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

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

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

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

AirAsia X

X Factor

It’s been a roller coaster ride for AirAsia X – the Malaysian low cost long-haul carrier – but on November 2nd this year the company celebrated it’s 9th anniversary with this striking custom livery captured at Melbourne Tullamarine (YMML) by William Reid. AirAsia X AirAsia X is based in Kuala Lumpur, within the headquarters of its parent brand Air Asia – the region’s largest low-cost … Continue reading X Factor

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