Quote of the day

From his autobiography, ‘Wings On My Sleeve‘, by the remarkable Captain Eric Brown RN (retired).  He’s a world-famous service and test pilot who’s flown no less than 487 different types of aircraft, including almost every type captured from Nazi Germany and Japan during and after World War II.  He also holds the world record for the highest number of carrier landings (2,407).  I highly recommend his autobiography to all aviation enthusiasts.  The man’s a living legend.

Absence of propellers in a jet has enabled tighter flying in formation to be done, and has also improved the safety factor slightly – I have been nudged in my elevator by my line-astern man without any drastic effects. That such a thing has more serious results with piston-engined planes was demonstrated in a naval air display at RNAS Eglinton in Northern Ireland when, during a vertical climb, the box man in his Sea Fury chewed his leader’s tail off with his propeller. The formation disappeared into cloud still going vertically upwards, with debris showering off the stricken plane. The leader then reappeared on the end of a parachute and the box man made a spectacular wheels-up crash landing on the runway. The Irish cheered this magnificent stunt to the echo, and there were several requests to repeat it on next year’s show.

Trust the Irish . . .



  1. If you like naval aviation and big brass balls, check out Daniel V Gallery, USN. He commanded the USS Guadalcanal, a pocket carrier on Atlantic sub patrol duty, in WWII. He was the sort of guy that:
    when his new chief pilot (air boss?) said there wasn't enough wind to take off, said "OK," then went down to the flight deck, hopped in a plane, took off, did a quick flyby, and went around to land. Didn't say another word about it.
    He also captured the U-505 by sending a boarding party in a launch from his carrier, and then towed it back to port, code books and all.
    He's got a great autobiography, and a dozen or so novels and shorter stories.
    Another one is the other side, "steel boats iron hearts" by Hans Goebler, a crewman that served aboard the U-505 for it's entire service life. It was the most damaged U-boat ever to make it back to port, the only U-boat to ever have a captain commit suicide, and the only sub ever to be boarded and captured on the high seas.
    Both are OUTSTANDING reads, and it's rare to find good books telling, quite literally, both sides of the story. Goebler said that Gallery's account was pretty accurate; says something about both men.

  2. just got the book a few days back, the chap sound like a " kool" cucumber of a pilot. He even few some very rare german birds .

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