Warbirds & Warriors.

World War II was a singular happening in the world’s history and, although it is fading in history’s stream, its men and machines live on in film and pixels.

Aces All.

Captains Obie O’Brien and Bud Anderson listen to Don Bochkay describe his latest aerial encounter. All three were aces and belonged to the 363rd FS, 357th FG. During WW II, the public relations machine worked overtime putting photos like this in papers across the U.S. to aid in bond drives. Today they are invaluable historical documents. O’Brien finished the War with seven victories, Anderson 16.25 and Bochkay 13.83.


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USAF Special Operations – Somalia

Philip D Chinnery reports on Spectre missions and Special Tactics Squadron heroics in Mogadishu.

ONE OF THE LAST foreign policy decisions mode by President George Bush, before his election defeat by Bill Clinton, was to send American troops to Somalia, under the auspices of the United Nations. Located in the horn of Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, Somalia is a country suffering from famine and disease. Ruled by despotic warlords, the country was in dire need of outside help. The United Nations decided to step in and Operation Provide Relief was launched.

The multi-national security and airlift operation began in

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The ancient aviator and the Albatros

Geoff Roberts air tests Aero’s latest Albatros variant, the L 139.

MY FIRST HIDDEN reactions to an invitation to fly in the Aero L 39 Albatros could never be described as being fired with wild enthusiasm. After all, since 1974, over 2,800 of them have been produced and operated in 16 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America — hardly a new aircraft. Secondly, I admit to being influenced by badly informed sources regarding what I could expect at Famborough ’94. «L 39? An airborne Skoda isn’t it?» «Built by Emmett, I think.» How wrong they and I were.

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Stylish Integration.

New nacelle designs show benefits of first steps to closer engine/airframe integration

Aerospace researchers generally agree that step changes in efficiency for future commercial aircraft designs will only be achieved through unprecedented levels of integration between propulsion and airframe.

Despite uncertainty over exactly how this will happen, some engine and nacelle manufacturers are taking the first tentative steps. Some are pressing ahead with integrated propulsion systems (IPS), while Pratt & Whitney is developing the variable-area nozzle. Though a far cry from futuristic visions of airliners with open rotors, embedded engines or distributed propulsion systems, these steps mark the start of

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Pushing Boundaries

MIT sets out to prove its unconventional airliner delivers the benefits promised

Aircraft all look the same these days because the traditional tube-and-wing shape works well, both technically and operationally. To convince manufacturers to change direction would take a compelling demonstration of the benefits of a different approach.

A team led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created a stir in 2010 when it unveiled an unconventional «double-bubble» airliner concept, claiming it could reduce fuel burn by 49% relative to today’s Boeing 737-800 without resorting to any advanced technology, and by a whopping 70% if it incorporated all the exotic

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Power Shift

Variable-speed drive systems

Open up new possibilities for efficient rotorcraft

Momentum is growing behind the desire for a step-change in rotary-wing performance. More speed is most often mentioned by customers and manufacturers, but range and payload limitations are also seen as holding back rotorcraft from wider use.

As a result, one attribute could change that has stayed essentially constant since helicopters were invented— rotor speed. Most helicopters operate at a fixed 100% rpm to provide the slender blades with rigidity and stability in edgewise flight. But as designers push for higher speeds, the ability to slow the rotor is becoming

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Plug and Play

Composite wings and more-electric systems offer greater integration opportunities

As the first engine maker to attach a fifth-generation civil turbofan to a more-electric aircraft’s all-composite primary structure wing, Rolls-Royce says its Trent 1000 experience on the Boeing 787 gives it a significant advantage in the race for ever greater levels of engine-airframe integration.

The company aims to build on this knowledge base as it prepares to install the first Trent XWB engines on to the Airbus A350 later this year. It is already planning a range of longer-term developments that will see it work more holistically with airframe makers.


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Pioneers & Icons.

The efforts of aviation’s visionary designers have continually redefined the airplane, with some of their efforts going on to become icons that are recognized worldwide.

The Spirit Up Close.

In an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the Spirit of St. Louis was lowered to the floor of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum for cleaning and repair, and Dan Patterson was there with his camera to record history up close.

As Lindy Left It.

The airplane has not been restored and everything is as Charles Lindbergh left it, complete with pencil marks on the panel recording his fuel use.

American Legends.


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Last month you may have seen the beat-up standard pipe attached to the 3-hunge following its journey to the Melbourne Enduro-X. Well, all pride in the KTM has been restored with a new expansion chamber and silencer from KTM’s Powerparts division. This top-quality factory-spec exhaust system is specially built for KTM by FMF, which has been building performance pipes for longer than I can remember. Apart from looks, the new pipe and muffler combo feels lighter yet also fits to the bike with the same alignment and precision

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On a Friday morning in August, my wife, my dog, and I took off from Princeton, New Jersey, in my Cessna 172M. We were headed 50 minutes north to Cherry Ridge Airport in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, from which we would have a short drive to our vacation home in the Poconos. I added a quart of oil; did a thorough preflight, found nothing out of the ordinary; and runup was normal. We took off, requested flight following from New York Approach, and looked forward to the weekend.

About two-thirds of the way to our destination, the engine sound suddenly

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