Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21

The MiG-21 is flown by over 50 nations and is the most produced supersonic jet fighter. 11,600 MiG-21s were built since entering service in part because its simple design made it easy to manufacture. This plane originates from the Soviet Union and its development began back in the 1950s with a mission to replace the [...]

By |November 24th, 2017|Plane Of The Week|Comments Off on Plane of the Week: Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21

The Story of the B-17 “Swamp Ghost”

Papua New Guinea has seen its share of plane crashes, as well as its share of war buffs hunting for “warbird” wrecks. But of all the downed planes scattered throughout the mountainous rainforests and jungle terrain, the fabled “Swamp Ghost” remains the most legendary. For 64 years, this downed B-17 Flying Fortress rested intact among [...]

By |October 30th, 2017|General Aviation|Comments Off on The Story of the B-17 “Swamp Ghost”

From Off the Ground to Out of this World: The Beginnings of NASA

Long before Neil Armstrong made one giant leap for mankind (or, you know, didn’t, if that’s your belief), NASA’s work was a lot closer to home. In fact, it had nothing to do with aerospace at all. At least, not technically. The NASA we know and love today grew out of a federal agency founded [...]

By |July 17th, 2017|General Aviation|Comments Off on From Off the Ground to Out of this World: The Beginnings of NASA

Plane of the Week: de Havilland Vampire

Not all vampires suck, you know. Not all vampires can fly, either. In both American and European folklore, only some can. But Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Little Vampire, and The Lost Boys all could fly. So could this de Havilland Vampire. And fly it did. Britain’s Second Jet-Powered Aircraft Post-WWII In 1941, the de Havilland [...]

By |July 14th, 2017|Plane Of The Week|Comments Off on Plane of the Week: de Havilland Vampire

Plane of the Week: Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star

When the United States Army Air Forces wanted an operational jet fighter of their own, the War Department's wish was Kelly Johnson's command. They sure wished upon this shooting star.    The Lockheed P-80 was the first jet fighter used operationally by the USAAF. The aircraft was designed and built by Lockheed in [...]

By |June 23rd, 2017|Plane Of The Week|Comments Off on Plane of the Week: Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star

5 Emergency Landings that Made History

When going up in the air, we all hope that, in the end, we reach our destinations safely. We cross our fingers for "textbook" takeoffs and landings. Most of the time, we get our wish--flying is easy peasy. But sometimes our finger crossing isn't enough and things don't go by the book. In the event that [...]

By |May 8th, 2017|Aviation History, General Aviation|Comments Off on 5 Emergency Landings that Made History

Lucy, Lady Houston: Philanthropist, Activist, and Aviation Pioneer

If not for Poppy Houston, the Battle of Britain might have ended very differently.  Fanny Lucy Radmall was born on April 8, 1857, to Thomas Radmall, a woolen warehouseman and draper, and Maria Isabella Clark. The 9th of 10 children, "Poppy," as she was affectionately known, was nothing short of inquisitive, vivacious, and adventurous. At 16, Poppy became [...]

By |April 26th, 2017|Aviation History|Comments Off on Lucy, Lady Houston: Philanthropist, Activist, and Aviation Pioneer