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    CHECK SIX: The F-4 Phantom’s F3H Demon Roots

    We recently passed the one year anniversary of the retirement of the last F-4 (actually the QF-4) in the USAF inventory.  And while other air forces still have a few left in service, the worldwide fleet is dwindling. Here’s some aviation trivia for you Phantom Phreaks. There is actually a continuous line of evolution from […] More

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    The First American Covert Overflights of the Soviet Union

    Overflights started way before the U-2… The introduction of nuclear weapons at the end of the Second World War had a profound influence in many combat doctrines and none nowhere else as much as that of airborne reconnaissance. In November 1945, General Henry “Hap” Arnold of the US Army Air Forces warned the US government […] More

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    Operation Moked: The Premiere of the Anti-Runway Bomb

    In the run up to the 1967 Six-Day War in the Middle East, the Israeli Air Force was significantly outnumbered by the Arab air forces of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan and Iraq as well. Egypt’s air force alone had 50 percent more comparable combat aircraft than the Israelis. As early as 1953 it was clear […] More

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    So Many Airbus Jets Were Born on Boeing Wings

    With the formation of Airbus Industrie and the launch of the Airbus A300 jetliner, the different consortium partners finalized their workshare of the project- the tail section was the responsibility of the Spanish, the British were responsible for the wings, the Dutch fabricated all the moving surfaces of the wing, the Germans built the forward and […] More

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    The Mach 3+ F-4 Phantom

    In the 1960s the development of high-performance reconnaissance cameras offered greater resolution, but at a price- many of these systems were large and heavy and the current high-altitude spyplane of the time, the first generation variants of the Lockheed U-2, were unable to carry them. One of the premier recon optical systems developed at this […] More

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    “This is Where the Cowboy Rides Away”: The Last Departure of Southwest’s Lone Star One

    I went out to Dallas Love Field last week on 17 May 2016 to catch Lone Star One, N352SW, departing on her last flight out to the desert. She retired the evening prior from passenger service with the last revenue flight from Houston Hobby (HOU) to Dallas Love Field (DAL). She was the oldest active factory-delivered 737-300 in the […] More

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    The Early History of ALPA, the Air Line Pilots Association, and the First Airline Strike

    “Any normal person can handle an airplane,” said the owner of what would become American Airlines. Unions formed to counter safety issues and poor working conditions. The early history of the Air Line Pilots Association union is singularly identified with David Behncke. Born on a farm in Wisconsin to immigrant German parents in 1897, Behncke joined […] More

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    Meet David Neeleman: The Guy Who Made His Millions Starting Airlines

      Three years after the passage of the Airline Deregulation Act in 1979, the US airline industry was in the midst of upheaval as many of the legacy carriers that long dominated the commercial skies since the second decade of the century were under siege from free market forces. Unshackled from the strict regulation of […] More

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    Task Force 38’s Unheralded Contribution to the Fall of Japan

    Contrary to common belief, the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki didn’t make the invasion of Japan unnecessary. In fact, the invasion of Japan began on 1 July 1945 when Task Force 38 left its anchorage in the Philippines to begin Phase One of Operation Olympic, the invasion of the southernmost of […] More

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    Operation Ranch Hand and the Controversial Use of Agent Orange

    Noted aviation historian Walter Boyne described Operation Ranch Hand as “a heart-rending example of how good airmen can be forced to do unpleasant work when it is determined that the war effort demands it.” There are few events in aviation history that evoke strong debates even to this day as those that surround the nine […] More

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    How The US Space Shuttle Lost Its Jet Engines

    Similar in concept to the USSR’s shuttle-clone Buran, the US Space Shuttle went through many design iterations including a concept where jet engines could be attached to the space vehicle for ferry and/or powered approaches.  The concept proved unfeasible and too costly.  Avgeekery contributor JP Santiago tells us why. As design work by various aerospace companies began […] More

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