How Reagan Handled Qaddafi: Operation El Dorado Canyon

On April 14, 1986, the United States Air Force launched Operation El Dorado Canyon, a highly controversial but ultimately successful mission. Working in conjunction with the U.S. Sixth Fleet, the Aardvarks of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing flew longer and further than any fighter combat mission in history. Their hard-hitting strikes against Col. Murammar al ...

The Sincerest Flattery of All: The Tupelo TU-4

The Tu-4B.

It was famously said of Ginger Rogers that she did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels. The same comparison might be drawn between the Tupolev Tu-4 and the Boeing B-29, for the Russians did almost everything the Americans did by reverse engineering (the backwards part) and in about half the time ...

Beware the Silver Bullet

Churchill described the Soviet Union as a “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma". The serial Japanese airpower blunders during World War II are more aptly compared to the layers of an onion, one tightly encasing another. The mistakes vary in size and scope from the catastrophic (the attack on the United States) to ...

The Columbia Triad: Chamberlin and Levine

Chamberlin & Levine

The list of aviation heroes America has taken to heart is endless, from the Wright Brothers down to the latest heroes from Iraq. The country has a penchant for adventure lovers, and the smiling, clean living swash-buckling aviator has been embraced almost without exception. Even those with human relations flaws, such as the acerbic Douglas ...

Ten Best and Ten Worst Aviation Films

Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines (1965)

In a very happy coincidence, the invention of the airplane and the popularity of the motion picture came about at roughly the same time. The December 17, 1903 flight of the Wright Brothers is accompanied in film history by two famous productions, A Trip to the Moon in 1902 and The Great Train Robbery in ...