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
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
Combat Over The Trenches Oswald Watt, Aviation Pioneer by Chris Clark Published by Pen & Sword Aviation, ISBN 978 1 52671 501 2 Originally published in Australia as The High Life of Oswald Watt; Australia’s First Military Pilot (Big Sky Publishing Pty Ltd) this Pen & Sword reprint brings a hugely important Australian aviator to the world stage. And, while the new title Combat Over … Continue reading Oswald Watt
A century ago, World War One changed the course of history. Total, global, industrial and mechanical, it was a new kind of conflict that redrew maps, destroyed families – from royal to rural, helped emancipate women, and hand-propped the infant aviation industry. For the first time in history, young men would wheel simple but surprisingly advanced machines high above the mud-bound stalemate of artillery and trench sieges. And … Continue reading Southern Knights
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!
Back in March 2014 (yeah, where has THAT time gone??) I attended the Centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force at Point Cook, armed with nothing more than my iPhone. Surprisingly for some, it was a calculated move. I knew I’d be frustrated, then disappointed, by the performance of my entry-level DSLR – especially the tendency of my zoom lens to go ‘soft’ in the … Continue reading The airshow
While it’s easy to be unkind about the big, heavy and expensive F-111 Aardvark, it was definitely a multi-tonne Mach 2 marvel for its time. So as a special treat, here’s a bit of a walk-around of the Royal Australian Air Force’s A8-134, now thoroughly ‘de-fanged’ and permanently retired. #134 (cn D1-10) is a General Dynamics F-111C on long term loan from the RAAF to the … Continue reading Big Pig
. . Rule for Life #4: Keep your eyes open (because it’s amazing what you’ll find when you’re looking for something else) I was hunting for photos of Spitfire production when I happened across this incredible photo of Spitfire destruction. It came from a 1942 newspaper file and carried the slug ‘AUSTRALIAN PILOT WINS COMBAT WITH HALF DESTROYED RUDDER’. Needless to say, my curiosity was aroused, … Continue reading Tail chase