Welcome to the “The Flight Deck”
Welcome to the “The Flight Deck”, a informative Newsletter from American Mystique, your headquarters for premium Leather Bomber Jackets and other fine jackets for men. American Mystique is Veteran Owned & Operated.
We extend a warm welcome to you and hope you will enjoy the details and fun facts “The Flight Deck” will bring to you every month. Monthly historical facts, military history, neat images, and engaging information as we hit the flight path. We hope you will enjoy reading The Flight Deck.
Flight Deck of December
The Curtiss JN-4 Jenny – America’s First War Aircraft!
The Curtiss JN-4 Jenny served American Flyers as a first line trainer during the Great War. When they reached Europe, the Newport and Spad where the fighters of renown. But the Jenny first saw service as a scout plane in 1916 looking for Pancho Villa, who led a band of Mexican Bandits, which crossed the U.S. Border, attacking Columbus, New Mexico. The Jenny was used as a patrol plane and entered service as part of the First Aero Squadron.
After the Jenny went through many modifications after the Mexico expedition, it served as the primary trainer for American pilots. The Jenny finally reached its highest modification in the JN-4D model and was produced in large numbers. Many famous American Pilots flew their first time in a Jenny, such as Charles Lindbergh and Doolittle. The famous Jenny also served as the Nations first Air Mail Carrier, and the Jenny N-9 one of the first Seaplanes to take off and land from the water.
Flight Deck of November
Aircraft of the Month - B-24 Liberator
The B24 Consolidated Liberator was actually built to present a more modern aircraft to replace the well-known B-17 Fortress. That did not happen. Taking to the skies in 1941, she however proved a well-timed one-two punch from the air with other bomber aircraft. There were many different models as well, even the U.S. Navy had their own type of Liberator to track down submarines in the Atlantic. Though many other aircraft used electronics, the B-24 made heavy used on Hydraulics in place of electronics. Her one drawback was the fuel stored in the wings which could start the entire plane on fire if hit directly. Yet, the B-24 proved a tough aircraft and was widely used all over the world by many nations. The B-24 doesn’t get the press and fame of the B-17, but the B-24 was a critical part of the 8th Air Force over Europe and was especially valuable in the Pacific War due to its long range capabilities.
Flight Deck of October
Aircraft of the Month - North American AT-6 Texan
An aircraft that doesn’t receive enough recognition by today’s civilians, is the North American AT-6 Texan. WWII fighter pilots had to log in around 70 to 80 hours of flight time in a AT-6 Texan before moving on to a Wildcat, Hellcat, P-40, or P-51. Navy and Marine Pilots flew and spent even more time at the controls of the Texan (SNJ-5’s & SNJ-6’s). In pilot training, the student knew he was headed for a real fighter aircraft if he could handle the AT-6 in dogfights. The Texan was placed in service in 1935 and played that all important role of preparing American Fighter Pilots for the rigors and skills needed for their trade. During WWII, the Texan served as the Instructor Aircraft. However, during the Korean War, modified Texans and SNJ’s saw combat area service in aerial surveillance and recon missions.
Flight Deck of September
Aircraft of the Month F9F Airacomet - First Jet Fighter for America
Bell produced America’s first operational Jet Fighter, the Bell “P -59” Airacobra. It was on the drawing board in early 1942 and it first took flight in October of that year. However, it never saw service in the war years. There was a lot to learn about Jet Engines, and American Authorities were in a more patient frame of mind than the Germans regarding Military Jet Aircraft. It wasn’t until August of 1945 before production produced the P-59A & P-59B versions with only 66 planes produced, however they never saw combat. They served in the 412th Flighter Group of the 4th Air Force at Muroc AFB. By 1950, none were in the air. But the P-59, though not glamorous, provided Air Force and Navy crews the needed experience in working with Jet Aircraft. The P-59 also provided the ground work for new Jet designs and performance levels. As a result, the P-59 Jet Fighter paved the way for the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star. A bold new future was born in American Military Aviation.
Flight Deck of August
Aircraft of the Month - The SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber
Air Crews called her “Slow but Deadly”. The SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber was one of the American instruments of war the Japanese truly feared in the early going of the Pacific War after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. That fear was realized during the battle of Midway on June 4th, 1942. The Philippines had just been lost and the Japanese Navy was running wild in the Pacific and it looked like nothing would stop them. The SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber not only played a pivotal role in the Battle of Midway, sinking four first line Japanese Carriers, but the “Slow but Deadly” performance provided the turning point of the entire war towards the American side. The SBD Dauntless Dive Bombers and her crews put a hurt on the Japanese Navy it did not recover from and prevented the invasion of Midway Island and perhaps Hawaii.