Family matters

Feature photo (above) courtesy of TAVAS Undoing a legend Saturday, April 21st, 2018 will be the 100th anniversary of the death of Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen – aka The Red Baron – World War One’s deadliest aerial ace.  I, for one, will be celebrating this notable centenary at The Australian Vintage Aviation Society (TAVAS) Great War Flying Display 2018 at Caboolture Airfield, just north … Continue reading Family matters

99 Ways To Die

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

Somme 101

The battle above Today marks 101 years since the first day of the Battle of the Somme. And, while the bloody hours of July 1st, 1916 have become a by-word for military disaster, the operation above the trenches was an absolute triumph. Compared to the British Army’s 57,470 casualties and the German Army’s approximately 12,000, the Royal Flying Corps finished the day with just one airman … Continue reading Somme 101

Dying to fly

War Birds: The Diary of a Great War Pilot Elliott White Springs Annotated by Lieutenant Horace Fulford. Introduced by Mark Hillier. Published by Frontline Books, 2016. ISBN 978-1-47387-959-1 I imagine most Great War aviation enthusiasts are more or less familiar with Elliott White Springs’ War Birds – Diary of an Unknown Aviator. If it isn’t actually out of copyright, the internet is doing a grand … Continue reading Dying to fly

Safety, Edwardian-style

  If you still can’t believe World War One pilots were never issued with parachutes, this glimpse into Edwardian attitudes may help… Last post, I shared Flight magazine’s account of the first fully documented spin recovery (‘Parke’s Dive’), from August 31st, 1913. But before we move on, here’s an editorial that appeared just two weeks later, on September 13th, 1913. Even though Parke was restrained … Continue reading Safety, Edwardian-style