After our epic 1925 trip from Adelaide to Sydney and back (and apologies for the long interlude) it’s time to meet the man behind the Larkin Aircraft Supply Co or LASCO, and Australian Aerial Services Limited. Herbert ‘Jimmy’ Larkin Like WW1 flyers from all over the world, the Australian soldiers who came home as aviators were determined to create careers in their new-found element. But … Continue reading Going by air (Part 4)
Fallen Eagles By Norman Franks ISBN 978 1 47387 996 6 A book should be about the size of an airport terminal. Not too rudimentary, and not too overblown with distractions either – but still big enough to deliver all the anticipation, preparation, challenge and satisfaction you’d expect for your planned flight. That’s not how this one works though. Rather than take us from the … Continue reading 99 Ways To Die
Cool reception For a generation of Westerners, the first words of Russian we learned were Mikhail Gorbachev’s offers of glasnost (гла́сность – openness) and perestroika ((перестро́йка – listening) which culminated in the end of the Berlin Wall, the USSR and, theoretically at least, the Cold War. So you may be surprised to learn that as you read this, two pairs of RAF fighter pilots are … Continue reading QRA encounters
Thunder and Lightnings As promised, here is John Bentley’s account of his English Electric Lightning flight, from Flight International for April 23rd, 1970. In what would certainly get a well-deserved ‘#bestweekeva’ tweet today, Bentley joined 29 Squadron during their month-long deployment to RAF Akrotiri on the southern coast of Cyprus, to report on their mobile Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) capabilities. It was a textbook example … Continue reading Ride of a lifetime
F**king f**k! I know you’ve probably seen this clip before (and if you haven’t you’re in for a treat!) but I just couldn’t spend a month celebrating Spitfires and not include it. It never gets old. I’m sure the presenter, noted racing driver Alain de Cadenet, has never forgotten his brush with that high-performance vehicle! It’s fun to note that the Spitfire was climbing by the … Continue reading The inimitable Mr. Hanna
1940: The Battles To Stop Hitler by Mitch Peeke (Pen & Sword e-book) I’ve done a few reviews for Pen & Sword lately (with more in the pipeline) and, by way of thanks, they’ve provided me with a copy of 1940: The Battles To Stop Hitler to give away. UPDATE: This contest is now closed and the winner has been contacted. We’ll be giving away more books … Continue reading Win this book!
airscape has a long-standing tension with poetry. I like it, but I know a lot of other people like it less. And so I restrain myself. Usually. The following clip is simply too good to miss though. And while the star of the show is undoubtedly the English Electric Lightning, Hawker Hunters and Slingsby Swallow sailplanes also feature. There’s also a wonderful PoV sequence of … Continue reading Write flyers
Flight From Colditz by Tony Hoskins Published by Frontline Books (Pen & Sword Books), 2016. I used to think I was well-informed for knowing that the World War Two POWs of Offizierslager or “Oflag” IV-C – the infamous Colditz Castle – had built a two-man glider in the attic of their prison before they were liberated by the 1st US Army in April 1945. And … Continue reading Over the walls
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!
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)