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1940 - 1949

Aviation in War and Peace

In a decade of world history dominated by warfare this page too will be predominantly consisting of the machines of war in the air. It was inevitably a decade of rapid development and innovation. Not all innovation was motivated by the urgent need to defeat an enemy and horrific as the war was its legacy in terms of enhancing the air travellers experience  was of lasting benefit.  As witness to the amazing feats which can be accomplished by these advances, no better example can be expressed than the “Berlin Airlift” of 1948.

Events and Advances in Military Aviation

GERMAN “BLITZKRIEG” CONQUERS THE LOW COUNTRIES

(THE NETHERLANDS 10 MAY 1940)

At dawn today Germany applied its Blitzkrieg formula to neutral Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands. The opening stages of the invasion are now chillingly familiar: aerial bombardment followed by paratroop assaults on key military targets ahead of a land invasion.  With over 1100 He111,Do17 and Ju88 level bombers, 385 Stuka dive bombers, some 1300 Bf109 and 110 fighters and around 1000 reconnaissance and transport aircraft, it has been a day of intense  air activity of the Luftwaffe.

Dutch military airfields, such as waalhaven, were early targets, as were bridges. At Rotterdam shock troops landed on the Maas river inn 12 He 59 seaplanes to seize three bridges.

SINGLE JUNKERS CONQUERS BRITISH ISLANDS

(CHANNEL ISLANDS, 30 JUNE 1940)

 

Guernsey, second largest of the Channel Islands, the British islands in the English Channel near France, today surrendered to Germany without a shot being fired. In compliance with German orders a white cross had been painted on the small airport; a Junkers Ju 52/3m transport brought the delegation to accept the surrender this morning.; Prime Minister Winston Churchill accepted weeks ago that the islands could not be defended. All troops were withdrawn, and large numbers of the islanders also managed to escape to mainland Britain. Neighbouring Jersey, the biggest of the Channel Islands, may be occupied tomorrow.

“EAGLE DAY” AIR OFFENSIVE IS DAMP SQUIB, (LONDON 13 AUGUST 1940)

Adler Tag (Eagle Day), meant to be the beginning of the end of the RAF, has ended up with the Luftwaffe getting a bloody nose. Bad weather made Goering try to recall 74 Dornier Do17’s on their way to Eastchurch this morning, but only the Bf110 fighters escorts got the message and went home, leaving the bombers to the mercy of 74 Squadron RAF, which cut them to pieces. When radar detected a later raid, 609 Squadron Spitfires dived through the Bf109 escorts to rip into Ju 87 Stukas. Some RAF airfields were damaged but at the end of the day the RAF had lost 13 aircraft to the Luftwaffes 45, and thats the figure which counts.

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THE WARLORDS WHO PLOT THE AIR BATTLES

(LONDON 14 SEPT. 1940)

The Battle of Britain has been won. The instrument of victory was  Fighter Command, but the architect was Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding. Known irreverently as “Stuffy”, he is a quiet unassuming man of 58 with deep spiritual beliefs and a scientific approach to warfare.

Dowding

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Goering

Hermann Goering, 47, his opponent, is a very different: flamboyant, with a taste for exotic uniforms and luxury trains from which he conducts operations and a long-time member of the Nazi Party. In July he was made Reichsmarschall  for the Luftwaffes performance to date.

AMY JOHNSON DIES IN MYSTERIOUS WAY (LONDON 5 JANUARY 1941)

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Britain was shocked today by the loss of its great air heroine, Amy Johnson. She seems to have made an error of judgement when taking off while Britain was covered in dense cloud. Flying a twin-engined Airspeed Oxford, she ran out of fuel over the Thames Estuary. She baled out, but a desperate attempt to save her from the freezing waters failed costing the life of a Royal Navy skipper who dived in after her.

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Messerschmitt M3 321 glider

MAMMOTH CARGO GLIDER LIFTS OFF

(LEIPHEIM, GERMANY 25 FEB. 1941)

One of the Luftwaffe’s new secret weapons was flown today for the first time. Test pilot Karl Baur took Messerschmitt’s

New Me 321 glider dubbed the Gigant(Giant) up for 22 minutes. He found the controls very heavy. The Gigant can take a staggering 22 tons of cargo. Its original specification was for a glider to carry the PzKW. IV medium tank & crew.

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FRANK WHITTLE’S JET FLIES AT LAST

England May 15 1941, Today, seven years later than it might have done, Britain has finally put a jet plane into the sky. The observers on the airfield included RAF officer Frank Whittle, who invented the revolutionary turbojet engine in 1929.

B-24 LIBERATORS FLOWN ACROSS THE ATLANTIC, (ENGLAND 4 MAY 1941)

Captain Donald Bennett of the RAF has just flown across the Atlantic to deliver the first B-24 Liberator long-range bomber to Britain’s Costal Command.

Captain Bennett flew the heavy machine, manufactured by Consolidated Aircraft, at an average speed of 280mph and an altitude of 33,000 feet. The Liberator, a bomber which can also be used fro maritime reconnaissance patrols and anti-submarine warfare missions, is one of the164 B-24s ordered by the British Government. The RAF has, however, decided to use its Liberators, which have long range, as heavy transport aircraft rather than in a combat role. The aeroplane first flew on 29 December 1939.

WORLD’S FIRST TWIN-ENGINED JET AEROPLANE MAKES INAUGURAL FLIGHT

Marienhe, Germany April 2, 1941, the world’s first twin-jet airplane has flown. Fritz Schafer flew the Heinkel He280V-1 fighter prototype once round the airfield at a maximum height of 900 feet, because only a little fuel was carried. It has a compressed air ejection seat.

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SURPRISE JAPANESE AIR ATTACK BRINGS US INTO WAR.

Pearl Harbour, Hawaii 7 December 1941. Smoke from burning military installations obscures the sunset this evening after this morning’s attack by Japanese  aircraft on Pearl Harbour. The surprise attack has virtually destroyed

All the battleships of the US Pacific Fleet and has severely hit the US Army Air Forces (USAAF) in Hawaii. The US has one compensation: The Japanese failed to hit its aircraft carriers, which were away on manoeuvres.  In all, 365 fighters bombers and torpedo aircraft from six Japanese  aircraft carriers sank five battleships, severely damaged three others, and sank or damaged ten other warships or auxiliaries in Pearl Harbour. US dead are reported to stand at 2,403 sailors, soldiers and airmen killed. Japanese losses are put at 100 me, 28 aircraft and five midget submarines. Of 394 Us military aircraft here, 188 were destroyed and 159 damaged.

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Sikorsky VS-316A

SIKORSKY LAUNCH SINGLE-ROTOR COPTER

(CONNETICUT 14 JANUARY 1942)

A major breakthrough in the development of helicopters was marked today when the Sikorsky VS-316A single-rotor helicopter made its maiden flight Also known by the Us army designation of XR-4, this promises to be the first helicopter put into frontline service in large numbers. Based on Igor Sirkosky’s pioneer VS-300A the 316 is a production model, with more power and two seats in an enclosed cabin

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FIVE -IN-ONE O’HARE  STUNS THE JAPANESE

(SOUTH PACIFIC 21 FEBRUARY 1942)

Five twin-engined Japanese bombers shot down in flames within five minutes is good shooting for a fighter squadron, let alone one man. Lt. Edward “Butch” O’Hare of the US Navy achieved this astonishing feat today in his Grumman F4F Wildcat. His carrier, Lexington, was on her way towards New Britain and had just destroyed nine Japanese bombers when a second flight was detected. O’Hare and his colleague took off and attacked.

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Liberator

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Luftwaffe pilots

Eagle Day

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Stuka

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HE280-V

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RAF GIVE NEW ROLE TO MUSTANG

(SUSSEX ENGLAND 5 MAY 1942)

The North American Mustang 1 saw action for the first time today, with the RAF’s 26 Squadron based at Gatwick. It arrived in Britain last October, five months after the first production model made its maiden flight. At low altitudes the Mustang outperforms any Allied fighter, and faster at 390mph. Less good at high altitude

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AMERICAN FLYERS VICTORIOUS IN MIDWAY

Coral Sea 8 May 1942. Few if any naval battles have, as this one did. Rely so entirely on

carrier-borne aircraft.   The battle for control over the vital Coral Sea sector is unique in the annals of modern warfare insofar as it was a duel between aircraft carriers inn which other warships played no direct role.   

Tactically, the victory is Japans, but, strategically, it was the US navy who won the day, since it succeeded in preventing Japan from achieving its goal of capturing Port Moresby, on Papua New Guinea’s south-eastern coast. This would have given the Japanese the means of completely cutting off Australia from outside help.

American dive bombers were the heroes- and the victims - of the bloody battle of Midway. Diving from as high as 12000 ft, the pilots plunge fro half a minute or more before releasing a high-explosive bomb at between 1,500 and 2000 feet.                

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Hawker Tempest

Langley, England, 2 September 1942. Test pilot Philip Lucas took the Hawker Tempest fighter on its first test flight at Langley, west of London today. Although based on the existing Hawker Typhoon, it has a much thinner wing of distinctive elliptical form. With this and other changes, the Tempest promises to be one of the world’s best fighter-bombers. At low levels, the Tempest can probably beat any airplane it will meet in combat, but its main role may be to carry bombs and rockets against ground targets on the battlefield.

HAWKER TEMPEST COULD BE NEW TRIUMPH

FIDO RELIED ON TO CLEAR FOGBOUND RUNWAYS. BRITAIN (4 NOVEMBER 1942)

In another winter at war, Allied bomber crews are once more having to face the added danger of fog on landing after a  long and tiring mission.  To a battle-damaged aeroplane, the risk is even worse. But British inventors working for the government have come up with Fog Investigation Dispersal Operation, which consists of underground pipes carrying petrol to burners along the edges of a runway. When needed, the burners are lit, dissipating fog and lighting the airstrip.

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Lysander

LYSANDERS TAKE THE “MOONLIGHT SQUADRONS” TO OCCUPIED EUROPE

France 16 April 1943. Guided only by torch signals, a black-painted RAF Lysander made a perilous landing on a field near Rouen last night. It picked up downed USAAF airman Capt. Ryan and British undercover agent Wing Commander Forest Yeo-Thomas, to complete yet

another mission to occupied Europe for the “moonlight squadrons” . Westland Lysanders have now lifted 400 escapees and agents out of France in the past two years. The pilot of one Lysander got home with 30 bullet holes in the fuselage and one in his neck.

BOUNCING BOMBS SMASH TWO DAMS

(GERMANY 17 MAY 1943)

A huge wall of water last night thundered through breaches in two dams supplying electricity to many German war factories

The Mohne and Eder dams, in the Ruhr, were thought invulnerable until 19 RAF Lancasters of special “dambusting” unit 617 squadron based at Scampton, Lincolnshire, came in low bearing the “bouncing bomb”.

Each cylindrical, 5-ton bomb, designed by Barnes Wallis, was carried slung beneath the bomber. As the plane approached the target a motor set the bomb spinning, and at 60 feet it was released. Because of its spin, it skipped along the surface until it hit the dam and sank, exploding under pressure at 40 feet down like a depth charge. Fifty Three out of 133 airmen were lost as eight Lancasters went down

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GERMANS DEVELOP ADVANCED AIR WEAPONS, (DECEMBER 1943)

Allied reconnaissance aircraft are finding increasing evidence of radical new types of airplane on trial for the Luftwaffe at test

establishments throughout Germany. At Rechlin, narrow lines scorched into the grass and over tarmac show where the extraordinary Me163B Komet rocket powered aircraft was tested.

Broader scorch marks on the ground indicate the testing of turbojets . Two Jumo 004B engines power both the Messerschmitt Me262A fighter and the Arado Ar 234B reconnaissance .bomber. Both are likely to cause the Allies some headaches in the coming year. At Peenemunde on the Baltic coast, the V-1 flying bomb and V-2 rocket have been developed. The rocket in particular might prove dangerous to the Allies.

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MEMPHIS BELLE GREETS THE “MEMPHIS BELLE”

Cpt. R.K. Morgan and the Memphis Belle, the first B-17 Flying Fortress to complete 25 missions landed today to be greeted by Morgan’s fiancee Margaret Polk, after whom the bomber was named.

ALLIED BOMBERS DEVASTATE MONTE CASSINO ( ITALY 15 FEBRUARY 1944)

Allied aircraft have bombed the 700-year-old monastery of Monte Cassino, which stands in the way of the Allied advance through Italy. The Americans were against a raid on the building, but Lt. General Sir Bernard Freyberg, whose New Zealand Corps is leading the ground assault was convinced it was being used as an observation post by German artillery.

However, Allied supreme commander in the Mediterranean General Sir Henry Maitland-Wilson gave the go-ahead for the air-raid. The onslaught was carried out by 142 B-17 Flying Fortresses, B-25 Mitchells and B-26 Marauders, which dropped 400 tons of high explosive on the monastery, now a shattered ruin after a day and a night of bombardment. There were in fact no Germans in the building, only the abbot and a handful of monks; ironically, the 3rd German Paratroop Regiment is now moving into the ruins.

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HITLER’S V-1 “REPRISAL WEAPON” BRINGS DEATH TO LONDON (13 JUNE 1944)

Hitler’s first Vergeltungswaffe struck London’s East End last night, killing six people in Grove Road, Bethnal Green. The V-1 is a flying bomb- a miniature pilotless plane. In the nose is a  devastating warhead loaded with 1870lb of high explosive. In the middle are the fuel tanks and small wings. The tail contains autopilot controls, and on top, at the rear, is the deafening noisy pulse-jet that propels the weapon.The engine is programmed to cut out after a flight time which would put it over London

PILOT ERROR HANDS VITAL SECRETS TO RAF (13 JULY 1944)

Mist hung over Woodbridge RAF base this morning when an aircraft was heard approaching from the sea. Assuming it to be a lost Mosquito, the duty officer fired off a flare giving permission to land. To his amazement - and delight - the plane was in fact a Junkers Ju88G night-fighter and was packed with every type of radio and radar equipment

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WASPS OF FERRY COMMAND

HEAD FOR HOME (USA DEC. 1945)

The war is finally over for WASPS (Women Air Force Service Pilots) and their unit, the Woman’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron) has been officially disbanded with little ceremony They ferried a total of 12650 aircraft of 77 differing types, from heavy bombers to the most modern fighters, losing 38 pilots..

NEW GERMAN AIRCRAFT ARRIVE, BUT TOO LATE. (30 OCTOBER 1944)

 

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Messerschmitt Me163

Today the first regular Luftwaffe pilots to fly the Arado Ar 234B-2 jet-bomber began training. The speedy twin engined Arado will give the Luftwaffe a capability no other air force has. Of other advanced new German aircraft both the Messerscmitt Me 163B Komet rocket powered  interceptor and the

Me 262 twin jet fighter and attack bomber are entering service in increasing numbers.

BOEING STRATOFREIGHTER SETS SPEED RECORD

Washington 9 January 1945. In spite of its huge bluff-nosed fuselage, the new Boeing XC-97 is the fastest transport aeroplane in the world. It arrived here today after a record non-stop 3323- mile flight from the Boeing plant at Seattle of just 6 hours 3 minutes, with a payload of 20,000lbs.

The first XC-97 is closely based on the B-29 and has the same 2,200hp Wright R-3350 engines, a taller tail and other improvements. Boeing is also marketing a civil airline version the 377 Stratocruiser.

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The North American  XP-82 Twin Mustang uses two enlarged P-51 fighter fuselages joined and powered  by two Packard Merlin 2860 hp engines. It is a long-range fighter for escort missions.

SUPERIOR US AIR MIGHT SMASHES TOKYO (10 MARCH 1945)

In the Japanese capitals most devastating raid of the war, incendary bombs dropped last night by 279 B-29 Superfortresses of Major- General Curtis E. LeMay’s 21st Bomber Command have turned the largely wooden-built city into a raging inferno. Between 80,000 and 130,000 people are dead with over a million homeless. Almost 16 square miles  of Tokyo are in flames.  The attack by wave after wave of B-29s from three islands in the Marianas - Saipan, Tinan and Guam - lasted four hours. Pilots in the last waves said it was difficult to control their aircraft because of the violent updrafts from the intense fires below.

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TWO B-29 BOMBERS PLUNGE WORLD INTO A NEW ERA. (HIROSHIMA, 6 AUGUST 1945)

When Col. Paul Tibbets commanding the 509th Composite Group, and his crew of 11 took off at 2.45am from Tinan island in the Marianas, all aboard the USAAF B-29 Superfortress very soon knew that this mission was like non they had ever undertaken before. Tibbets flying Enola Gay named after his mother, knew its 9,000 lb uranium-238 bomb “Little Boy” was special, but just how special only became clear 50 seconds after they released it over the industrial city of Hiroshima from 31,000 feet, at 8.15am.  Tibbets put the plane into a diving turn to get clear as a purple-black mushroom cloud rose almost level with them. The bomb exploded 1000 feet above the city in a fireball three times hotter than the sun and with a power greater than 20,000 tons of TNT. The force of the blast was unlike anything ever seen before. Around 80,000 people were killed outright. Many who survived  died later of their intense radiation burns. Two thirds of the city of 290,000 inhabitants was  reduced to blackened wasteland.

SUPERFORTRESS NON-STOP  FLIGHT RECORD (20 NOVEMBER 1945)

WASHINGTON DC, The B-29 bomber Pacusan Dreamboat landed here today after an astonishing non-stop flight which began a t the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. The Superfortress had set a new non-stop distance record of 7,916 miles.

The plane is one of many veteran Superfortresses making their way back to the US from the Pacific arena.

ACES OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR

JOSEPH .J. FOSS

Major Joe Foss, another of America’s farm-boy aces, was a brilliant marksman and he shot down 26 Japanese planes in three months to become the Marines top-scorer. His success was all the more  remarkable because he was flying the outclassed F4F Wildcat and suffering from severe malaria

ADOLPH GALLAND

Major Adolph Galland was one of the brilliant fighter pilots who “mixed-it” in the skies over southern England during the Battle of Britain. Galland, one of Goering’s favourites, once had the nerve to tell him that he wanted a squadron of Spitfires.He shot down 104 enemy aircraft.

GINGER LACEY”

Freckle-faced James Harry “Ginger” Lacey was not at first considered “officer material” by the RAF because of his grammar school education. After he had fought in France and in the Battle of Britain winning 15 kills and a DFM and bar that he was commissioned. He shot down the He111 that bombed Buckingham Palace.

Billionaire, pilot and film producer, Howard Hughes brought off as sensational publicity coup for his airline when he personally took command of a TWA Lockheed Constellation, packed with Hollywood’s finest, non-stop from los Angeles to New York.

Edward G. Robinson, Linda Darnell, Paulettev Goddard, William Powell and Walter Pidgeon among others joined journalists at nearly 30,000  feet in the pressurised cabin and reported favourably on the service and the aeroplane.  The flight was to publicise TWA’s scheduled services on the route, which begin on March 1 and to take the limelight from United Airlines, whose San Francisco- New York service, in the un pressurised DC-4 begins on the same day.

HUGHES FLIES THE STARS TO NEW  YORK (15 FEBRUARY 1946)

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PANAM’S FAREWELL TO FLYING BOAT ERA (9 APRIL 1946)

AVIATION MOVES TO PEACE-TIME MODE

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San Francisco; There were tears in a few eyes here today when Pan Am flying boat American Clipper  touched down for the last time after

A flight from Honolulu. The airline will no longer use the trusty and well-loved B-314s on its Pacific routes. Superceded by fast landplanes like the DC-4

EUROPEAN AIRLINES HEAD FOR NEW YORK (HEATHROW I JULY 1946)

British flag-carrier BOAC today became the third European airline since May to begin flights to Newc York. The new twice-weekly service, using Lockheed Constellations, is yet another sign of the growing importance of the North Atlantic as the premier air route in the post-war world, making New York the air gateway to America.. The Dutch airline KLM was the first off the mark on May 21, with a 25-hour service from Amsterdam to New York using DC-4s making stopovers at Prestwick, Scotland and Gander, Newfoundland. Air France has also opened  Paris/New York

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De Havilland Swallow

DE HAVILLAND KILLLED

(27 SEPTEMBER 1946)

The staff of De Havilland Aircraft at Hatfield are mourning the tragic loss of their chiefv test pilot today - none more so than Sir Geoffrey de Havilland himself, the company's founder, as the test pilot was his eldest son Geoffrey. The tragedy happened Geoffrey junior was engaged in high speed diving trials

in a DH108 tailess swept-wing research aircraft.This had been made to explore the possibility of supersonic flight. At first the flight seemed to go as planned; then, the aircraft broke up and fell into the Thames estuary off Gravesend.

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Bell XS-1

US PULLS AHEAD IN THE SUPERSONIC RACE

California 9 December 1946. Supersonic flight edged a little closer today when test pilot Chalmers Goodlin made the first powered flight in the BellXS-1. He touched Mach 0.79 during the flight  to 35000 ft. Three XS-1’s have been built

Unable to take off under their own power, they have been borne aloft by B-29 and dropped while starting their own engines. Today’s flight was made in the second XS-1, using the wings and tail of the first, having have thinner ones for attempt at Mach1

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JET FLYING BOAT DEBUT

Isle of Wight 16 July 1947. Following extensive ground testing, Geoffrey Tyson, test pilot for Saunders Roe company, this evening made the first flight of the SR.A/1 jet-fighter. What makes it unique is the fact that it is a

, flying boat. The A/1 is a jet., but no attempt has been made to use advanced transonic aerodynamics. All in all this machine may well be a mistake.

PILOT FLIES FASTER THAN SPEED OF SOUND. (CALIFORNIA 14 OCTOBER1947)

American fighter ace and test pilot Captain Charles “Chuck” Yeager is today thought to have become the first man to fly faster than sound. Reliable sources indicate that he “broke the sound barrier”, that invisible obstacle which has claimed the lives of some brave pilots, by reaching 670mph, Mach1.015, at 42,000 feet in the BellX-1.

Yeager 24, replaced Bell test pilot “Slick” Goodlin last summer when the USAF and NACA took over the test programme from the company. The flight remains secret, as does the fact that, yesterday evening, Yeager broke two ribs in a wild party and has told nobody.

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Chuck

Yeager

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Spruce Goose

SPRUCE GOOSE HOPS INTO HISTORY

Long Beach, California, 2 November 1947. Piloted by its creator, aviator-tycoon, Howard Hughes, the biggest plane in the world made a stately hop of about a mile across the harbour here today. In front of thousands of spectators and boats full of pressmen, Hughes has done what he said he would: flown the gigantic H-4 Hercules. Hughes, who threatened to leave the Us and never return  if he was prevented from flying the H-4 is delighted

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PIONEER, ORVILLE WRIGHT DIES

(OHIO, 30 JANUARY 1948)

Today the city of Dayton lost its most distinguished citizen when Orville Wright, the first man to fly a powered airplane, died peacefully at the age of 76. He suffered a heart attack three days ago. On December 17, 1903, Orville was at the controls of the  Flyer when it made its first powered, controlled, heavier-than-air flight.

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“FLYING CAR” TAKES TO THE AIR

San Diego 29 January 1948. It is plane but it is also a car! More precisely, it is the Hall Flying Automobile, which flew here today for the first time. Theodore P.Hall, after two years of research backed by former employer Consolidated-Vultee (Convair) is pressing ahead with his idea  for a car which converts into a plane. His design combines a four passenger rear-engined saloon with a detachable wing and boom leading to a cruciform tail

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BERLIN AIRLIFT (26 JUNE 48)

Operation Vittles - what might prove to be the world’s most ambitious airlift- has begun on the orders of General Lucius Clay, military commander of the US zone of Berlin. For two days, two million people living in the western sector of the city have been effectively under siege since the

Soviet authorities severed all road, rail and canal links to west Germany

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ROUND THE WORLD NON-STOP

Fort Worth Texas, 2 March 1949. The USA’s global deterrent power was demonstrated today when a Boeing B-50A the Lucky Lady II landed at Carswell Air Force Base to complete the first non-stop round-the-world flight.

The bomber was not stripped down but carried a normal crew of 13 and defensive armament of 13 0.50 in machine guns. Duration 94 hours 1 minute. Distance travelled 23,453 miles refuelled in flight 4 times

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STRATOCRUISERS NEW LUXURY

San Francisco April 1, 1949. Pan Am took a leap ahead of its great rival TWA today when the latest edition to its fleet the luxurious Boeing Stratocruiser went into service. The new airliner made its debut on pan Am’s busiest route from San Francisco to Honolulu.

The airliners fuselage built to the same double-bubble design as its wartime predecessor the Superfortress, resembles a figure “8” in cross-section accommodates two decks which are linked by a spiral staircase. The main cabin on the upper deck, seats up to 100 passengers and can be fitted with 28 berths as well as private compartments and two changing rooms. Downstairs is a spacious cocktail bar and lounge, where `14 people can relax in comfort

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Comet

COMET OPENS THE ERA OF JET

TRANSPORT (ENGLAND 27 JULY 49)

The dawn has arrived of the age of jet travel. The veil of secrecy has been lifted from the de Havilland D.H. 106 Comet -the world’s first jet airliner - which flew for the first time today. The Comet is a pressurised 4-jet 36 -seat airliner with which Britain hopes to steal the initiative from the dominant US

AVRO 707 POINTS WAY FORWARD AS BRABAZON LOOKS BACK (BRISTOL 4 SEPT. 1949)

The largest aeroplane ever built in Britain, the Bristol Brabazon, made a successful first flight from Filton today with chief test pilot Bill Pegg at the  controls. Four pairs of coupled Centaurus piston engines, which drive four contra-rotating propellers, powered it, and it lumbered into the air in a stately manner which surely belongs to another age. In order to get the 140ton monster into the air, the runway at Filton was lengthened to 8,250 feet which involved rerouting a road and demolishing the village of Charlton. Intended to carry 100 passengers across the Atlantic in luxury, the concept seems out of date.

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Brabazon

Concept aircraft of the 1940’s

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Monte Cassino

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Crew 617 Squad.

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Boeing Stratofreighter

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The Camproni-Campini N.!. Said to be Italy’s first jet aircraft. Its piston engine drove a fan which forced air through a jet pipe in which fuel was burned.

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Of all-wood construction, the de Havilland D.H.98 Mosquito was designed as an unarmed bomber relying on its high speed to avoid interception.

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Britain’s first jet aircraft was the Gloster (Whittle) E.28/39, which made its maiden flight on 15 May, 1941. Two subsequently did much test flying

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Messerschmitt’s Me 163B rocket-propelled interceptor caused consternation among US bomber crews, but was just as dangerous to those who flew it.

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The first all-jet flight by a Messerschmitt Me 262 was made by the V3 prototype on July 18, 1942. A pair of Junkers Jumo 109-004B turbojets provided power

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The USA’s first jet aircraft, the Bell XP-59A Airacomet: powered by two General Electric turbojets developed from the British Whittle gas turbine.

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The de Havilland DH.100 Vampire was originally dubbed “the Spider Crab” and did not enter service until after the war. Because de Havilland was so busy all production for many years was handled by English Electric, Preston

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The Miles M.39B Libellula, powered by two gypsy engines, tested the aft-wing concept, much of the lift coming from a flapped foreplane

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Northrop designed the XP-79 Flying Ram flying-wing fighter to slice off the tails of enemy aircraft. The wing was of magnesium and steel armour plate

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The de Havilland D.H. 108 was built to investigate the control and stability characteristics of swept-back wings

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The Bell X-1 was built to investigate supersonic flight characteristics, and on October 14, 1947 became the first supersonic aircraft.

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The North American XP-86 Sabre was the USAF’s first swept-wing fighter  and was the first to exceed the speed of sound, if only in a shallow  dive.

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The McDonnell XH-80 Little Henry featured tip ramjets on the blades

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The first Soviet series-production helicopter was the Mil Mi-1 which was built in quantity and later produced in Poland by WSK-PZL Swidnik as the SM-1

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Swept-wing research was the role of the Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket. It had a Westinghouse J34 turbojet and a Reaction Motors XLR-* rocket motor

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Mustang

Me 262

SR.A1

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