According to my mother, the first word I said was "airplane" ("oh-pane") at around 11 months of age when a P-38 flew over the park we were in. I've had a love affair with airplanes and the people who are involved with airplanes ever since, which has become my career as an aviation historian and author.
I built my first model, a Strombecker all-wood P-80 (that dates me!) at age 6, after watching my father build other wood models for me. I quickly graduated to plastic models when I found Mr. Twist's Fix-It Shop on South Gaylord Street in Denver, with its corner shelves full of wondrous kit boxes. I built my first biplane (a Hawk Models Nieuport 17 - still available from Testors) before I was old enough to know that "biplanes are hard." With time out in the 1960s after graduating from high school for the Navy and college and "The Sixties" I returned to the hobby in 1970 and haven't left since.
I became a screenwriter in Hollywood in the 1980s, after first getting published as an aviation author in the 1970s in Air Enthusiast Quarterly. I love the fact that William Green, who wrote the first "serious aviation book" (All The World's Aircraft 1954) that I got my father to buy for me was the first person to publish me. I've flown the back seat of an F-4E Phantom for an article on the Wild Weasels in Air Force Magazine, and had 20 minutes stick time in Jim Nissen's 1918 Curtiss JN-4D Jenny back in 1979 for an article in Plane and Pilot, and been in everything in between over the past 47 years. When I worked in politics in Sacramento during the 1970s, I was a member of a club that flew Stearman N747JR (we called ourselves in as "Boeing 747 Junior") and got around 100 hours in that fun machine.
I'm one of the original members here of iModeler, and consider it the best model club on the planet.
Author of "Fabled Fifteen: The Pacific War Odyssey of Carrier Air Group 15", "Pacific Thunder: the Pacific War from Wake island to Leyte Gulf," "Tidal Wave: From Leyte Gulf to Tokyo Bay," "The Frozen Chosen: The First Marine Division and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir," "Holding The Line: the Naval Air Campaign in Korea," and "MiG Alley: The US Air Force in Korea - 1950-53" which will be released on November 26.
You can order all of them here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Thomas+McKelvey+Cleaver&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
The P-35 was a military development of the Seversky SEV-3 three- seat amphibian, designed by Alexander Kartveli, Seversky's chief designer and was Alexander P. de Seversky's first aircraft. The SEV-3 flew in June 1933 and was [...]
The North American F-82 Twin Mustang is the last piston- engine fighter ordered into production by the United States Air Force. The airplane was based on the North American P-51H Mustang and was originally designed to meet a [...]
It's that time of year to look back on the latest happenings of the Golden Age of Modeling.
I'm not presenting this as a competition. You, too, may have your ideas of the good, the bad, the ugly - post away!
My list is limited to models I [...]
Modelers have long wanted a good kit of the North American F-82 Twin Mustang in 1/48. For the past 25 years, the only alternative has been the Hobbycraft kit, which has resulted in some persistent modelers creating nice models, while [...]
The Cavalier Mustang was a post-war civilian version of the P-51 Mustang.Originally intended as a high speed personal aircraft, the Cavalier Mustang was also used as a fighter and close air support aircraft in Third-World air [...]
The flight deck of USS Enterprise (CV-6) echoed with the command over the loudspeaker from the bridge: “Pilots! Man your planes!” Thirty-one year old Lieutenant Richard H. “Dick” Best Jr., operations officer of Bombing-Six, watched [...]
James Fahey has finally uploaded all his walkarounds of the TVAL collection, plus DeHavilland restorations and many others. Great photography.
Warning: Don't click on the link unless you have an hour or two you didn't need for important [...]
Just got word today that the Vietnam Veterans of America named my book "Best Vietnam history of 2021."
All compliments are wonderful, but a compliment from the people who know what they're talking about is better.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nickedw/sets/72157720144826141/ · on flickr
Unfortunately we don't get the great coverage we used to when Marcus went to the show, but this collection will keep some of us happy. I really liked the War [...]
The Fw 190 A-5 was developed after it was determined that the Fw 190 could easily carry more ordnance. The D-2 engine was moved forward another 15 cm (6 in) as had been tried out earlier on the service test A-3/U1 aircraft, [...]