Aviation History Magazine

Aviation History Magazine Aviation History magazine is an authoritative, in-depth history of world aviation from its origins to the Space Age. Aviation History magazine covers the rich history of aviation, from Glenn Curtiss and the Wrights, to Hellcats, Mustangs, and even a Viper or two.

October 21, 1947Northrop Chief Test Pilot Max Stanley takes off in the first YB-49, flying it from Northrop Field in Haw...
10/23/2021
Northrop's Radical Flying Wing Bomber of the 1940s

October 21, 1947
Northrop Chief Test Pilot Max Stanley takes off in the first YB-49, flying it from Northrop Field in Hawthorn Calif. to Muroc Field for flight testing. The aircraft had been converted from a YB-35 prototype "Flying Wing" that had its piston engines replaced eight turbojet engines.

Jack Northrop dreamed big with his futuristic flying wing, but the radical bomber proved too great a technological leap for his company to bridge in the late 1940s.

Birth of the First Practical Civilian Helicopter
10/20/2021
Birth of the First Practical Civilian Helicopter

Birth of the First Practical Civilian Helicopter

Snowy Buffalo, on the shores of Lake Erie in upstate New York, might seem an unlikely place for cutting-edge developments in vertical flight during the 1940s.

October 20, 1956Bell Aircraft Corp. chief pilot Floyd W. Carlson and test pilotElton J. Smith make the first flight of t...
10/20/2021

October 20, 1956
Bell Aircraft Corp. chief pilot Floyd W. Carlson and test pilotElton J. Smith make the first flight of the Bell model 204. Designated by the U.S. Army as the XH-40, the type would be accepted and redesignated as the UH-1 "Iroquois" (Army helicopters are named for Native American tribes).

The helicopter would quickly be known as the "Huey" by those who worked on and flew the iconic aircraft.

Some reports differ on the actual date of that "first flight" saying the flight was on October 22, or the 26th as well as the 20th.

October 20, 1956
Bell Aircraft Corp. chief pilot Floyd W. Carlson and test pilotElton J. Smith make the first flight of the Bell model 204. Designated by the U.S. Army as the XH-40, the type would be accepted and redesignated as the UH-1 "Iroquois" (Army helicopters are named for Native American tribes).

The helicopter would quickly be known as the "Huey" by those who worked on and flew the iconic aircraft.

Some reports differ on the actual date of that "first flight" saying the flight was on October 22, or the 26th as well as the 20th.

October 15, 1952While conducting high speed taxi tests in the new, needle shaped Douglas X-3 Stiletto, company test pilo...
10/15/2021
The Douglas X-3 Stiletto

October 15, 1952
While conducting high speed taxi tests in the new, needle shaped Douglas X-3 Stiletto, company test pilot William Bridgeman lifts off from the Edwards AFB dry lake bed and flies about a mile before touching down. The "official" first flight would take place five days later. https://www.historynet.com/douglas-x-3-stiletto.htm

Intended as a Mach 2 testbed, the underpowered X-plane looked fast but barely broke the sound barrier

October 14, 1943"Black Thursday" the second Schweinfurt raid takes place as 291 8th Air Force B-17s attack the factory c...
10/15/2021
Death on the High Road: The Schweinfurt Raid

October 14, 1943
"Black Thursday" the second Schweinfurt raid takes place as 291 8th Air Force B-17s attack the factory complex at Schweinfurt, Germany. The mission was intended to be a follow-up to the August 17th raid. The force lost 60 bombers outright, 17 so heavily damaged that they never flew again, over 100 others came home with various amounts of battle damage. With the loss of over 20% of their bomber force on a single mission, unescorted daylight bomber raids deep into Germany would be suspended until February 1944. https://www.historynet.com/world-war-ii-eighth-air-force-raid-on-schweinfurt.htm

In October 1943, Eighth Air Force bombers flew through hell to bomb Schweinfurt, Germany. For them, Schweinfurt meant only one thing: a killer town that was one of the most savagely defended targets along the aerial high road above Hitler's Third Reich.

Bell X-1: Dropping the Orange Beast That Broke the Sound Barrier
10/14/2021
Bell X-1: Dropping the Orange Beast That Broke the Sound Barrier

Bell X-1: Dropping the Orange Beast That Broke the Sound Barrier

During the past 70 years, numerous books, articles, documentaries and movies have told the story of how U.S. Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in a Bell X-1 on October 14, 1947.

Supersonic Revolution
10/14/2021
Supersonic Revolution

Supersonic Revolution

American engineers had to solve a number of design problems before the U.S. could exploit supersonic flight.

October 14, 1947Capt. Charles "Chuck" Yeager becomes the first pilot to reach supersonic speeds in level flight when he ...
10/14/2021
Chuck Yeager: The Voice of Experience

October 14, 1947
Capt. Charles "Chuck" Yeager becomes the first pilot to reach supersonic speeds in level flight when he reaches a speed of Mach 1.06 (700 mph) at an altitude of 45,000 feet in the rocket powered Bell XS 1 (later redesignated X-1) over Muroc Dry Lake, Calif. His aircraft was released by a B- 29 mother ship in mid air.

Check out our rare one on one with the man himself! https://www.historynet.com/chuck-yeager-interview.htm

Few, if any, individuals are as well-known in the annals of aviation history as Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager.

Godspeed Capt. Kirk.
10/13/2021

Godspeed Capt. Kirk.

Godspeed Capt. Kirk.

Looking for some weekend reading? Check out your local news stand! The new issue of Aviation History is waiting.
10/01/2021

Looking for some weekend reading? Check out your local news stand! The new issue of Aviation History is waiting.

Looking for some weekend reading? Check out your local news stand! The new issue of Aviation History is waiting.

October 1, 1947North American Chief Test Pilot (and Pearl Harbor hero) George "Wheaties" Welch takes the first XP-86 on ...
10/01/2021

October 1, 1947
North American Chief Test Pilot (and Pearl Harbor hero) George "Wheaties" Welch takes the first XP-86 on a 1 hour 18 minute initial familiarization flight.

October 1, 1947
North American Chief Test Pilot (and Pearl Harbor hero) George "Wheaties" Welch takes the first XP-86 on a 1 hour 18 minute initial familiarization flight.

September 30, 1968Boeing rolls out the first "Jumbo" jet, the Boeing 747. Nicknamed "City of Everett" it is the first of...
09/30/2021
Jumbo: Boeing 747

September 30, 1968
Boeing rolls out the first "Jumbo" jet, the Boeing 747. Nicknamed "City of Everett" it is the first of the initial 747-100 series of wide-body jets. Registered as N7470, it first flew on February 9, 1969 and flew for the last time in 1995. Today the aircraft is on display at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. https://www.historynet.com/jumbo-boeing-747.htm

Boeing’s 747 didn’t just revolutionize airline travel, it changed the world as we know it. If you were a hotshot airplane designer at Boeing in 1965,

September 30, 1906U.S. Army Lieutenant Frank Lahm (in the basket on the left) wins the first Gordon Bennett internationa...
09/30/2021

September 30, 1906
U.S. Army Lieutenant Frank Lahm (in the basket on the left) wins the first Gordon Bennett international balloon race. Lahm travels north from Paris, crossing the Channel between France and England, and continuing through the night and morning, eventually landing in the Yorkshire Dales after 22 hours and 15 minutes flying time. He covers over 400 miles, beating his nearest rival by more than 30.

September 30, 1906
U.S. Army Lieutenant Frank Lahm (in the basket on the left) wins the first Gordon Bennett international balloon race. Lahm travels north from Paris, crossing the Channel between France and England, and continuing through the night and morning, eventually landing in the Yorkshire Dales after 22 hours and 15 minutes flying time. He covers over 400 miles, beating his nearest rival by more than 30.

September 30, 1942158 victory Luftwaffe ace Hans-Joachim Marseille experiences an engine failure in his brand new Bf-109...
09/29/2021

September 30, 1942
158 victory Luftwaffe ace Hans-Joachim Marseille experiences an engine failure in his brand new Bf-109G-2. Bailing out near Sidi Abdel Rahman, Egypt, he most likely hits the rudder of the airplane, either killing him or knocking him unconscious as he never uses his parachute and falls to his death. https://www.historynet.com/the-star-of-africa-in-world-war-ii.htm

September 30, 1942
158 victory Luftwaffe ace Hans-Joachim Marseille experiences an engine failure in his brand new Bf-109G-2. Bailing out near Sidi Abdel Rahman, Egypt, he most likely hits the rudder of the airplane, either killing him or knocking him unconscious as he never uses his parachute and falls to his death. https://www.historynet.com/the-star-of-africa-in-world-war-ii.htm

Time for some great reading from the pages of Aviation History magazine.
09/29/2021
A-10 Warthog: The Warplane Nobody Wanted

Time for some great reading from the pages of Aviation History magazine.

The A-10 Warthog has survived repeated attempts to put it out to pasture. Now its time may finally be up.

September 28, 1921Then, 1st Lt. John Macready flies a turbo-supercharged Packard Lepère L USA C. II biplane, to a world ...
09/28/2021

September 28, 1921
Then, 1st Lt. John Macready flies a turbo-supercharged Packard Lepère L USA C. II biplane, to a world record altitude of 40,800 feet. He will be awarded his first of three Mackay trophies for his effort.

Macready would earn two other Mckay Trophies for an endurance flight over 35 hours along with Oakley Kelly pioneered the use of inflight refueling from another aircraft. The third, in 1923 was for a transcontinental flight again with Kelly. They flew a Fokker T-2 from Roosevelt Field, Long Island to Rockwell Field, California near San Diego. The flight took 26 hours, 50 minutes, 38.6 seconds. Macready is the only man to have won the Mackay Trophy three times.

September 28, 1921
Then, 1st Lt. John Macready flies a turbo-supercharged Packard Lepère L USA C. II biplane, to a world record altitude of 40,800 feet. He will be awarded his first of three Mackay trophies for his effort.

Macready would earn two other Mckay Trophies for an endurance flight over 35 hours along with Oakley Kelly pioneered the use of inflight refueling from another aircraft. The third, in 1923 was for a transcontinental flight again with Kelly. They flew a Fokker T-2 from Roosevelt Field, Long Island to Rockwell Field, California near San Diego. The flight took 26 hours, 50 minutes, 38.6 seconds. Macready is the only man to have won the Mackay Trophy three times.

September 24, 1929Jimmy Doolittle puts the "I" in IFR. Flying a specially outfitted Consolidated NY-2 Husky training air...
09/24/2021
Solving the Problem of ‘Fog Flying’

September 24, 1929
Jimmy Doolittle puts the "I" in IFR. Flying a specially outfitted Consolidated NY-2 Husky training airplane, Doolittle pulls a canvas cover over his head, sealing off the cockpit and makes the first first completely blind airplane takeoff, flight, and landing, using only the instruments aboard his airplane. A safety pilot rides in the front cockpit but all of the flying is done by Doolittle, as he flies a 15 mile set course around Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York.

How private philanthropy, inventive engineers and a courageous pilot put the “I” in IFR. Airmen of all nations faced a common problem in the 1920s: flying

The group that finally brought down Werner Voss were led by one of the most influential aces in the Royal Flying Corps.
09/23/2021
James McCudden: The Perfect Soldier

The group that finally brought down Werner Voss were led by one of the most influential aces in the Royal Flying Corps.

“Shooting genius” James McCudden owed his success in aerial combat to precision, patience and perseverance. At 14,000 feet, the air above Armentières,

09/23/2021

September 23, 1917
German Leutnant Werner Voss, commanding officer of Jagdstaffel 10, goes toe to toe with as many as seven SE5a fighters from The Royal Flying Corps 56 Squadron, led by Captain James McCudden. After eight long minutes of fierce combat, Voss, making no attempt to escape the fight, despite the odds against him, is finally shot down and killed. Each of his seven opponents suffer some level of damage to their aircraft.

From our friends at the National and Space Museum. It might not seem like much today, but in1783 …
09/19/2021

From our friends at the National and Space Museum. It might not seem like much today, but in1783 …

On this day in 1783, the Montgolfier brothers' balloon launched carrying the first living creatures to fly in a craft: a duck, a rooster, and a sheep. All survived and helped to demonstrate that balloon flight was safe for humans. s.si.edu/3knabz5

The airplane that never saw a job it couldn't do.
09/17/2021
Teaching the Commando new tricks

The airplane that never saw a job it couldn't do.

The C-130J is an incredibly versatile aircraft, and since it’s creation, it’s landed on rough fields, in arctic locations and even an aircraft carrier Yet, it cannot land on water, which covers about

September 17, 1908Flying a Wright Model A, the U.S. Army Signal Corps' first airplane, Orville Wright, crashes during a ...
09/17/2021

September 17, 1908
Flying a Wright Model A, the U.S. Army Signal Corps' first airplane, Orville Wright, crashes during a demonstration at Ft. Myer, Virginia, just outside Washington D.C.. Wright's passenger Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge is killed. The airplane had circled at about 150 feet when a propeller blade suddenly split and severs a number of control wires. Wright is severely injured, including a broken hip and is hospitalized until October 31, he spends several more weeks on crutches. Selfridge is the first person to die in a powered airplane accident.

September 17, 1908
Flying a Wright Model A, the U.S. Army Signal Corps' first airplane, Orville Wright, crashes during a demonstration at Ft. Myer, Virginia, just outside Washington D.C.. Wright's passenger Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge is killed. The airplane had circled at about 150 feet when a propeller blade suddenly split and severs a number of control wires. Wright is severely injured, including a broken hip and is hospitalized until October 31, he spends several more weeks on crutches. Selfridge is the first person to die in a powered airplane accident.

September 12, 1945On first flight of Northrop XP-79B, at Muroc Army Air Base, California, the aircraft behaves normally ...
09/12/2021
Jack Northrop's "Flying Ram"

September 12, 1945
On first flight of Northrop XP-79B, at Muroc Army Air Base, California, the aircraft behaves normally for about 15 minutes, then at approximately 7,000 feet thae aircraft begins a slow roll from which it fails to recover. Test pilot Harry Crosby bails out but is struck by revolving aircraft and his chute does not deploy. The largely magnesium airframe is totally consumed by fire after impact on desert floor. https://www.historynet.com/jack-northrops-xp-79b-jet-fighter-jan-96-aviation-history-feature.htm

Jack Northrop's XP-79B jet fighter looked unusual, but its method of attack was even more bizarre. In the late stages of World War II, American bomber

September 10, 1956North American Aviation test pilot Joel Robert (“Bob”) Baker mades the first flight of the F-107A. The...
09/10/2021
Was This Strange Jet the Best Fighter the U.S. Air Force Never Bought?

September 10, 1956
North American Aviation test pilot Joel Robert (“Bob”) Baker mades the first flight of the F-107A. The prototype aircraft reached a speed of Mach 1.03. The maiden flight was not without note. Baker experiences problems with the engine during the flight and elects to land on the Edwards AFB lakebed at over 200 knots. The nose wheel collapses and the jet slides to a halt 22,000 feet from where he had first touched down. Baker is unhurt and the aircraft suffers only minor damage. https://www.historynet.com/was-this-strange-jet-the-best-fighter-the-u-s-air-force-never-bought.htm

Odd though the North American F-107A looked, some still consider it the best fighter the U.S. Air Force never bought.

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The Navy's Corsair and the Junkers Stuka had bent-wings. What were the advantages (and disadvantages) of designing the wings like this?
Expected To Boost Future Growth Of Aircraft Landing Gear Industry.
Hey Aviation History enthusiasts! You may be interested in an event coming up (Dec. 2) featuring a Korean War veteran. If you see the need, let your local History teacher(s) know about it too - it’s scheduled so people in schools and businesses can partake. https://www.dfcsociety.org/pages/ogta-debriefs
Benjamin Franklin witnessed, and wrote about, the birth of flight run 1783. Five months ago, he told the story on Facebook Live. I posted part one a minute ago, and here is part two. I hope you will take a look. His page is "Dr. Benjamin Franklin, LLD, FRS." Something new there every day. I hope you will take a look, and give it a like. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=266869947790414
Benjamin Franklin witnessed, and wrote about, the first flight by human beings in 1783. A few months ago, he told the story on Facebook Live. Here is part one, and I will post the second part in a moment. His page is "Dr. Benjamin Franklin, LLD, FRS." I hope you will take a look at his page, and give it a like. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=252687892753508
Larkhill, RFC, RAF, Stonehenge related.
Where can I buy the May and July issues of the magazine, in print?
What made the F-16 such a revolutionary fighter?
Just got the March issue with tremendous variety including ETO Hellcats, USN legend Fred Trapnell, rebuilding the Luftwaffe, and helo antisubmarine guys.
I am looking for anyone who has knowledge of the history of aviation, especially military aviation, in Mexico, most specifically in l930s. Also, any one with knowledge of a famous pilot and Mexican general, Samuel Carlos Roja Rasso. Please contact me; I'm working on a book that involves General Roja. If you know of any source material on these subjects, I'd appreciate if you could pass those titles along to me. Many, many thanks.
Watch out for the SHARKS! Awesome WWII Poster of a Dumbo PBY-5A Catalina on a rescue mission over the Pacific. A spectacular low overhead flight of a PBY Catalina, coming to the rescue of a ditched pilot. With high ocean swells on the open sea, water landings were often no option, so dinghies, food, and water were dropped. Their positions were sent out to ships, PT-boats and submarines to home in for picking up the drowned crews and sailors. The Dumbo Cats have saved thousands of lives with their SAR Flights of Mercy during WWII. One of the most daring Dumbo Cat rescue missions in the Pacific War took place around the worst US Navy disaster that happened in July 1945 after the torpedoing of USS INDIANAPOLIS. For more details and photos, see my Dakota Hunter Blog about this harrowing story here https://www.dc3dakotahunter.com/blog/pby-catalina-saved-uss-indianapolis-sailors-from-massive-shark-attack/ For more information, photos, ordering of this poster and my books, come to my website: www.dc3dakotahunter.com Illustration design and book copyrights by Hans Wiesman.