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

Dying to fly

War Birds: The Diary of a Great War Pilot Elliott White Springs Annotated by Lieutenant Horace Fulford. Introduced by Mark Hillier. Published by Frontline Books, 2016. ISBN 978-1-47387-959-1 I imagine most Great War aviation enthusiasts are more or less familiar with Elliott White Springs’ War Birds – Diary of an Unknown Aviator. If it isn’t actually out of copyright, the internet is doing a grand … Continue reading Dying to fly

Down On The Water

Over the years, the age of the giant flying boats has been romanticised into a gilded memory of glamorous, spacious and luxurious air transport that finally conquered the world’s greatest oceans. But if the era was really so fabulous, why was a gifted aircraft designer (and experienced air traveller) like Dr. Beverley Shenstone convinced that it had to end as quickly as possible? And why … Continue reading Down On The Water

addio, Spillone

Italian F-104S It’s been a long while since I indulged my affection for the US ‘Century Series’ fighters, and Kelly Johnson’s superb ‘Zipper’ in particular. Time to address that now, with a long look at the last of the line. F-104 Starfighter: History of a myth This is the English-language release of Aeronautica Militare’s F-104 Starfighter: Storia di un mito. The translation is fairly obvious, but I’d … Continue reading addio, Spillone

Look back in amazement

African Aerospace – Part 2 Okay, it took a little longer than we anticipated, but I’m pleased to present the second batch of photos from last September’s Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2016 exhibition in South Africa, courtesy of local photographer Niel Swart. The best of the rest Africa’s pre-eminent aviation event, AAD2016 was held at the SAAF base at Waterkloof, between Pretoria and Johannesburg. … Continue reading Look back in amazement