We’ve been travelling with a reporter from the Adelaide Register newspaper, on the nascent Australian Aerial Services airmail flight between Adelaide and Sydney – a direct distance of some 630 nautical miles. (As a comparison, London to Paris is 184 nm, New York to Albany is 117 nm, and L.A. to San Francisco is 292 nm.) The land along the route was slowly being occupied, … Continue reading Going by air (Part 3)
In Part One a reporter from the Adelaide Register newspaper joined the Australian Aerial Services airmail service between Adelaide and Sydney in June 1925. The service was exactly a year old at the time – having started in June 1924 as the first inter-state airmail service in Australia, the first between major cities, and the first in the relatively populous southeast. When we finished last time, … Continue reading Going by air (Part 2)
In 1925, a correspondent for the Adelaide Register took the opportunity of a lifetime – and flew on the De Havilland DH.50 airmail between South Australia and Sydney. Over 90 years later his account is a wonderful piece of time travel, that I’m not about to tarnish by over-amplifying the context. I’ll save the background for a subsequent post. (Although, I have to point out … Continue reading Going by air
Gold fever Even today, New Guinea is a hell of a place to commit aviation. The entire island (now bisected into Indonesian West Papua and Papua New Guinea) is literally bigger than Texas – by about 100,000 km2 – and steep mountains soar over 14,000 feet into the hot, equatorial air, creating a deadly home for the term ‘clouds with rocks in them’. Huge rivers … Continue reading On aviation’s frontier
I came across an amazing image when I was preparing an earlier post, Without A Trace. Even then, I knew I wouldn’t be able to let it rest with a 20 word caption. It was of a Mosquito – a truly great aircraft that is familiar fare for airscape. But much as I’ve studied the DH98 – the ‘Wooden Wonder’; the ‘Timber Terror’ – I’d … Continue reading Bang!
Last week, The People’s Mosquito shared a video of their patron, the irreplaceable Capt. Eric “Winkle” Brown, discussing his role in testing the de Havilland Mosquito for carrier operations. Yes, you read that right: While the largest carrier-borne aircraft in service anywhere was the 10,545 lb Grumman Avenger (a big bird by any standard), the British were working out how to get on and … Continue reading Secrets of the Sea Mosquito
Early on the morning of September 27th, 1943, the distinctive baritone thunder of a Merlin engine rose over the base of No.410 Night Fighter Squadron RCAF, at Coleby Grange, Lincolnshire. This was a Mosquito base, so the sound of a single Merlin was nearly always bad news. A Mosquito was difficult enough to land with both turning. But the crew of this particular … Continue reading Close Call
Fancy yourself at the controls of Military Aviation Museum’s DH98 Mosquito FB Mk.26? I don’t know; maybe if Jerry Yagen was super-impressed by your glass-smooth arrival at Osh Kosh or something. Anyway, it would certainly be a priceless opportunity, even if the Timber Terror is reputed to have a nastier bite than its malarial six-legged namesake. But back when KA-114 was brand new, vast … Continue reading Mosquito Bites