Raising the colours

Maelstrom Eighth Bomber Command launched 969 missions between August 1942 and May 1945 and, as the force built up, over 2,000 fully loaded four-engine bombers would be swirling upwards through the fog and cloud above their bases in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex.  That’s 2,000 unguided aircraft in an area about the size of Greater New York City or the Blue Mountains in NSW. A … Continue reading Raising the colours

Going by air (Part 4)

After our epic 1925 trip from Adelaide to Sydney and back (and apologies for the long interlude) it’s time to meet the man behind the Larkin Aircraft Supply Co or LASCO, and Australian Aerial Services Limited. Herbert ‘Jimmy’ Larkin Like WW1 flyers from all over the world, the Australian soldiers who came home as aviators were determined to create careers in their new-found element.  But … Continue reading Going by air (Part 4)

Going by air (Part 3)

We’ve been travelling with a reporter from the Adelaide Register newspaper, on the nascent Australian Aerial Services airmail flight between Adelaide and Sydney – a direct distance of some 630 nautical miles. (As a comparison, London to Paris is 184 nm, New York to Albany is 117 nm, and L.A. to San Francisco is 292 nm.)  The land along the route was slowly being occupied, … Continue reading Going by air (Part 3)

Going by air (Part 2)

In Part One a reporter from the Adelaide Register newspaper joined the Australian Aerial Services airmail service between Adelaide and Sydney in June 1925. The service was exactly a year old at the time – having started in June 1924 as the first inter-state airmail service in Australia, the first between major cities, and the first in the relatively populous southeast. When we finished last time, … Continue reading Going by air (Part 2)

Going by air

In 1925, a correspondent for the Adelaide Register took the opportunity of a lifetime – and flew on the De Havilland DH.50 airmail between South Australia and Sydney.  Over 90 years later his account is a wonderful piece of time travel, that I’m not about to tarnish by over-amplifying the context. I’ll save the background for a subsequent post. (Although, I have to point out … Continue reading Going by air

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