Category: History

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

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 disappeared mid-flight, never to be heard of again. As a part of this, I investigated the story of Richard McCoy Jr, whom some believe to…

Read more… 26 Oct 18

Accident Reports

Lionair flight 610 : The Maintenance

One of the aspects of Lion Air flight 610 has been the quality of the maintenance. It is clear, now, that intermittent problems related to the air data system had…

When Pre-Flight Prep Becomes Criminal

The accident took place on the 9th of September 2017 shortly after take-off from Manchester City Airport, a municipal airfield near the Manchester Ship Canal in the north of England.…

Demystifying

Thermal Image of 757 Landing at Gatwick

This thermal imaging footage of a Boeing 757 coming into land at Gatwick airport dates from 2013 but I first saw it today on r/aviation and found myself mesmerised as…

What Is Going On With The Boeing 737 Max 8?

The news is dominated right now with the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 8 after a second fatal crash of a passenger jet which could be related to the…

History

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…

Goddamned Cat

Sometimes the best stories are the ones that aren’t so famous, where the race was not won and the record was not broken. This is such a story. It’s the…

Fun Stuff

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…

Airbus A320 vs Grumman Avenger

I was offered the opportunity of a free week in Berlin, which is fabulous but I’ve been travelling so much, I haven’t had the time to write something new. What…