This coming Sunday, 15 June at 9 pm (CST) the Discovery network’s Military Channel debuts a new program aimed at aviation history buffs. Showdown: Air Combat uses restored aircraft and interviews with veteran pilots to recreate aerial combat encounters from the First World to the (almost) present.
Showdown is hosted by Major Paul “Max” Moga (an F-22 Raptor pilot with the Air Combat Command’s 1st Fighter Wing) and Dr. Jim Mowbray (Professor of Strategy, Doctrine, and Airpower at the Air War College). Among the individual encounters slated to appear are match-ups between an F-86 Saber and MiG-15, a P-51 vs. an Me-109, and a P-38 vs. a Zero. The Great War will be featured in an episode devoted to the famous June 1917 dogfight between France’s “ace of aces” Georges Guynemer and Ernst Udet (Germany’s #2 ace after you-know-who).
As a run-up to the program’s debut, the Military Channel invited a small group of air-minded bloggers to contribute comments and questions to Showdown‘s hosts via a telephone roundtable. The half-hour conversation covered a wide range of issues including: WWII pilot training, ground-support operations in Afghanistan, and the rapidly escalating costs of developing 21st-century fighter aircraft. Once the recording of the roundtable has been made available by the folks at the Military Channel, I’ll post a link to it here.
In the meantime, you can look forward to Showdown‘s debut this weekend.
UPDATE: To listen to the audio file of the roundtable click the “play” arrow below…