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African Aerospace – Part One

As promised, Niel Swart braved difficult conditions to share last month’s Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2016 exhibition with airscape. Held at the SAAF’s AFB Waterkloof, between Pretoria and Johannesburg, this biennial event is the continent’s major aerospace and defence show. This year it brought together over 500 trade exhibitors, and representation from 105 different countries. Incredibly diverse AAD 2016 ran from Wednesday the 14th … Continue reading African Aerospace – Part One

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The way a pilot feels

Oilman, industrialist, investor, visionary… William T Piper has as much right to claim the title ‘Father of General Aviation’ as anyone. His long insistence on making aircraft that were cheap to buy and easy to fly brought thousands of people into flying. What’s more, his insightful strategy of making learning to fly as cheap as possible is a lesson in GA promotion that’s as instructive … Continue reading The way a pilot feels

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Wright Savers

They were ex-fishermen mostly, but to say they’d chosen a safer life ashore would be a lie. The Surfmen of the 19th century United States Life Saving Service were the forerunners of today’s US Coast Guard, a service that’s still renowned for helping aviators in need. History’s first ground crew A hundred years ago, those brave men lived in windswept stations along the worst stretches … Continue reading Wright Savers

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Southern Knights

A century ago, World War One changed the course of history. Total, global, industrial and mechanical, it was a new kind of conflict that redrew maps, destroyed families – from royal to rural, helped emancipate women, and hand-propped the infant aviation industry. For the first time in history, young men would wheel simple but surprisingly advanced machines high above the mud-bound stalemate of artillery and trench sieges. And … Continue reading Southern Knights

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North, then hard Left

If you’re tired of turning up to airshows and aviation museums in that torn old Cessna T-shirt, here’s something a long way left of centre for you… completely unauthorised Air Koryo apparel. Air Koryo is the state airline of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (that’s North Korea to you and me), and has operated a small fleet of Tupolev Tu-154 tri-jets since 1975 (although they’re now banned from … Continue reading North, then hard Left

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Re: Direction

If you’ve felt like airscape’s content has been a bit ‘samey’ lately, well, congratulations – you’re way ahead of me! Personally, I don’t think there’s been a shortage of interesting content, per se, but that’s probably helped lull me into some comfortable habits too. . .  It’s high time I kicked myself where nobody should physically be able to kick themselves. New template, more stuff … Continue reading Re: Direction