Home for a hunter

Orion rising The first thing you notice is its size. In fact, the most common reaction is ‘Oh. Wow!’ Although it’s hardly enormous by modern standards, the Lockheed Orion’s ancestry in the Electra turboprop is a vivid reminder that even small airliners are not small aeroplanes.  To walk from SAAM’s darkened restoration workshop into a display hangar that is dominated by a retired RAAF AP-3C … Continue reading Home for a hunter

Eagle & dove

Marie Marvingt In March 1915, an injured pilot of the French Aéronautique Militaire was transported to a field hospital behind Verdun, 200km east of Paris. There, one of his nurses learned he had been the only pilot available to fly an important bombing mission. Within days, that nurse would become history’s first female combat pilot. No ordinary nurse This was still the early days of … Continue reading Eagle & dove

The story of EW999 (Part 4)

The RAF Skymasters Researching Churchill’s Skymaster turned up a fair amount of interest – and just as much misinformation – about the entire fleet of RAF Dougkas C-54s. So, while I don’t have ready access to the records that could give us all a truly granular history of the C-54 in British service, I’ll give you what I can. This should help end some confusion, scotch … Continue reading The story of EW999 (Part 4)

The story of EW999 (Part 3)

Churchill’s Skymaster …continuing from Part 2 of this series A vigorous supporter of aid for Russia since October 1941, Mrs Clementine Churchill had been invited to tour Red Cross facilities across Russia in March 1944. The invitation was seen as a thank you for Clementine’s years of dedicated fundraising in support of the Russian Red Cross …and possibly as a propaganda assault by the Soviet … Continue reading The story of EW999 (Part 3)

The story of EW999 (Part 2)

Churchill’s Skymaster As we’ve seen in Part 1, the RAF’s first Douglas C-54 Skymaster, serial EW999 (C-54B 43-17126/0100), was luxuriously fitted out for the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The work was overseen by Armstrong-Whitworth Aviation at Whitley, Coventry and the new aircraft was ready for ‘The Owner’ in November 1944. A dedicated crew Apparently the PM disliked new faces or changes to his immediate … Continue reading The story of EW999 (Part 2)

The story of EW999 (Part 1)

Churchill’s Skymaster When Franklin D. Roosevelt presented Winston Churchill with an entire airplane, it was much more than an updated transport option.  Of course the gesture reflected an abiding friendship between the two leaders. Also, the USAAF was preparing the C-54 (42-107451) that would become famous as Roosevelt’s The Sacred Cow. For Churchill to have an identical high standard of modern airplane spoke to their … Continue reading The story of EW999 (Part 1)