Q: What Fighter Pilot Used Gum on His Windscreen as a Gunsight?

The answer* is in a new Air & Space trivia book, guaranteed to win your bar bets.

Only a handful of Nieuport 28s survive (one is in the National Air and Space Museum), but there are many replicas today. Chuck Wentworth flies one built by a former Hollywood stunt pilot. (© Philip Makanna / Ghosts)
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What type of helicopter is seen during the opening credits of the TV show “M*A*S*H”?

A Bell H-13 Sioux (Bell 47). The producers of “M*A*S*H,” the long-running TV comedy about doctors and nurses in the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War, took great pains to get the details correct. For the opening credits of the series, which shows wounded soldiers being airlifted to the M*A*S*H unit, they used a vintage Sioux helicopter, the type actually deployed as an air ambulance in Korea.

What is the heaviest conventional bomb ever dropped by an airplane?

On March 5, 1948, at Muroc Air Force Base, California, a B-29 Superfortress dropped a bomb weighing 22 tons. Variously known as the T-12 Cloudmaker, or earthquake bomb, it weighed twice as much as the largest bomb dropped in World War II.

What manufacturer of English luxury cars was killed while landing a Wright biplane?

Charles Rolls of Rolls-Royce. The English car manufacturer was killed in July 1910 when his Wright biplane, coming in for a landing, broke up—perhaps as a result of a faulty tail piece recently added to the aircraft and not part of the original Wright design. Before his death, Rolls had tried to persuade his business partner, Henry Royce, to enter the aviation business, but Royce preferred to focus on automobiles. During World War I, Royce reversed his position and began to manufacture airplane engines.

What World War II bomber was named Flak-Bait and flew more missions than any other American aircraft?

A Martin B-26B-25-MA Marauder. Lieutenant James J. Farrell flew more missions in Flak-Bait than any other pilot. He named the bomber after Flea Bait, his family’s dog.

What piloted aircraft is considered the fastest ever to fly?

The North American X-15. Three X-15s were made, and the first was flown in 1959. The X-15s exceeded four, five, and six times the speed of sound. One achieved 4,534 mph—Mach 6.72. Another flew through the outer reaches of the atmosphere.

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