Legends of Airpower

Legends of Airpower

Men and women who made America's air power the most respected in the world are profiled. The series features exclusive interviews with legends such as Chuck Yeager, Jim Lovell, Buzz Aldrin, and Paul Tibbetts.

All Past Episodes

Harry Combs

29:00 | #413 | TV-G

Building flight-worthy aircraft by his mid-teens, Harry Combs would go on to successfully run Combs Aircraft, work with President Kennedy on air travel, and rebuild the struggling Gates LearJet company.

Richard Steve Ritchie

25:01 | #412 | TV-G

Richard "Steve" Ritchie was the only Air Force pilot named an ace during the Vietnam War. Ritchie is also the only American pilot to destroy 5 MiG 21s.

Charles Bolden

29:00 | #411 | TV-G

Pilot and astronaut Charles Bolden flew more than 100 combat missions in his career and was the pilot of the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990, which successfully deployed the Hubble telescope.

John Boyd

25:01 | #410 | TV-G

John Boyd turned his natural combat skills into teaching tools for fellow fighter pilots with his Energy-Maneuverability Theory also employed in the future design of aircraft.

Eddie Rickenbacker

25:16 | #409 | TV-G

Eddie Rickenbacker was an American fighter ace in World War I and Medal of Honor recipient.

Amelia Earhart

25:00 | #408 | TV-G

Amelia Earhart set many flying records and championed the advancement of women in aviation.

Richard Bong

25:01 | #407 | TV-G

Richard Bong was the top scoring ace of WWII, shooting down 40 enemy aircraft. He began flying his P-38 in the Pacific Theater in late 1942 and had already surpassed Eddie Rickenbacker's 26 kills by April of 1943.

Albert Scott Crossfield

25:01 | #406 | TV-G

Albert Scott Crossfield's military career spanned from flight and gunnery instructor to test pilot and record-breaking flyer. After attending an experimental flight test pilot school at Edwards Air Force Base, the outbreak of the Korean War left him to take full responsibility for the Edwards test program. Under his leadership, the program flourished.

David Lee "Tex" Hill

25:01 | #405 | TV-G

David Lee "Tex" Hill was part of the American Volunteer Group in 1941 - known as the Flying Tigers. After the deactivation of the Flying Tigers, Hill went on to fight with the 23rd Fighter Group and the 75th Fighter Group during WWII.

Glenn Curtiss

24:46 | #404 | TV-G

Glenn Curtiss, an aviation pioneer, started out building gasoline engines and eventually went on to build his own aircraft company. The first U.S. Army aircraft, was powered by a Curtiss engine.

James Stockdale

24:46 | #403 | TV-G

James Stockdale spent his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam defying orders and doing everything in his power to stay true to his country. Stockdale remains one of the most highly decorated officers in the United States Navy.

Lorraine Zilner Rodgers

24:46 | #402 | TV-G

Lorraine Zilner Rodgers was a member of The Women Airforce Service Pilots, known as the WASP, the first group of women pilots to serve the United States Army Air Force in WWII.

George McGovern

25:01 | #401 | TV-G

George McGovern, a U.S. Congressman for South Dakota, flew 35 combat missions as a B-24 bomber pilot.

Sam Johnson

29:00 | #310 | TV-G

Sam Johnson was a prisoner of war in Vietnam who went on to become a Texas congressman.

Butch O'Hare

29:00 | #309 | TV-G

"Butch" O'Hare was a Navy pilot and combat hero who was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1942. His name marks one of the world's busiest airports.

Chappie James

29:00 | #308 | TV-G

"Chappie" James flew 101 missions in Korea and 78 in Vietnam. He also single-handedly prevented an attack from Muammar Qadaffi in Libya and rose above racism to become the first African-American four-star general.

Robin Olds

29:00 | #307 | TV-G

The distinguished career of Robin Olds, who wrote the book on tactical air power, is explored.

Deke Slayton

29:00 | #306 | TV-G

Deke Slayton flew 56 combat missions during WWII and is known as one of the original Mercury 7.

Donald Lopez

29:00 | #305 | TV-G

Donald Lopez was a pilot and deputy director of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Igor Sikorsky

29:00 | #304 | TV-G

Russian-American Igor Sikorsky was an aviation pioneer in both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

Paul Tibbets

29:00 | #303 | TV-G

Paul Tibbets is best known as the pilot who flew the Enola Gay when it an atomic bomb during WWII.

Lt. Everett Alvarez

29:00 | #302 | TV-G

Lt. Everett Alvarez was shot down over Vietnam and became the longest prisoner of war in Vietnam.

Jim Lovell

29:00 | #301 | TV-G

Jim Lovell became a household name when an oxygen tank on Apollo 13 exploded on the way to the moon.

The Wright Brothers

29:00 | #213 | TV-G

The Wright Brothers invented the science of aeronautics, thinking in three dimensions when the rest of the world couldn't move beyond two. They made human flight possible, and every aircraft that has ever flown owes something to their work.

William Tunner

29:00 | #212 | TV-G

The life of William Tunner, a Commanding Officer of the Air Force's Ferrying Division, is explored.

Jackie Cochran

29:00 | #209 | TV-G

Jackie Cochran was a celebrated aviator who also founded the Women's Air Force Service Pilots.

John Alison

29:00 | #207 | TV-G

Flier, trainer, and diplomat John Alison become one of the best pilots America ever produced.

Kelly Johnson

29:00 | #206 | TV-G

Kelly Johnson, one of America's foremost aircraft designers, developed more than 40 aircraft.

Buzz Aldrin

29:00 | #205 | TV-G

Before the historic Apollo 11 landing, Buzz Aldrin was a Sabre pilot during the Korean War.

Carl Tooey Spaatz

29:00 | #204 | TV-G

Carl "Tooey" Spaatz's command of WWII's strategic air forces forever changed the way war is fought.

Robert Morgan

29:00 | #203 | TV-G

Memphis Belle pilot Robert Morgan oversaw a crew that flew 25 successful missions in World War II.

Charles McGee

29:00 | #202 | TV-G

One of the Tuskegee Airmen, Charles McGee fought in three wars and racked up over 6300 flight hours.

John McCain

29:00 | #201 | TV-G

From flying A-4s to running for U.S. President, John McCain bears the mark of a true legend.

Charles Lindbergh

Charles Lindbergh was a pioneer of flight and a symbol of American ingenuity and bravery.

Eileen Collins

Retired NASA astronaut and pilot Eileen Collins was the first female commander of a Space Shuttle.

Francis Gary Powers

In 1960 Francis Gary Powers was captured by Russia after being the first U-2 pilot to be shot down.

Joe Foss

Joe Foss fought in World War II, racked up 26 aerial victories, and was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Thomas McGuire

The life and military career of America's number two all-time ace Thomas McGuire is highlighted.

Claire Chennault

Claire Chennault, a leader of the Flying Tigers in China, launched the theory of defensive pursuit.

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