Yeaahh!

On fire The 2017 Yuma Airshow was held on Saturday March 18th, 2017, under typically azure Arizona skies, at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma (which shares tarmac with Yuma International Airport, KNYL). Appearing alongside several civilian performers was an array of USMC hardware – including UH-1Y Venom and AH-1Z Viper helos, as well as the F-35B Lightning 2, AV-8B Harrier, MV-22B Osprey, F/A-18E Super Hornet … Continue reading Yeaahh!

Heavenly Bodies – Part II

Feature Image: X-24 research pilots (L to R) Einar Enevoldson, John Manke, Richard Scobee, Tom McMurtry, Bill Dana, and Michael Love. (NASA photo) Missed Heavenly Bodies – Part I? Catch up here Down to earth By the second half of the 1960s, the future of lifting bodies was looking bright. Thanks to R. Dale Reed’s lightweight M2-F1, followed by the heavyweight M2-F2/M2-F3 and HL-10, NASA … Continue reading Heavenly Bodies – Part II

Heavenly Bodies – Part I

Falling with style Dangling below a thundering 234-UT Chinook helicopter on August 30th, 2017, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser® was lifted 12,500 feet above Rogers Dry Lake to have its flight systems tested. It may have been a rather undignified ride for the small, re-usable spacecraft, but while the Chinook was thrashing at thin air near it’s practical flight ceiling, the Dream Chaser was nearer … Continue reading Heavenly Bodies – Part I

99 Ways To Die

Fallen Eagles By Norman Franks ISBN 978 1 47387 996 6 A book should be about the size of an airport terminal. Not too rudimentary, and not too overblown with distractions either – but still big enough to deliver all the anticipation, preparation, challenge and satisfaction you’d expect for your planned flight. That’s not how this one works though. Rather than take us from the … Continue reading 99 Ways To Die

True Story

The Lost Aviator The True Story of Bill Lancaster I just want to quickly share with you this trailer for The Lost Aviator, a documentary film by director Andrew Lancaster – investigating the life, flying, murder trial and disappearance of his uncle, Bill Lancaster. The 90 minute feature was brought to my attention by Chrystopher Spicer, whose The Flying Adventures of Jessie Keith ‘Chubbie’ Miller … Continue reading True Story

Jessie-Keith-Miller-aviatrix

Significant other

The Flying Adventures of Jessie Keith ‘Chubbie’ Miller The Southern Hemisphere’s First International Aviatrix by Chrystopher J Spicer ISBN 978 1 4766 6531 3 Even before I started it, I had a feeling I was going to enjoy this book. Well, I wasn’t disappointed. In almost every sense, The Flying Adventures of Jessie Keith ‘Chubbie’ Miller is the essential companion to Bill Lancaster: The Final … Continue reading Significant other

Breaking news

The invention of the news helicopter From What Goes Up by Jack Hitt Extracted from Epic Magazine All photos courtesy of Jerry Foster, via Epic Magazine, unless noted otherwise. At least since that swarm of choppers followed OJ Simpson along LA’s freeway system in the most un-Hollywood chase scene since, well… ever, we’ve kind of taken live helicopter news coverage for granted. But, like everything, airborne … Continue reading Breaking news

QRA encounters

Cool reception For a generation of Westerners, the first words of Russian we learned were Mikhail Gorbachev’s offers of glasnost (гла́сность – openness) and perestroika ((перестро́йка – listening) which culminated in the end of the Berlin Wall, the USSR and, theoretically at least, the Cold War. So you may be surprised to learn that as you read this, two pairs of RAF fighter pilots are … Continue reading QRA encounters

Ride of a lifetime

Thunder and Lightnings As promised, here is John Bentley’s account of his English Electric Lightning flight, from Flight International for April 23rd, 1970. In what would certainly get a well-deserved ‘#bestweekeva’ tweet today, Bentley joined 29 Squadron during their month-long deployment to RAF Akrotiri on the southern coast of Cyprus, to report on their mobile Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) capabilities. It was a textbook example … Continue reading Ride of a lifetime