Out and back

Lessons learned This was going to be the post about how I’d finished sandblasting my rusty pilot’s  licence, completed my RA-Aus (Recreational Aviation Australia) endorsement checkride, and been cleared to fly solo pretty much whenever I wanted. (Which is pretty much all the time.) As it happens, that’s not quite how things turned out. Go? No go.  Flight training has a frustrating capacity to teach … Continue reading Out and back

Pioneer Trail

Augustus Moore Herring When I scan my mental list of ‘first flight’ claimants – or even powered flight pioneers – the name Augustus Herring is something of an unknown quantity. That’s a massive oversight, as even a quick read of Herring’s Wikipedia entry proves. Herring wasn’t just one of the USA’s most important aviation pioneers, he was arguably one of the key threads linking everyone else’s … Continue reading Pioneer Trail

If you build it…

The two at the front There was something curiously logical about a movie star who made his name riding horses lending a small wooden ship to a pair of corporate heavyweights, so they could change the course of aviation.  The afternoon that Boeing’s Bill Allen and Pan American’s Juan Trippe spent cruising Puget Sound aboard John Wayne’s Wild Goose in 1965 has become part of … Continue reading If you build it…

Light as air

The art of science Apparently I’m not the only one to have noticed the photogenic beauty of wind tunnels and what goes on inside them. So it seems appropriate to celebrate the beautiful images that have been captured in wind tunnels over the decades. Now, this isn’t a study of wind tunnels or their history, or even of aerodynamics. It’s simply a collection – and … Continue reading Light as air