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

Somme 101

The battle above Today marks 101 years since the first day of the Battle of the Somme. And, while the bloody hours of July 1st, 1916 have become a by-word for military disaster, the operation above the trenches was an absolute triumph. Compared to the British Army’s 57,470 casualties and the German Army’s approximately 12,000, the Royal Flying Corps finished the day with just one airman … Continue reading Somme 101

Lightning for sale

Electrifying ads For a generation of jet jocks, it was the ultimate ride – a seat you didn’t say ‘no’ to: The English Electric Lightning was a thundering, twin-Avon brute of a point defence fighter, designed around the single-minded mission brief of reaching high-flying hostile bombers before they could harm the UK’s vital airfields and other infrastructure… It was an echo of the Battle of Britain, re-imagined … Continue reading Lightning for sale

Movement area

Taking off While Melbourne Australia’s airport at Tullamarine might not glow with the aviation heritage of, say, NY–La Guardia or Paris-Le Bourget, it’s still a good index for the world’s ever-expanding demand for aviation connections. And, as recent stats from YMML show, global aviation is definitely not shrinking. Flights, city pairs, available seats and airline fleets are all growing astronomically. At the beginning of June … Continue reading Movement area

Boeing’s big moment

Turning the corner While I was doing some extra research for last week’s Flying Boats article, I found this particularly historic photo of Boeing’s ‘big fours’ flying together. The unique formation brings together the prototype B-17A, at this stage still the 14th Y1B-17 and the 15th Type 299 (c/n 1987), in formation with the prototype Type 314 Clipper, NX18601 (c/n 1988) – two massive projects that were … Continue reading Boeing’s big moment

50,000 ft/min

A good day at the office To tell the truth, it’s been so long (see the fabulous Bird On A Wire) since I did a post like this I’ve almost forgotten the drill. At least the idea is simple: There are so many great photos languishing out there; let’s share them. Today’s offering dates from Exercise Cope North in 2010 – specifically February 15th, 2010. … Continue reading 50,000 ft/min