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

Southern Knights

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

Big Pig

  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

Tail chase

. . 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