This article first appeared in one of the few way-back-when iPad issues of airscape. (Which was a real joy, by the way, and which I’d start again tomorrow if your aviation business was prepared to sponsor it…) It remains an incredible story of skill, from the dedicated workers who built B-17s to the men who flew them in combat. Plus, given that the mythical versions … Continue reading Down in one pieces
History in the making Late one English midsummer afternoon, eighteen young men fell out of the sky over Allhallows, Kent, in England. The date was June 19th, 1944 and they were the victims of German flak. Not from the ground below, obviously, but from a target area half an hour and 83 miles behind them. Closer to their Kimbolton base than the combat zone, they … Continue reading Still with us
For the love of historic aircraft I feel very privileged, as curator of this meandering and irregular blog, when I’m able to share a special piece of aviation culture. And this is one. A few months ago, loyal airscape follower Hannah Salzman, asked if I’d be interested in sharing some photos she took with ‘her sister’s good camera’. Well of course I would. Who wouldn’t? … Continue reading Star!
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
With the B-17’s brave but beleaguered WW2 service in the Pacific and its epic contribution to victory in Europe, along with the B-24’s ubiquitous duty in every corner of the conflict, it would be easy to forget that the RAF also operated both types. Indeed the British were the first to use the American heavies in anger, and their combat experience would profoundly shape the development and … Continue reading Heavy going (Pt.1)
In Heavy Going, Part One I shared a British pilot’s impressions of flying the RAF’s “American heavies” during World War Two. However it’s never easy to understand which B-17 and B-24 models the British used when. They didn’t simply follow the American alphabetical system, and the Mark numbers they did use were largely assigned in the order that the purchase agreements crossed some overworked Whitehall clerk’s desk. Still, an outline of … Continue reading Heavy going (Pt.2)
Andreas Feininger . . . a sequel to the previous article, Works of Art Another of Alfred T Palmer’s superb staff photographers at the United States Office of War Information (OWI) was a young freelancer with a very bright future – Andreas Feininger (1906 – 1999). Over his lifetime, Feininger created an enormous portfolio of famous images, including many iconic photos of New York City in the 1950s and 60s, … Continue reading Works of art, too