Curtiss O-13 Falcon

Curtiss O-13 Falcon

The Curtiss O-13 Falcon was the designation given to a small number of O-1 and O-11 Falcon two-seat observation aircraft that were given the Curtiss V-1570 Conqueror engine. Some were produced as racers while others were used to test the Conqueror engine in a standard observation aircraft.


The XO-13 was produced by fitting a 600hp Curtiss V-1570 Conqueror engine in the eighth O-1. The engine was uprated to 730hp and the aircraft was entered in the Liberty Engine Builders Trophy event at the 1927 National Air Races. The XO-13 came second in the closed-course race, with a speed of 164mph.


The winner of the same race was the XO-13A. This aircraft had the same engine, rated at 720hp, but also had wind surface radiators installed (as used on the Curtiss PW-8). These reduced drag although were too vulnerable to damage for a combat aircraft. The XO-13A achieved a top speed of 170.5mph on the closed course.


The O-13B was the designation given to a single O-1C that was given a standard Curtiss V-1570-1 Conqueror engine. It was produced to test the new engine in a normal observation aircraft rather than in a specially modified racer.


YO-13C was the designation given to three O-1Es that were given 600hp V-1570 Conqueror engines. The designation was later changed to O-13C. The sole YO-13D also became a O-13C for a short period when its supercharged engine was removed.


The YO-13D had a supercharged Curtiss SV-1570 Conqueror engine and a modified radiator. It was produced from a standard O-11, and after a period of tests was turned into a standard O-13C after an un-supercharged Conqueror engine was installed. This was later replaced with a V-1150-5 engine, turning the aircraft into a O-1B.

Stats (O-13C)
Engine: Curtiss V-1570 Conqueror
Power: 600hp
Crew: 2
Gross weight: 4,542lb
Max speed: 156.2mph
Service ceiling: 19,700ft

3 Men With a Really Huge Penis Reveal What Their Lives Are Like

Believe it or not, there are downsides to packing a python.

  • Most guys wouldn't say no to a bigger penis, even if they fall within the range of 4.5 to 6.5 inches, the average size of an erect penis.
  • While there are ways to surgically enhance your penis to make it bigger, the practices are cost-prohibitive and even a little dangerous. Most of us are stuck with what we've got.
  • But it turns out having a big penis comes with its fair share of problems, too. It can be tough to fit your erect penis completely inside of a vagina. You also become known as the &ldquobig dick guy," your identity reduced to one part of your body.

There was Willie Jordan, flanked by a dozen friends and a few curious strangers in the back corner of a dimly lit pub.

&ldquoGet it out, get it out!&rdquo the rowdy spectators screamed. &ldquoNot here, not tonight,&rdquo Jordan answered. He liked this bar, and he didn&rsquot want to get banned for performing his party trick.

Nonsense, they said, as they formed an ironclad circle around Jordan to protect him. He had found himself in this situation so many times before, and he knew when it was time to admit defeat.

So Jordan took a breath, carefully unbuttoned his pants, and pulled out his penis.

The audience erupted, delighted to catch a front-row glimpse of the biggest penis in Newcastle. It was a legendary penis in the North East England town, and its owner had become a quasi-celebrity because of it.

In his 20s, Jordan ate up the attention, showing off his super-sized schlong to whoever wanted to see it&mdashand as rumors spread, his crowds ballooned.

&ldquoI understand human curiosity,&rdquo he says. &ldquoIf I had a friend who had six or seven fingers on each hand, or two heads, I&rsquod be curious to see them, too.&rdquo

But Jordan was now pushing 40, and the novelty of being a carnival attraction had long worn off. Desperate to get on with the night, he instinctively swung his big penis around like a piece of rope&mdashthe usual act&mdashand stuffed it back into his briefs. The show was over.

Or so he thought. One inebriated fan&mdashthe same man who had repeatedly asked Jordan to sleep with his girlfriend that evening&mdashdemanded an encore, asking the performer to &ldquojust let it hang.&rdquo Fine, Jordan thought. Whatever will shut him up.

But as soon as he brought his prized possession back out, the groupie grabbed it. &ldquoHe literally tried to pull it off my body,&rdquo says Jordan. &ldquoMaybe he was on drugs, trying to drag a man&rsquos penis off like that.&rdquo

Jordan fell down and sprinted home. Within 10 minutes, his whole shaft&mdashbase to tip&mdashwas black and bruised, as if it had been through battle.

Flabbergasted, Jordan flocked to Facebook to post about his crazy encounter. Ten thousand miles across the Atlantic, his friend Jonah Falcon&mdashhimself the owner of an abnormally big penis, reportedly the biggest in the world&mdashwas the first to comment.

&ldquoYou&rsquore not trying to catch up to me, are you?&rdquo

Racetrack to international airport

Last week at the Minnesota Air National Guard Museum, Col. Jamie Lindman, the 133rd’s vice-commander, spoke enthusiastically of the squadron’s history, which he has researched and learned to appreciate during his nearly 20 years with the unit.

Lindman marvels at the significance at the 1920 flight — and what followed with the initial federal funding, which allowed the squadron to build two hangars at Fort Snelling and acquire nine Curtiss JN “Jenny” biplanes.

“Nothing else existed here, it was just a racetrack — Speedway Field — with a grassy area in the center to take off and land aircraft,” he said. “Ray Miller and the squadron, they established themselves here.”

By 1923, with the Speedway Field landing strip having evolved into a full-blown runway, the squadron was involved in its renaming to the Wold-Chamberlain Airport, in honor of two local pilots, Ernest Wold and Cyrus Chamberlain, who lost their lives in combat during World War I.

With the arrival of international service, the airport underwent its final name change in 1948, becoming Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

“So really another part of Ray Miller’s claim to fame and the squadron’s claim to fame was developing this as an airport,” Lindman said. “Obviously, today it’s one of the largest metropolitan airports in the country. And it all started with Miller and others in the unit developing what was then Speedway Field — building hangars, establishing it as a runway. They put on what we would now call air shows, and by the thousands people from Minneapolis and St. Paul would come to view these shows. So they really promoted, and Miller in particular, really promoted aviation.”

The History Of The Millennium Falcon Through All Of Star Wars History

Han Solo's nothing without his ride. Oh, sure, Han's happy to take all the credit, but it's the Millennium Falcon that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs, not its owner. When Luke and Obi-Wan stumbled into the Mos Eisley cantina, they were looking for a ship, not a pilot. When the Falcon laid waste to the second Death Star, Han wasn't even on board. He was busy tangling with Ewoks and Stormtroopers while his ship saved the galaxy.

In fact, by the time Han took control of the Star Wars universe's most famous YT-1300 light freighter, the Falcon was already half a century old, and had survived more adventures than Han could imagine. As far as we can tell, here's the definitive list of everyone who's sat in the Falcon's pilot's seat--for now, anyway. If history is any indication, the ship will change owners many more times before it's done.

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1. Corell Industries Limited

60 years before The Millennium Falcon saved the galaxy (the first time), it was just a regular commercial freighter. According to James Luceno's novel, the aptly named Millennium Falcon, the cargo hauler began as just one piece of Corell Industries Limited's sprawling 8,000 ship fleet, and quickly gained a reputation for being both incredibly fast and frustratingly finicky. Different pilots gave it different names based on how much they appreciated it -- or how much they didn't. For example, the fella who named the ship Corell's Pride must've liked it. The ones who called it the Fickle Flyer or Meetyl's Misery? Eh, not so much.

Image: The Essential Guide to Warfare, reference book from Del Rey, 2012

2. Kal and Dova Brigger

After the unscrupulous Trade Federation drove Corell Industries out of business, siblings Kal and Dova Brigger picked up the YT-1300, renamed it Hardwired, and used it to take over Corell Industries' shipping routes. As Luceno's tale goes on, Brigger's business quickly took a turn towards the dark side, however, and they'd ran afoul of smugglers. Dova was captured and executed, while Kal fled.

Kal renamed the ship the Wayward Son and tried to go straight, but he just couldn't stay out of trouble. Before long, Kal found himself working with the Stark Commercial Combine, a loose confederation of pirates, bounty hunters, and other ne'er-do-wells. He didn't last. During one mission, the Galactic Republic unleashed hoard of carnivorous insects on the planet where Kal was hiding. The poor man was eaten alive, leaving the Wayward Son adrift and ownerless.

Image: Fly Casual, RPG sourcebook from Fantasy Flight Games

3. Plo Koon

15 years later, the YT-1300 made its way into the hands of a shipping company called the Republic Group that was actually a front for a group of politicians who opposed Chancellor Palpatine's increasingly authoritarian regime. Under the Republic Group's stewardship, the ship was rechristened the Stellar Envoy, flew many clandestine missions to help restore the crumbling Republic, and had a handful of different pilots. In Millennium Falcon, a long lost photograph indicates that no less than Jedi Master Plo Koon himself once sat behind the Envoy's pilot seat.

4. Tobb Jadak

Former swoop racer Tobb Jadak never officially owned the Envoy, but he might as well have. For about a decade, the Republic Group paid Jadak and his best friend, Reeze Duurmun, to take care of The Stellar Envoy, maintaining the freighter and flying it on missions as necessary.

After 10 years of service, Jadak and Duurmann hoped to purchase the Envoy for themselves, but they weren't so lucky. While embarking on a top-secret delivery run at the very, very end of the Clone Wars, the Envoy crashed into a ship above the so-called "smuggler's moon," Nar Shaddaa. Duurmun lost his life, Jadak fell into a coma, and the Envoy was abandoned in space (Jadak woke up sixty years later, and went on to serve as Millennium Falcon's co-lead).

Image: Promo art for Suns of Fortune, RPG sourcebook from Fantasy Flight Games

5. Rej Taunt

The Stellar Envoy wasn't floating around Nar Shaddaa for long. As Luceno tells the story, Rej Taunt, an up-and-coming crime lord stationed on Nar Shaddaa, hired a mechanic to salvage the vessel and fix it up. Unfortunately, for Taunt, the newly rechristened Second Chance didn't last for more than a single mission. A combination of illegal buzz droids, a surprise Imperial patrol, and a deal gone horribly bad landed Taunt in prison, while the Second Chance was relocated to an Imperial shipyard.

Image: Star Wars #10, Marvel Comics, 2015

6. Zenn Bien

Years later, a Rebel operative named Quip Fargil hired a Sullstan smuggler named Zenn Bien to help with an important mission: With aid from an Imperial turncoat, Bien helped Fargil steal the impounded YT-1300 cruiser. According to Millennium Falcon, Bien and Fargil were going to dismantle the ship and sell it for parts, but after Bien liberated the freighter, Fargil revealed that he had other goals in mind.

After renaming the ship Gone to Pieces, Fargil used the YT-1300 as bait, launching a mission to steal a hyperdrive from an Imperial cruiser. Bien went along reluctantly, and the heist was successful. Bien received a tidy sum for her efforts, while Fargil took the Gone to Pieces to the Rebels.

Image: The New Essential Guide to Alien Species, reference book from Del Rey, 2006

7. Quip Fargil

A full decade before Han joined the Rebel Alliance, his ship was already there. It was Quip Fargil who named the freighter the Millennium Falcon, and he spent 10 months using the modified YT-1300 to give the Empire a bad time. When Rebel command sent Fargil on a suicide mission, however, the pilot couldn't bring himself to follow through. Sacrificing his own life wasn't a problem, of course, but Quip loved the Falcon too much to destroy it. Despite the high stakes, Fargil bailed at the last minute, and spent the rest of his days plagued by guilt. To help ease his conscience, Fargil donated the Falcon to a doctor named Parlay Thorp and retired. By the time that Han Solo tracks him down in Millennium Falcon's second half, Quip has settled down under an assumed name, although he's never forgotten the ship that ended his Rebel career.

Image: Stay on Target, RPG sourcebook from Fantasy Flight Games

8. Parlay Thorp

Under Dr. Parlay Thorp's ownership, the Falcon went from a warship to a medical vessel. While the doctor toured the galaxy helping those in need, Thorp discovered that she suffered from a fatal medical condition that was only kept at bay by the planet Hijadoan's mysterious life-preserving qualities. Thorp decided to stay on Hijadoan until she could discover a cure, and with her options limited, sold the Falcon to a traveling circus.

Image: Star Wars Insider #83

9. Vistal Purn

Technically, while the Falcon was under the purview of Molpol's Traveling Circus, it was controlled by Molpol's owner, Dax Doogan. For all intents and purposes, Vistal Purn was its real master. According to Luceno, Purn handled all of the ship's repairs (including installing its first dejarik, or holo-chess, table) and served as its pilot, helping shuttle Doogan and various supplies between the circus's gigs. When the circus was attacked by Black Sun pirates, Purn used the Falcon to save the bulk of Molpol's menagerie, winning the heart of the circus's star performer, Sari Danzer, in the process. Purn ended up living in married bliss, but Molpol's Traveling Circus wasn't so lucky. The pirate attack decimated the circus' resources, and Doogan was forced to sell off all of its assets, including the Falcon.

Image: The Wildlife of Star Wars: A Field Guide, reference book from Chronicle Books, 2001

10. Cix Trouvee

Cix Trouvee was an ace gambler but he wasn't much of a mechanic. After buying the Millennium Falcon from Doogan, Trouvee quickly learned that maintaining the 50-year-old ship, which was largely cobbled together from aftermarket parts, cost more than Trouvee could afford. In desperate need of funds to keep the ship running, Trouvee bet everything he had on a Rebel vs. Empire skirmish above the planet Yag'Dhul.

In Millennium Falcon, Han and Leia discover that Trouvee didn't just lose the wager. He almost lost his life. As his creditors grew impatient, Trouvee made one last-ditch effort to raise some cash by entering the Cloud City Sabacc Tournament. There, Trouvee lost both his remaining credits and his ship to one Mr. Lando Calrissian.

Image: Suns of Fortune, RPG sourcebook from Fantasy Flight Games

11. Lando Calrissian

Lando Calrissian was a gambler, a smuggler, and a con man, but he's probably best remembered these days for his impeccable sense of style. No wonder he wanted a ship to match. After winning the Falcon from Trouvee, Lando immediately gave it a much needed makeover, making it fit for a scoundrel of his stature. Sadly, the era of the meticulously maintained Falcon was short-lived. During Solo, Lando loses the ship to a fellow smuggler, the unabashed slob Han Solo, in another high-stakes sabacc game. According to the novel Last Shot, Han quickly went out of his way to ensure that the Falcon looks as shabby as possible.

12. Han Solo

It was Han Solo who transformed The Millennium Falcon from a mere ship into a galactic legend. With Han at the helm and Chewbacca in the co-pilot's seat, the Falcon became one of the most notorious smuggling vessels in the galaxy, helped destroy not one but two Death Stars, and played a pivotal role in the Rebel Alliance's triumph over the Galactic Empire. As shown in Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections, Solo added a kitchen to the ship after the end of the Galactic Civil War, making it a traveling home for himself, his wife Leia Organa, and their son Ben.

13. Gannis Ducain

Even Han couldn't hold on to the Falcon forever. Some time after the Empire's collapse, a gunrunner named Gannis Ducain stole the Falcon from the Solo family and immediately started outfitting the ship with new and more deadly weapons. Ducain's modifications would remain part of the ship until after Han Solo's death: while Rey trained with Luke Skywalker on Ahch-To, the Last Jedi novelization keeps Chewbacca busy undoing all of Ducain's messy and deadly work.

Image: Edge of the Empire Beginner Game, RPG sourcebook from Fantasy Flight Games

14. The Irving Boys

We don't know much about Toursant and Vanver Irving, including how they wrested control of the Millennium Falcon from Ducain, but however they managed to do it, it probably wasn't pretty. In the short story collection Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens, one man who owed Irvings money, Rikard Lovas, was so scared of the criminals that he faked a ship heist instead of paying them. The scheme didn't work and Lovas was arrested, although the Irving Boys still wound up empty-handed. After all, it's hard to get your money back when your mark is broke and in prison.

Image: Fly Casual, RPG sourcebook from Fantasy Flight Games

15. Unkar Plutt

Eventually, Jakku's junk king Unkar Plutt stole the Falcon from the Irving Boys. He never realized what a prize he had. Under Plutt's ownership, the infamous freighter sat in a scrapyard for years and didn't take to the skies until the First Order attacked Niima Outpost during The Force Awakens. As the First Order pelted Niima with laser blasts, a young scavenger, a former stormtrooper, and a plucky droid snuck aboard the Millennium Falcon and used the aging freighter to escape.

According to The Force Awakens' novelization, Plutt managed to track the thieves to Maz Kanata's castle on Takodana, but by the time that he caught up with the Falcon, it was back in Han Solo's charge. Instead of giving the ship back, Han had Chewbacca tear off one of Plutt's arms and sent him home empty-handed.

16. Rey

Following Han Solo's death at the hands of his son, Kylo Ren, Rey became the Millennium Falcon's owner and primary pilot. In The Last Jedi, Rey took the ship to Ahch-To, where she found Han's brother-in-law Luke Skywalker living in solitude, and later flew the Millennium Falcon to Crait, where she helped the last few members of the Resistance escape the First Order's vengeance.

From Bobbitt to Hamm: The 11 Most Famous Penises in History

Measuring 11 inches&mdashsoft, mind you&mdashthis mystic's member now rests in a jar at a Russian erotica museum. FIELD TRIP!

2. Giacomo Casanova

This Italian ladies' man bedded many broads in his day, putting his man bits to molto good use.

3. The David

One of the most famous statues in history, Michelangelo's nude masterpiece puts his artful peen peen on full display. Props for a well-groomed bush, too.

4. Errol Flynn

This old Hollywood actor is not only known for his notable sausage size, but for once whipping it out to play "You Are My Sunshine" on a piano at a party. Now, that's talent.

5. Wilt Chamberlain

This NBA legend's Johnson was a crowd-pleaser: Wilt reportedly bedded over 20,000 women over the course of his life. And according to the above photo, his anaconda was Jon Hammian in proportion.

6. John Holmes

One of the most prolific porn stars of all time, this well-hung gent supposedly measured in at 13.5 inches, according to his manager. His wife, however, claimed his penis was actually only 10 inches. Details, details.

7. Ron Jeremy

Famous for his XXX-movie skillz, this adult film actor boasts a 10-inch ween. Ron's Dong even had its own blog to promote one of his flicks.

8. Tommy Lee

After his sex tape with Pamela Anderson made the rounds on the interwebs, the rest of the world found out what porn stars have allegedly told Tommy for years&mdashthat he's seriously packin'.

9. John Bobbitt

You can take the dick out of the man, but you can't take the man out of the dick. Bobbitt had it chopped off, then still got down with 70 women post-reattachment. Gotta love his perseverance.

10. Jon Hamm

While most men would love to have a renowned rod, the Mad Men actor (and LOVE OF OUR LIVES) isn't cool with us ogling his sizable joystick and has requested that he's only photographed from the waist up. Might we then suggest he start wearing underwear? Or don't. Actually please don't.

11. Jonah Falcon

At nine inches flaccid (and over 13 inches hard) this guy's got the world's largest penis, unofficially. After TSA once mistook his dick for a weapon, and HBO made a documentary about the dude, Johan released a notable music video about his member called "It's Too Big." Indeed the outline through these neon bike shorts looks like a jumbo log of salami. and we're officially scared.

Want more penis reporting from Natasha? Follow her on Twitter @NatashaNBurton.

Photos 1-9 and 11 courtesy of Getty Images. Photo 10 courtesy of Pacific Coast News

Man with ‘world’s biggest penis’ spills on sex with celebrities

A MAN who claims to have the world’s biggest penis says major celebrities, including Oscar winners, have sought him out for sex.

South Korea’s famous Penis Park.

South Korea’s famous Penis Park

Jonah Falcon claims both male and female Hollywood A-listers have sought him out for sex because of his giant member. Picture: Facebook Source:Supplied

A MAN who claims to have the largest penis on the planet says his sexual conquests have included some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities.

American Jonah Falcon, 47, says numerous A-listers, including “Oscar nominees and Oscar winners”, have sought him out for sex thanks to his 13.5 inch (34cm) member.

Mr Falcon, an actor, says while film directors are too intimidated by stories about his “massive manhood” to cast him, the same tales have lured some of Hollywood’s biggest stars to his bedroom.

“It’s handicapped my acting because people won’t hire me,” he said. “It sucks. It relegates me into doing smaller parts. Maybe in the UK or Germany it might help my acting career, but here in Hollywood it’s a negative.”

Jonah Falcon once sparked a security scare at San Francisco International Airport after staff became suspicious of the bulge in his pants. Picture: John Chapple/REX/Shutterstock Source:Splash News Australia

Speaking to The Sun about the stars he has bedded, Mr Falcon, who is openly bisexual, claimed he had “slept with celebrities including Oscar nominees and Oscar winners”.

He refused to reveal their identities but did confirm the world’s most feted actor was not among them.

“It wasn’t Meryl Streep,” he said.

Mr Falcon made headlines in December when he became embroiled in an ugly feud with arch rival Roberto Cabrera, who also claims to have the world’s largest phallus.

Mr Cabrera, who says he measures in at just under 19 inches (48cm), recently won a court battle to be officially recognised as disabled.

He successfully argued his mammoth penis made it too difficult to walk — let alone work — and now receives a government pension.

But Mr Falcon has dismissed the 55-year-old Mexican national as a fraud, accusing him of cheating by using weights 𠇌onstantly” to stretch his foreskin.

“His penis isn’t 19 inches,” he said at the time. 𠇍octors have acknowledged this and said he could have a normal sex life if he is essentially circumcised.”

Roberto Cabrera claims his penis is the world’s biggest at just under 19 inches (48cm). Picture: Ruaridh Connellan/BarcroftImages/Barcroft Media via Getty Source:Getty Images

Roberto Cabrera, pictured in all his glory, has been accused of ‘cheating’ by arch rival Jonah Falcon because he uses weights to lengthen his penis. Picture: Ruaridh Connellan/BarcroftImages/Barcroft Media via Getty Images Source:Getty Images

Doctors who have examined Mr Cabrera both physically and psychologically have noted his lifelong “obsession” with his penis and said he had admitted using weights to stretch his genitalia since he was a teenager.

According Dr Jesus David Salazar Gonzalez, Mr Cabrera achieved this by strapping the weights to his penis and holding them in place with bands of elasticated material.

Mr Falcon said he was confident his penis was genuinely bigger than Mr Cabrera’s.

“When I’m fully erect, I’m 13 and a half inches with a seven and a half to eight inch diameter,” he said. “It’s thicker than my wrist.”

The actor first came to the public’s attention in 2012, when his penis sparked a security scare at San Francisco International Airport.

He was taken aside and frisked after staff became suspicious of the bulge in his trousers.

“TSA (Transportation Security Agents) didn’t know what to make of the massive bulge on my thigh — even after I went through that body scanner that shows you naked,” he tweeted at the time.

He later told CBS SF: “They asked me if that’s a growth — and I said, ‘No, that’s my d**k’. I think they were more embarrassed than I was.”

Jonah Falcon claims to have the world's largest penis. Picture: Facebook Source:Supplied

Protector of the Pharaohs

Egyptians viewed Horus as the protector of the Pharaoh. As a god known in all of Egypt, he was an important unifying tool used to tie the people together under their leader. Great efforts were taken by rulers to show themselves as Horus in human form. When associated with a pharaoh, Horus was represented as a hawk resting on the shoulder of the pharaoh with his wings spread around the pharaoh’s head. Pharaohs would take on a Horus name to tie themselves to the god in both their reign and their afterlife.

In believing that Horus ruled the Earth under the authority of the gods, it was important for Pharaoh to become Horus in a living form. When the Pharaoh died, this association would unite the ruler with Osiris in the underworld. Horus would then move into the form of the next pharaoh.

© Steven Zucker - Hunefer's Book of the Dead detail, with Horus and Osiris

44. Chuck Smith (1992-1999, AV: 48)

Smith played for the Tennessee Volunteers before being drafted by the Falcons in the second round of the 1992 NFL draft.

Smith played 123 games for the Falcons over the next seven seasons, starting 86 from the defensive end position. He registered double digit sacks in three different seasons, with a high of 12 in 1997, when he was selected as second team All-NFL by the Associated Press.

His Atlanta career totals: 270 tackles, 52 assists, 58.5 sacks. He also intercepted 3 passes for 63 yards and one touchdown. He forced 20 fumbles, recovering 12 for 89 yards and one touchdown.

In 2000, Smith finished up his playing career in Carolina, appearing in two games with the club.

He is currently the defensive line coach for the University of Tennessee.

This Was Imperial Japan's Best World War II Fighter (America Feared It)

At the start of World War II, Japanese airpower ruled the skies over China and the Pacific. Japan’s modern, highly maneuverable fighters, flown by well-trained and combat-tested pilots, outperformed anything the Chinese, British, or Americans could get airborne to oppose them.

When the Mitsubishi A6M Type 0 naval fighter first appeared over China in 1941, Allied aviators were astonished. Not only was the Zero more agile than anything they had ever seen, but its speed and heavy armament guaranteed almost certain victory in a dogfight. Quickly this new airplane earned a terrifying reputation for flying circles around the Hawker Hurricane or Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk.

Few Westerners realized at the time that most of these so-called Zeros were actually Nakajima-designed Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) aircraft. Known as the “Army Zero” and later code-named “Oscar,” the Ki-43 Hayabusa (Peregrine Falcon) became the JAAF’s most important fighter of World War II.

The Hayabusa served throughout the Pacific War, undergoing several design upgrades to improve performance, protection, and firepower. Some 5,919 were built, more than any other Japanese aircraft except the Zero. Almost all the JAAF’s top aces scored kills with this nimble little fighter, a capable workhorse in skilled hands right up to war’s end.

A Reliance on Speed and Agility

In 1937, a Nakajima design team headed by Hideo Itokawa began work on a successor to its Ki-27 fighter, known as the Type 97. The Japanese Army required a lightweight, maneuverable air superiority fighter that would clear the skies of enemy aircraft so ground forces could operate unimpeded. The Ki-27 met this requirement but was already getting long in the tooth compared to Anglo-American aircraft then in development.

Itokawa’s engineers set out to design a fast, modern interceptor possessing superb maneuverability. The low-wing, single seat Ki-43 would feature all metal construction, a streamlined canopy, retractable landing gear, and a 950-horsepower Sakae radial engine propelling it to over 300 miles per hour. To meet JAAF weight specifications, Nakajima designers chose to omit armor protection and self-sealing fuel tanks. Pilots would rely on the machine’s speed and agility to close with an enemy, finishing the job with two Type 89 7.7mm machine guns.

Yet, when the Ki-43 prototype first flew in January 1939, it performed poorly. Test pilots complained the Nakajima design was unresponsive, sluggish, and not much faster than the Ki-27 it was intended to replace. Clearly, Itokawa’s design needed work.

It took Nakajima 18 months and 13 separate modifications to deliver an acceptable aircraft. Engineers trimmed every ounce of extra weight from the Ki-43, as well as increasing wing area and redesigning the canopy. They also installed a set of paddle-shaped “butterfly flaps” under the wing roots to boost maneuverability.

The newly modified interceptor performed wonderfully. It could reach an altitude of 38,500 feet with a 3,900 feet per minute rate of climb. Maximum speed was 308 miles per hour at 13,000 feet. Its butterfly flaps enabled the Hayabusa to turn inside any aircraft then flying, even the Zero.

The Nakajima Ki-43-I Sees Production

Nakajima’s Ki-43-I, as the modified design became known, measured 28 feet, 11 inches long, with a wingspan of 37 feet, six inches. It weighed 3,483 pounds empty and 4,515 pounds combat loaded. Armament was initially two 7.7mm machine guns in the front cowling, later replaced by one or two heavier Ho-103 12.7mm aircraft cannon as those weapons entered service.

Full-scale production of the Peregrine Falcon began in April 1941. The JAAF accepted it as the Army Type One interceptor, and Ki-43-equipped squadrons entered service in October. Before long the Hayabusa was battling P-40s of the legendary Flying Tigers and British-flown Brewster Buffalo fighters over Burma.

As war spread across Asia and the Pacific, Allied fliers learned to fear Japan’s angry little falcon. Tangling with a Ki-43 usually resulted in fiery death, so air tacticians such as General Claire L. Chennault of the Flying Tigers taught their pilots to avoid dogfighting with one at any cost.

It took time, however, for Chennault’s lessons to take hold. For the first year of the war Hayabusa aces such as Warrant Officer Iwataro Hazawa (15 kills) and Lieutenant Guichi Sumino (27 victories) racked up impressive scores against their Hawker-, Brewster-, and Curtiss-equipped adversaries.

On December 22, 1941, a flight of 18 Ki-43s encountered 13 Australian Brewster Buffalo fighters over Malaysia. Sergeant Yoshito Yasuda described his role in this air battle: “Luckily, Capt. [Katsumi] Anma found a fleeing Buffalo and attacked it from above and behind. My turn came when Anma’s guns jammed. I sent a burst into the Buffalo’s engine and saw it belch white smoke.” Hayabusa pilots claimed 11 kills that day for the loss of one Japanese plane Australian records indicate three Brewsters were actually destroyed while two more made it home too badly damaged to repair.

Performance Issues of the Ki-43-I

Despite these early successes, JAAF aviators found fault with the Peregrine Falcon’s performance, firepower, and durability. In service the Ki-43 developed a fatal tendency to shed its wings during a steep dive. This was a direct consequence of Nakajima’s earlier weight saving modifications, and headquarters suspended all flight operations until strengthened wing spars could be installed.

Pilots also disliked the slow-firing Ho-103 cannon. A Japanese copy of the U.S. Browning M2 .50-caliber machine gun, early models often jammed in combat. The Ho-103’s unreliability forced most pilots to keep one 7.7mm machine gun installed as a backup.

Nakajima designers watched with concern as modern Allied fighters like the Lockheed P-38 Lightning and Vought F4U Corsair took to the skies starting in late 1942. They began work to upgrade the Hayabusa, adding a more powerful 1,150-horsepower engine, self-sealing fuel tanks, and armor protection for the pilot. A reflector gunsight was also installed, and the Ho-103’s reliability problems were fixed. Subsequent modifications included bomb/drop tank racks, radio equipment, and clipped wings intended to improve the roll rate.

The Ki-43-II Against Allied Bombers

The updated Ki-43-II was faster, stronger, and no less maneuverable than older models. Remaining uncorrected, however, was the Peregrine Falcon’s alarming vulnerability to enemy gunfire. Allied fliers soon discovered that one burst of .50-caliber machine-gun bullets into the Ki-43’s unprotected oxygen tank would usually cause a catastrophic explosion.

The Hayabusa’s two-gun battery was one-third as potent as the six heavy weapons carried by most American fighters. Even firing explosive shells, the Ho-103 cannon proved woefully inadequate against tough-skinned Allied warplanes. When Consolidated B-24 Liberator bombers began operating in Chinese airspace in late 1942, JAAF fliers had no choice but to attack them with their poorly armed Falcons.

It took great courage to intercept the formidable B-24s, and even greater luck to bring one down. Captain Yasuhiko Kuroe told his pilots to fly head-on into the American formations and concentrate on a single bomber. “Attack boldly,” Kuroe counseled. “Go into the wall of fire and take their bullets, be relentless.” Kuroe’s tactic worked, but often at great loss to the fragile Ki-43s.

The tables were turning for those brave aviators forced to fly this increasingly obsolescent fighter. Twelve-kill JAAF ace Captain Yohei Hinoki observed: “By the time the Hayabusa had become a good attack aircraft things were changing. It was now to be used for defense … so again its firepower was insufficient. The Hayabusa was coming to the end of its time.”

Japanese Army Air Force pilots continued to operate the aging Ki-43 simply because that was all they had. While JAAF-flown Hayabusas fought desperately against superior Allied fighters, development of more advanced aircraft like the Ki-84 Hayate remained a low priority. Perhaps the government believed its own propaganda in 1942 only good war news reached the Japanese people.

Countering the Ki-43

Those fighting over China and the Pacific knew better. American aviators were learning how to cope with the Nakajima fighter, now code-named “Oscar.” Using team tactics, well-trained U.S. Navy and Army Air Corps fighter aces began scoring heavily against the diminishing number of skilled Hayabusa pilots.

On August 2, 1943, Captain James A. Watkins and 15 pilots of the USAAF’s 9th Fighter Squadron pounced on a large formation of Ki-43s over the Huon Gulf in New Guinea. Flying the powerful P-38 Lightning, Watkins quickly destroyed two Ki-43s before diving on a third Oscar that was running away at wave-top level. Trying to outturn Watkins’s plane, the Ki-43 accidentally dipped a wing into the water and cartwheeled into a thousand pieces. This splasher was Watkins’s 11th career kill, seven of which were Hayabusas.

What is Power Broker's role in the Marvel Comics?

The Power Broker in Marvel Comics is typically someone named Curtiss Jackson (no, not 50 Cent), a criminal who trades securities and assets of all sorts to, yes, give himself more and more power. At one point he begins "Power Broker Inc." and hires a mad scientist named Dr. Karl Malus, who creates the "Power Broker Process," which gives paying customers super-strength, essentially. He used this process, initially at least, to give super strength to wrestlers in order to fix bets.

He also used this process to create a number of heroes in the Marvel canon as well. One of these was Sharon Ventura, a version of Ms. Marvel (the MCU's version, which will debut in late 2021 in a Disney+ series, will instead be the Kamala Khan version, played by Iman Vellani).

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