Aviation Museum

Duty Cycle I spent the other Sunday fulfilling my quarterly obligation to perform a day’s desk duty at the South Australian Aviation Museum. Actually, ‘obligation’ is hardly fair. As the only thing expected of SAAM volunteers apart from a modest annual membership fee, I see my quarterly desk duty as excellent value for money. A Sunday spent greeting visitors and chatting with a couple of … Continue reading Aviation Museum

Unconventional Airacobra

Pilot notes on the P-39 Despite rising indications to the contrary, the US Army Air Forces went into the 1940s convinced that the country’s air forces would be well-served by their trio of new pursuits – the P-83, P-39 and P-40. The twin, turbo-supercharged performance and concentrated fire-power of the P-38 would make it an outstanding weapon in all theatres of the spreading conflict. The … Continue reading Unconventional Airacobra

Raising the colours

Maelstrom Eighth Bomber Command launched 969 missions between August 1942 and May 1945 and, as the force built up, over 2,000 fully loaded four-engine bombers would be swirling upwards through the fog and cloud above their bases in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex.  That’s 2,000 unguided aircraft in an area about the size of Greater New York City or the Blue Mountains in NSW. A … Continue reading Raising the colours

If you build it…

The two at the front There was something curiously logical about a movie star who made his name riding horses lending a small wooden ship to a pair of corporate heavyweights, so they could change the course of aviation.  The afternoon that Boeing’s Bill Allen and Pan American’s Juan Trippe spent cruising Puget Sound aboard John Wayne’s Wild Goose in 1965 has become part of … Continue reading If you build it…