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The new generation of warbird pilots, restorers & mechanics

Ben Wilson points the nose of “The Brat III,” the Cavanaugh Flight Museum’s renowned P-51D at the camera. Wilson checked out in the Mustang, one of the only surviving P-51s with a combat history, in 2020. (Photo by Greg Morehead)
Science-fiction writer and aeronautical engineer Robert Heinlein famously said, “A generation which ignores history has no past—and no future.” Warbird aircraft have been a part of American life since airplanes were adapted for warfare during World War I. Almost immediately afterward, the newly-surplus “war birds” that a few years before had served as fighters, bombers and trainers were turned to other uses, from aerobatic barnstorming and air racing to crop-dusting. Following World War II, they...


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All the stories featured in Flight Journal are as unique and varied as the airplanes and warriors who flew them. From popular warbirds like the P-51 Mustang and Me 109 to the Lockheed SR-71 and futuristic hypersonic fighters, we cover the whole spectrum of aviation. We’ve heard from countless readers over the years about how much they enjoy the compelling stories and beautiful photography.

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