Category: History

How to shoot down a fighter jet…while flying it.

The Grumman F-11 Tiger was a popular US Navy fighter aircraft introduced in 1956. At the time, it was known as the F11F Tiger. Grumman had been working to modernise their Cougar as a part of the Cold War arms race. US aircraft were being outperformed by the swept-wing design of the Soviet’s Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15…

Read more… 21 Aug 20

The Real “Bionic Man”

Some of you may have spotted the recent comments on Wingless Flight in the M2-F1 by aerospace journalist and author Nigel Macknight, who had written about NASA’s M2-F2 pilot Milt Thomson, whom he knew when he was editing and publishing Space Flight News back in the 1980s. In the article Nigel was commenting on, I…

Read more… 8 May 20

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

Accident Reports

In the cabin of Southwest flight 1380

Last week, we looked at Southwest Airlines flight 1380 which suffered an engine failure while climbing to cruise altitude on the 17th of April 2018. A fragment from the engine…

In the cockpit of Southwest flight 1380

On the 17th of April in 2018, Southwest Airlines flight 1330 experienced an engine failure while climbing to cruise altitude. The aircraft was a Boeing 737-7H4 (registration N772SW) with two…

Demystifying

How do you pronounce…?

This is a very interesting article by Allen Amsbaugh which was originally published in NASA’s ASRS Directline about the issues of navigational fixes which sound or look similar. The ASRS…

Flightradar 24 and aircraft tracking

Flightradar24 (FR24) is a global flight tracking site which offers realtime information about flights by tracking ADS-B. ADS-B stands for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast. This is a means for an aircraft…

History

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…

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…

Fun Stuff

Microsoft Flight Simulator: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Microsoft Flight Simulator has released a new version, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, fourteen years after the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator X. The timing couldn’t be better, of course, with…

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…


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