Category: History

Flight 19: The Point of No Return

I was interviewed about Flight 19 for a documentary recently and although I’ve limited the details of the experience to supporters of my personal Patreon (for travel writing and essays), there was one question in the pre-interview that I wanted to share more widely. We were talking about the fact that radio stations triangulated their…

Read more… 7 Feb 20

Wingless Flight in the M2-F1

Sometimes, the most interesting aircraft are the experimental ones that barely made it off the ground. Sometimes the most intriguing stories come out of things I don’t understand. ​ I was thinking about hybrid airships and I was struggling to understand the concept of a lifting body. My attempt to understand how a wingless vehicle…

Read more… 23 Nov 19

Alcock and Brown: Part 3

Last week, we looked at the teams and the aircraft who were competing to be the first to fly across the Atlantic. Alcock and Brown arrived in St. John’s, Newfoundland on the 24th of May, a few days before the NC-4 completed the first aerial crossing of the Atlantic. The Daily Mail prize, however, was…

Read more… 23 Aug 19

Alcock and Brown: Part 2

In part 1, I introduced Jack Alcock and Teddie Brown along with the context under which they raced to become the first to fly across the Atlantic in less than 72 hours. Of course, they weren’t the only ones. In all, there were seventeen teams who wanted to attempt the crossing but most of them…

Read more… 16 Aug 19

Alcock and Brown: part 1

I’m going to Ireland! It will be my first time there. While I’m there, I’ll get the chance to see Dublin and Belfast and Rudy! I’m not sure which of the three is most exciting. You can bet I’m looking forward to this, even if it means you’ll be without me for a few weeks.…

Read more… 9 Aug 19

Building a B-29 Piece by Piece

I’m in Austria this week, giving a presentation about the representation of old women in science fiction. So it seemed only right to celebrate a woman in aviation who might not otherwise have received the recognition that she deserved. I’d like to introduce you to Matt’s grandmother, Edna! Edna lived in Detroit in 1945, the…

Read more… 7 Dec 18

Accident Reports

Part 2: The Analysis of Southern Airways flight 932

This is a continuation from my post last week on the crash of Southern Airways flight 932. In that post, I stepped through the sequence of events which led to…

The Crash of Southern Airways flight 932

On the 14th of November in 1970, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 crashed on final approach to the Huntington Tri-State airport in West Virginia, killing all 75 on board. The aircraft…

Demystifying

"N28V, I need your call sign, please."

This general aviation accident didn’t happen on the 27th of April 2017, although I think you’ll agree with me that it was a near thing. The aircraft, a 1964 Mooney…

Aviation Airspeed Guide

Just a quick one today but I really liked this guide to the airspeed indicator which was published to r/aviation. The thread has ended up in an interesting discussion about…

History

The Odd Story of Richard Floyd McCoy Jr

I’ve been working hard on volume two of Without a Trace and, of course, I can’t resist a chapter on Dan Cooper, who successfully hijacked a Northwest Orient aircraft and…

Chalk's Flying Service and the Grumman Mallard

Sometimes when I am looking into the background of an accident, I keep finding more and more intriguing details, rabbit holes of interesting information, until I’m barely sure anymore what…

Fun Stuff

Toddler Overboard and other aviation videos

I’ve got quite a collection of interesting videos building up so it’s past time for me to share them! These are not all brand new but new to me and…

Top Ten Posts of 2019

Next week we’ll be starting on a detailed look at Lion Air flight 610 but first, to celebrate the end of 2019, I want to share the most popular posts…