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Aviation History

Buffalo Airways Lockheed L188 Electra aircraft in flight

The Sole Surviver

This is an interesting story about an aircraft accident that occurred over the Amazon jungle and the sole survivor of that accident. The aircraft involved was a Peruvian airline Lockheed Electra L1...

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F-8 Crusader aircraft in flight over the ocean off the coast of California

Jud, you're on fire!

Sometimes the truth really is stranger than fiction! It's June 21, 1963, and a routine ferry flight of a US Navy F-8 Crusader from California to Hawaii meets up with a KC-97 aerial refueler out ove...

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An image of one of the three X-15 hypersonic aircraft hanging in the Milestone of Flight gallery of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

The X-15 Test Program

Read about the test program completed by the North American Aviation X-15 hypersonic rocket airplane, and it's many achievements in advancing high-speed aircraft and spacecraft.

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NASA Researcg Test Pilot Neil Armstrong with the first North American X-15, 56-6670, on Rogers Dry Lake after a flight in 1960. His right hand is resting on the ball nose sensor.

The World's First Hypersonic Rocket Plane - The X-15

Scott Crossfield prepares for a flight in the North American Aviation X-15A The X-15 is a mid-wing monoplane with dorsal and ventral fin/rudders and stabilators. The wing has no dihedral while the ...

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A photograph of the North American X-15 rocket powered aircraft

The Amazing Story of the X-15: A Revolutionary Spaceplane

 North American Aviation, Inc., X-15A-1, 56-6670, at Los Angeles Division, October 1958. (Air Force Flight Test Center History Office) Since the first flight of the Wright Flyer on December 17, 190...

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Newspaper boy in New York City in the 1950s getting ready to deliver his newspapers

The Bridge of Spies

The Bridge of Spies is a story about the exchange of Rudolf Abel and Francis Gary Powers during the Cold War. Both the US and the USSR wanted their spies returned to them, so a swap took place in t...

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The U-2 "Dragon Lady" in flight on a reconnaisance mission.

Gary Powers and the U-2 Program

The wreckage of the U-2 flown by Gary Powers over the Soviet Union an downed near Sverdlovsk The Aftermath Of The Downing The CIA's first indication that something was wrong with Power's mission oc...

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A U-2 on a high-altitude flight above the clouds.

The U-2 Enters Service

The 60-year-old aircraft still flys today serving our country's need for information on our adversaries. U-2 flights began in 1956, but they were paused by President Eisenhower in 1958 because he w...

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The right profile illustration of the first Lockheed U-2, Article 341. Image courtesy of Tim Bradley Imaging 2015.

The Iconic U-2

In late 1954 the CIA, at the direction of President Eisenhower, was told to develop a high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft due to the growing threat of the Soviet Union. Lockheed had developed the...

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A drawing of a 1930's era standard airway beacon installation.

The Birth Of Instrument Flying

In the early days of aviation, navigating in bad weather presented a real challenge for pilots, resulting in the early demise of many pilots. There were no navigation aids to help pilots easily fin...

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Advanced Flying Wing Aircraft

Advanced Flying Wing Aircraft

The Avro Vulcan B.1 was a jet-powered, tailless, delta-wing high-altitude strategic bomber of the mid-1950s Aircraft designers understood the advantages of a flying wing aircraft, but after the Nor...

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Jack Northrop's first flying wing aircraft called the N-1M.

The Flying Wing

Early adoption of the Flying Wing occurred in 1908 but achieved some success in 1940 when Jack Northrop built the N-1M Flying Wing aircraft. Following that success Northrop Aircraft Company went on...

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