The Boeing P-26 Peashooter

Boeing P-26 Peashooter

Boeing P-26 Peashooter

The Boeing P-26 Peashooter was the first American all-metal production fighter aircraft and the first pursuit monoplane used by the United States Army Air Corps.[N 1] Designed and built by Boeing; the prototype first flew in 1932, and the type was still in use with the U.S. Army Air Corps as late as 1941 in the Philippines.

The Boeing P-26 was a tricky airplane to land because of the short nose and powerful engine which made the aircraft want to flip nose over tail. This resulted in injury to a number of pilots, and so Boeing installed an armored headrest on the airplane to protect the pilots in the event they flipped the aircraft over on landing. [Read more...]

Flying Legends Warbirds

Spitfire Aircraft In Flight

Spitfire Aircraft In Flight

If you like airplanes then you probably love the Supermarine Spitfire!

Anyone who has ever thought about World War II and the Battle of Britain surely knows about the legendary Spitfire and the men who flew them. As a pilot I have always loved the sound of those Rolls-Royce Merlin engines with their distinct sound.

Whenever I get the chance I go to an airshow, more to see and hear those legendary aircraft from World War II than the whine of jet engines in the current military aircraft. [Read more...]

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Wake Turbulence – Devil or Angel?

Wake Turbulence From An Aircraft

Wake Turbulence From An Aircraft

When I was learning to fly we were always advised to avoid wake turbulence at all costs, but perhaps that has changed now, at least for the USAF.

After studying birds the engineers at Boeing came up with the idea of using wake turbulence from a lead aircraft to surf, much like race cars draft each other by getting close behind another car.

The idea is for one aircraft to trail (surf) behind another aircraft and use the wake turbulence off of a wing to pull the trailing aircraft along. Theoretically you could have two aircraft trailing behind the left and right wing tips. [Read more...]

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Sunglass Lenses

Sunglass Lenses Tints

Sunglass Lenses Tints

As you shop for aviator sunglasses you are sure to notice the different sunglass lenses colors, but have you ever considered the fact that the color the sunglass lenses might be important depending upon what you need the sunglasses for?

Lens color is a key factor to the sunglass-wearing experience; the amount and types of details the pilot needs to see in various lighting conditions will determine the precise sunglass lens color he needs.

“Color perception varies from person to person,” says Oakley’s Andy McSorley. “It is solely opinion-based.” Nonetheless, he adds, specific colored lenses do perform better in certain conditions. [Read more...]

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Short Field Takeoff

The Dangers Of A Short Field Takeoff

A Short Field Takeoff

For pilots one of the most challenging situations are the short field takeoff. But add to that density altitude and you have even more of a challenge!

Over the years I have encountered a number of times when a short field takeoff was required by runway length or density altitude considerations; however, I never trusted the charts to be completely accurate because the aircraft I was flying was not brand new flown by a test pilot. As a result I always added a safety margin. [Read more...]

P51 Mustang Ford Mustang

P51 Mustang AircaftWhat do the P51 Mustang airplane and the Ford Mustang car have to do with each other?

I recently ran across an old article entitled “Two P-51 pilots reunite with their warbirds…” about their being reunited with the aircraft they flew while at Oshkosh in 2009. Brothers had flown Mustang aircraft in World War II. The article was about Cuthbert (Bill) Pattillo and Charles (Buck) Pattillo, twin brothers who wound up flying missions over Europe. [Read more...]