A Royal Norwegian Air Force F-16 returns to Ørland Main Air Station in 2014.

The Guard at NATO’s Northern Gate

With a new force of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, Norway readies for Europe’s next threat.

Major Harry B. Bailey, an intelligence officer for the 98th Bomb Group, briefs a B-29 crew on hitting a target in Sinuiju, North Korea with conventional bombs. The city was heavily damaged but has since been rebuilt.

How the Korean War Almost Went Nuclear

In 1950, Harry Truman had to decide whether to use B-29s to drop atomic bombs.

★ Boeing B-29 Superfortress ★ It was the ultimate U.S. weapon, a high-altitude strategic bomber with the speed of a fighter, a 3,200-mile range, and the capacity to carry 20,000 pounds of explosives. The Boeing B-29 ended World War II. On August 6, 1945, the B-29 Enola Gay dropped a uranium fission bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. A few days later, a B-29 named Bockscar destroyed Nagasaki with a plutonium bomb. The Japanese surrendered on September 2, and the Atomic Age had begun.

B-29s Become the Ultimate Weapons

In the spring of 1951, Fulton (in the cockpit of a Douglas B-26) was called to Korea, where he flew the B-26 on night bombing runs against North Korean trucks.

The Greatest Test Pilot You’ve Never Heard Of

Meet Fitz Fulton.

During a tranquil moment at Lake Hood, the world’s largest seaplane base, a Piper PA-14 skims a watery runway

Where airplanes have floats, and everybody flies.

Water World

A pilot's view from the cockpit of a Royal Air Force Typhoon multi role fighter jet.

Under the Eurofighter’s Hood

Europe’s frontline fighter is a marvel of technology.

During the war, Wendover Army Air Base was one of the country's most secretive locations.

How B-29 Crews Trained to Drop the Bomb

Wendover’s atomic secret

In 2003, Steve Lange (left) chaired a sign-waving group that met each Friday at a different intersection in the city.

The Airport That Wouldn’t Die

An embattled Florida field had more than history on its side.

Both sides liked cartoon characters, like the one on this Republican Chato.

The War Between the Wars

In the skies over Spain, pilots and airplanes rehearsed for World War II.

During a flight demonstration Stateside, an F-105 carries a full bomb load: 16 750-pounders. While attacking targets in Vietnam, though, Thuds were generally outfitted with 6,000 pounds of bombs and two auxiliary fuel tanks.

Thuds, the Ridge, and 100 Missions North

How the Republic F-105 got good at a mission it was not designed to fly

The Soviets' first atomic bomb test in 1949, in background, prompted tense aerial duels between (top to bottom) Soviet Tu-95 bombers, F-101s, and F-102s. Bottom: The blast effects of a one megaton bomb exploding over Pittsburgh.

The Thin Aluminum Line

Supersonic airplanes and a screen of radar stood ready during the cold war to avert the end of the world.

A U.S. Marine Corps Douglas F4D-1 Skyray in flight.

Beautiful Climber

In the summer of '58, nothing was faster to 50,000 feet

By war’s end, the French pilots had scored 129 victories against the Luftwaffe.

The French-Russian Connection

With Russian Yaks, a small group of French pilots fought like hell to drive the Germans out of the Soviet Union.

A Piper L-4 Grasshopper demonstrates the Brodie System, in which an aircraft snagged a trolley that ran along a cable in order to land on a short strip or a ship.

The People and Planes of Anoka County

Denizens of a small Minnesota airport: bombers, Cubs, a 1938 Stinson SR10 once owned by the governor of Pennsylvania, and a veritable hive of homebuilders.

Resplendent in U.S. Navy Blue Angels livery, a Marine Corps C-130T fires its jet-assisted takeoff bottles, which add 8,000 pounds of thrust for a super-short takeoff.

50 Years of Hercules

As utilitarian as a bucket and just as plain, Lockheed's C-130 has flown almost everything to almost everywhere.

A Royal Air Force Avro Vulcan strategic bomber.

Air War in the Falklands

Grand miscalculations, unknown odds, miserable weather, vast distances—and unlikely adversaries

Although MOL borrowed ideas and hardware (including a modified Gemini space capsule) from NASA, its reconnaissance mission was strictly classified.

A Sudden Loss of Altitude

Meet the MOL-men. Prepared to make space history, these military pilots instead became a footnote to it.

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