Historical Aircraft

Stories about aircraft no longer serving operationally in the military

Doc Flies!

B-Model Sonex Excites, Reminds Me of Heroes

"Never fly the 'A' model of anything."

If you're been involved with aviation for very long, you're probably familiar with these famous words attributed to Ed Thompson. While we like to joke about how wise they are, the truth is that most of us are probably so desperate to get into the air that we'll fly whatever we can get our hands on.

Fifi Back in the Air

"FIFI" First Flight with New Engines from Hangar Workshop Productions on Vimeo.

It isn't the most recent news, but I couldn't resist re-posting this video. It shows the Commemorative Air Force's B-29, Fifi, getting back into the air after being grounded with engine trouble. It's a great footage of a beautiful aircraft. I hope you enjoy.

A Long Way to Go in Just 82 Years...

Aviation has come a long way since the Wright Brothers in 1903. We get some sense of this when we look at older aircraft, but we seldom get the chance to make side-to-side comparisons. This picture, however, is a rare and perfect illustration of just how far aviation has come. What's more impressive is that it shows the progress of just one company - an aviation powerhouse that has been around nearly as long as manned flight itself.

This picture comes from an article at Wired.com and shows Boeing's oldest airliner, the Boeing Model 40 flying next to their newest airliner, the 787 Dreamliner.

The B-25: Always a Good Show

The B-25 that flew at Thunder in the Valley was beautiful. Polished to a shine and sounding great, it made several passes and made me wonder what it would feel like to see one headed my way back in the early 40's. 'Not good' topped the list.

The DC-3 happened to be sitting very close to the flight line and made a great foreground for several pictures. Though used differently, these two planes definitely look like they come from a similar era. Someday, I'd like to fly both.

The B-25: Always a Good Show

From a purely aviation operations perspective, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a masterpiece of planning and execution. The retaliatory Doolitle Raid was perhaps less impressive planning and more an awesome display of guts and innovation. I have a special place in my heart for the Raiders, especially those of the 34th Bomb Squadron. As such, I always love to watch B-25s fly.

Birds Eye of the "Boneyard"

Google and Bing both have some great high-res shots of the Davis-Monthan AFB "Boneyard." High enough to actually identify most of the models and even check to make sure we're still complying with the START treaty by lopping the wings off of B-52's (check the lower right hand corner). AMARG, the group responsible for the facility, boasts an inventory of over 4,400 aircraft. The F-4's alone are supposedly worth around $27Billion, or at least that's what was paid for them... I wonder if they'd mind me pulling the ole flatbed up and absconding with a couple of the T-38's they've got just sitting around?

Haunted Hangars?

Color me skeptical and maybe just a little bit interested in this night flight "experience". It's being pitched by the folks at Fantasy of Flight down in Florida. They've got some pretty spectacular aircraft with some serious history but I'm just not sure they rate a "paranormal investigation." However, if ghost tours are your thing and you don't mind getting a private evening tour of the Fantasy of Flight collection then you'd better sign up quick cause these late night events are filling up fast!

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