Amelia Found?

Seventy-five years ago the "first lady of the air" vanished over the Pacific Ocean attempting to circumnavigate the globe. Today there may be renewed hope of solving the mystery.

At 9 A.M. on the morning of Tuesday March 20, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stepped to a
 podium in the State Department’s Benjamin Franklin Dining Room and addressed a roomful of reporters, federal officials, and a sprinkling of female military aviators. Behind her sat the Secretary of Transportation, the foreign minister of the nation of Kiribati, the CEO of Lockheed Martin, underwater explorer Robert Ballard, and Richard Gillespie, executive director of The Investigative Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR). Read more »

“A Machine of Practical Utility”

While lauded for their 1903 flight, the Wright brothers were not convinced of their airplane’s reliability to sustain long, controlled flights until October 1905

On the morning of October 5, 1905, Amos Stauffer and a field hand were cutting corn when the distinctive clatter and pop of an engine and propellers drifted over from the neighboring pasture. The Wright boys, Stauffer knew, were at it again. Glancing up, he saw the flying machine rise above the heads of the dozen or so spectators gathered along the fence separating the two fields. The machine drifted toward the crowd, then sank back to earth in a gentle arc. The first flight of the day was over in less than 40 seconds. Read more »

Out of the Blue

In 1929 Germany announced that the mighty new dirigible Graf Zeppelin would fly around the world. This stirred a great deal of excitement in the United States, not only because such gigantic airships were thought to be the future of aviation but also because the newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst had put up two hundred thousand dollars to finance part of the Zeppelin’s flight and was promoting it aggressively. Read more »

The First Season at Kitty Hawk

What the Wright brothers did in a wild and distant place made its name famous around the world. Their biographer visits the Outer Banks to find what remains of the epochal outpost.

Wilbur Wright boarded a Big Four train at the Union Station in Dayton, Ohio, at six-thirty on the evening of Thursday, September 6, 1900. Thirty-three years old, he was setting off on the first great adventure of his life. Other than a trip to the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago with his younger brother, Orville, in 1893, Wilbur had ventured no farther than a bicycle ride from his home in more than sixteen years.Read more »

1937 Fifty Years Ago

The headlines of July 3 stunned the country: EARHART PLANE DOWN … AMELIA LOST IN THE PACIFIC , they read. AE MISSES ISLAND ON LONG HOP … LADY LINDY LOST. Nine years earlier Amelia Earhart had captured the nation’s heart when she became the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a plane. But she had made that journey as a passenger and didn’t feel her fame was justified until 1932, when she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.Read more »

Navy Power-A View From The Air

Seventy-five years ago a powered kite landed on a cruiser. From that stunt grew the weaponry that has defined modern naval supremacy.

For hundreds of years ships of war were of wood, moved by the wind. Their long-range weapons were simple cannon, while at short ranges, with ships locked alongside one another in deadly embrace, the sailors used cutlasses, sabers, pikes, and small arms. The strategy of sea power consisted of maneuvering, out of sight and beyond knowledge, into position where the power of the guns and their trained crews could become decisive.

How Not To Fly The Atlantic

A few days after Lindberg's crossing, the second flight across the Atlantic carried the first passenger and was lucky to make it to Germany.

Read more »

A Flier’s Journal

The planes were fragile and the Boche was tough, but the girls were pretty, the wine was good, and death was something that happened to someone else

George Churchill Keimey is one of America’s most distinguished military men. A career Air Force officer who enlisted as a private and rose through the ranks, he was at the end of World War II Commanding General of the Allied Air Forces in the Pacific; later he headed the Strategic Air Command for two years hefore retiring in 1951 as a four-star general. Read more »