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The Guys with the Wrenches – The pilots got the glory but the unknown heroes were the mechanics

Many of the air bases that supported operations, like this one on Iwo Jima in 1945, were makeshift and exposed crews to enemy fire and the harsh elements. The mechanics and maintenance crews continually worked miracles to keep the fighters flying!
It’s hard to accurately put the importance of the WW II crew chief, his mechanics and the armorers in perspective. It’s just as difficult to visualize both the complexity of their jobs and the environments in which they had to perform them. First the hardware: If you strip away the intricate electronic systems of today’s fighters, it’s not stretching the facts to say that it’s easier to maintain a jet than it is an R-2800...

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The Guys with the Wrenches – The pilots got the glory but the unknown heroes were the mechanics

Article in December 2022 Issue

ON THE COVER: The Fighter Collections' chief pilot Pete Kynsey brings in their rare, Goodyear built FG-1D Corsair super close to the magic camera lens of John Dibbs to get this outstanding shot. This warbird is painted in Royal Navy livery.


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Flight Journal is like no other aviation magazine in the world. Gripping accounts of flights and combat missions put the reader in the cockpit with all involved: pilots, engineers, gunners and eye-witnesses. Flight Journal covers the world of aviation from its simple beginnings to its high-tech, no-holds-barred future. We see aviation history through the eyes of those who made it. The leader in the field of aviation photojournalism, Flight Journal captures what it's like to pilot aircrafts that inspire fear and awe, from the historic B-17 Flying Fortress to today's F-16 fighters.


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