Today in Aviation History

From Enemies to Brothers

From Enemies to Brothers

73 years ago today, one of World War II’s most incredible moments took place… As German fighter ace Franz Stigler approached the badly damaged American B-17, he took his finger off the trigger. “My God, how are you still flying?” Franz thought. Inside the bomber’s cockpit, the 21-year-old rookie American pilot, Charlie Brown, was thinking the same thing. An air[Read More…]

DAYTON, Ohio -- Lockheed F-104C Starfighter at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

F-104 Record

Fifty eight years ago today, a F-104C piloted by Lt William T. Smith and Einar K. Envoldson from the 538th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, zoomed to 103,395 feet setting a world altitude record. Designed as a supersonic superiority fighter, the F-104 was produced in two major versions. Armed with a six-barrel M-61 20mm Vulcan cannon, it served as a tactical fighter, and[Read More…]

Jerry Yagen's Spitfire Mk.IX will be performing alongside his Hurricane, Mosquito, and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum's Avro Lancaster X at this year's Warbirds Over the Beach air show. (photo by Richard Mallory Allnutt)

Happy Birthday to the Supermarine Spitfire

The Supermarine Spitfire flew for the first time eighty years ago today. A single-seat fighter and interceptor, the Spitfire is the most famous British aircraft of all time. A small, graceful, elliptical-wing fighter, the Spitfire was not only one of the best performing fighters, but also one of the best looking. Although less numerous than the Hawker Hurricane during the[Read More…]

The Italian Air Force celebrated the end of their Starfighter operations with a magnificently painted F-104S captured beautifully in this David Cenciotti photograph. To learn more about this amazing aeroplane, please click here.

Happy Birthday to the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

Exactly sixty-two years ago today, the very first Lockheed Starfighter took to the skies over Edwards Air Force Base with legendary test pilot, Tony LeVier at the controls. Technically, it was not the first flight for the XF-104, but a brief hop about 5′ in the air during high speed taxiing tests in late February hardly counts as first flights[Read More…]

The Commemorative Air Force B-24 "Diamond lil" ( Photo by Scott Slocum)

Happy Birthday To The Consolidated B-24 Liberator

By Aviation Enthusiasts LLC The Consolidated B-24 Liberator flew for the first time 76 years ago today. Newer, more efficient and more versatile than the B-17 Flying Fortress, more Liberators were built than any other military aircraft in American history. In addition to being used as a heavy bomber, the B-24 also served as a long-range maritime patrol and transport[Read More…]