Following my last Weekend Wings post, which looked at the line of descent between the Sopwith Pup biplane fighter of World War I and the Lockheed F-35B STOVL variant of the Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, I had a few queries from readers asking when the last biplanes saw combat. The answer might surprise you.… Continue reading Weekend Wings #4: The Last Stand Of The Biplane
The Mile High Club’s origins
It seems that the Mile High Club may be rather older than one might imagine. It’s said that the first recorded incident of mile-high mischief may have been undertaken by a pilot, one Lawrence Sperry, and his trainee pilot passenger, Mrs. (!) Waldo Polk, in November 1916. The two were airborne in his Curtiss flying-boat… Continue reading The Mile High Club’s origins
Weekend Wings #3: From The Pup To The Lightning
Would you believe that there’s a direct relationship, a traceable line of descent, between this: . . . and this? It’s quite a story, crossing two continents, nine decades, a couple of dozen corporate names, two different air services and not a few ships. Let me tell you about it. The Sopwith Pup was a… Continue reading Weekend Wings #3: From The Pup To The Lightning
Racing car versus airliner – who wins?
Today an interesting race took place in New Zealand. It was between an A1GP racing car and an Air New Zealand Boeing 777-200, each occupying adjoining runways at the Auckland International Airport. The plane won the first heat, but the racing car won the second. There are two good videos of the event. The first… Continue reading Racing car versus airliner – who wins?
Weekend Wings #2: Return Of The Airship?
Airships and balloons have been with us for many centuries. Initially balloons were unpowered and at the mercy of the wind and weather. Both hot air and gas-filled balloons were developed at the same time. The Montgolfier brothers demonstrated their first hot air balloon in 1783, with the first human flight following a few months… Continue reading Weekend Wings #2: Return Of The Airship?
Weekend Wings #1: The ‘Wooden Wonder’
I’m an aviation enthusiast (amongst other things) and now and again I’d like to introduce readers to some of the aircraft that have aroused my interest over the years. Today I’d like to talk about the ‘wooden wonder’, the De Havilland Mosquito of World War II. It was a truly remarkable aircraft in its versatility.… Continue reading Weekend Wings #1: The ‘Wooden Wonder’