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  • Originally published 07/28/2013

    World War I photo hoax the very model of mischief

    A biplane pivots out of control with smoke billowing from the fuselage. The World War I pilot, who has evidently bailed out, can be seen hurtling towards the ground.Another black and white photo of a dogfight shows British and German aircraft twisting to avoid an almost inevitable midair collision....The photos attracted enormous interest as there were very few images of aerial combat at the time.But it was not until 1984 that they were definitively debunked by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington when archivists realised Mrs Cockburn-Lange was actually Betty Archer, wife of Wesley David Archer, a model maker in the film industry. He had painstakingly made models of all the aircraft and superimposed them on aerial backgrounds....

  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    Forgotten aviation pioneer’s aircraft to take to the air once more

    If it had not been for a crushingly bad stroke of luck, Christopher Carlyon would likely be remembered as one of aviation’s greatest pioneers.As it was, the colliery worker from south Wales became one of history’s nearly men when a storm smashed his experimental aircraft before its first major flight, robbing him of a place in the record books.More than 100 years on though, his biplane is being built from scratch finally to take to the skies – or at least 10ft off the ground – and ensure Carlyon gets the recognition he deserves....

  • Originally published 03/13/2013

    Were the Wright Brothers runners-up?

    Were we wrong about the Wright Brothers?That's the shocking claim by Australian aviation historian John Brown, who told FoxNews.com he has photographic proof that German immigrant Gustav Whitehead flew over Connecticut in 1901 -- Orville and Wilbur were second.“Two years, four months, and three days before the Wright brothers, somebody else flew first,” Brown said via phone from Germany. "It’s really a radical revision of the history of aviation."Even “Jane’s: All the World’s Aircraft” -- widely considered the essential bible of flight -- has acknowledged Whitehead's achievement and Brown's research. With the headline "justice delayed is justice denied," editor-in-chief Paul Jackson wrote about the early aviator's story for the overview to the newly released 100th edition of the reference guide, published online on Saturday....