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Aircraft Carrier in Straits

29 October 2014

Aircraft Carrier in Straits

The USS George W. Bush (CVN 77) transiting the Straits of Hormuz  — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 3rd Class Abe McNatt

The USS George W. Bush (CVN 77) transiting the Straits of Hormuz — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 3rd Class Abe McNatt

The Straits of Hormuz, as you likely know, is as strategic as it can be crowded as we see a small fishing vessel cutting across the bows of the aircraft carrier USS George W. Bush. Aircraft carriers of the CVN type are strategic assets all on their own so they are accompanied by several other ships making up a task force. As noted in the war game Harpoon — the only problem greater than having an aircraft carrier is not having an aircraft carrier.

 

China’s War with Japan, 1937–1945: the struggle for survival

27 October 2014

China’s War with Japan, 1937–1945: the struggle for survival

China’s War with Japan, 1937–1945: the struggle for survival, Rana Mitter, 2013, ISBN 978-0-141-03145-3, 456 pp.

China's War with Japan: 1937–1945 the struggle for survival by Rana Mitter

China’s War with Japan: 1937–1945 the struggle for survival by Rana Mitter

In the Usual Penguin Press style Mitter’s book is deliciously compact. The book’s knowing handful not only addresses China’s pivotal, though unheralded in the Western World, role during World War II but its history since Sun Yat-sen united China into the country we know today — incredibly only around a century ago as before then it was an assemblage of provinces.

The struggle for control by three Chinese power centers is illustrated quite well and quite clearly by Mitter which is no easy task since it involves understanding the psychology of the participants.

Mitter concludes with a discussion of how China view of the world is influenced by the continuing lack of recognition for its contribution of keeping an Asian front open occupying the Imperial Japanese forces and keeping them out of the Pacific Theater of Operations as well as fighting World War II years longer than Western Europe. Mitter reminds us that World War II did not begin with Nazi Germany invading Poland late in 1939 as most of us have been taught.

This book is comprehensive and an academic tool with its compete bibliography, foot notes and index. Mitter’s fluid and organized writing is unsurpassed and is the best way to tell the tale of  China’s intricately complicated (often the Chinese way) history and aids the reader in better understanding World War II in regard to Japanese and Allied strategies. Mitter also intrigues with his interpretation for  China’s modern-day behaviour as well.

 

Consolidated B-24 Liberator 1939 onwards (all marks): Owners’ Workshop Manual

22 October 2014

Consolidated B-24 Liberator 1939 onwards (all marks): Owners’ Workshop Manual

Consolidated B-24 Liberator 1939 onwards (all marks): Owners’ Workshop Manual, Graeme Douglas, 2013, ISBN 9780857331595, 160 pp., 250 color + 50 b/w

Consolidated B-24 Liberator 1939 onwards (all marks): Owners' Workshop Manual by Graeme Douglas with cover art by ...

Consolidated B-24 Liberator 1939 onwards (all marks): Owners’ Workshop Manual by Graeme Douglas with cover art by John Weal

The B-24 was one of the most produced aircraft of World War II — so much so it was produced in several factories. So it is no surprise that variations between factories existed and even more so as shortages of a gun turret type (one of two could be use in the nose) or autopilot etc.

The Owners’ Workshop Manual from Haynes again does not disappoint. The book is rich in how Liberators were made, how they flew (detailed information regarding operating and flying the Collins Foundation B-24 is included), illustrations and detailed insight.

Especially enlightening were the descriptions of the formation control stick, which way the nose wheel gear doors opened depending upon which nose turret was in use. This is a book which thankfully also explains the performance of the gun turrets which were so vital to the defense of Liberators.

If you want to know about the B-24 this is the book to get!

Seahawk Swathed in Purple

15 October 2014

Seahawk Swathed in Purple

Sikorsky SH-60F Seahawk bathed in gorgeous light — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 2nd Class Nathan Laird

Sikorsky SH-60F Seahawk bathed in gorgeous light — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 2nd Class Nathan Laird

 

Eric “Winkle” Brown — most accomplished pilot and now patron of The People’s Mosquito

14 October 2014

Eric “Winkle” Brown — most accomplished pilot and now patron of  The People’s Mosquito

The People's Mosquito

The People’s Mosquito

Captain Eric Brown, retired from the British Royal Navy (RN), is the most highly decorated living Fleet Air Arm pilot and owns the world record for the pilot with the most aircraft carrier landings at 2407 — which is nearly once each day for six years and seven months. But there is more, such as:

  • Has piloted 487 individual aircraft types which do not include individual variants
  • Pilot with the most aircraft carrier landings
  • First to land a twin engine aircraft on an aircraft carrier
  • First to land a tricycle gear aircraft on an aircraft carrier
  • First to launch a jet powered aircraft from an aircraft carrier
  • First to land jet powered aircraft on an aircraft carrier
  • First to land an aircraft on a flexible deck on an aircraft carrier
  • Fluent in German he flew many captured Luftwaffe aircraft including the Me 163 Komet, Me 262 Schwalbe, He 177 Greif, Ar 234 Schnellbomber and He 219 Uhu.
  • His combination of flying ability and ability to converse in German had him assigned to interview Werner von Braun, Herman Göring (Göering), Willy Messerschmitt, Ernst Heinkel and Kurt Tank.
Eric "Winkle" Brown Daily Record photo

Eric “Winkle” Brown (Knight Commanders Most Excellent Order of the British Empire about his neck and the ribbon closet to his heart on his right breast then, followed by the next two in order of importance, the Distinguished Service Cross and Air Force Cross) — Daily Record photo

There are pilots who have flown faster, higher or larger aircraft but none who have accomplished all of what is briefly described above (and there is more!) — so it is with humility as well as pride that he is now a patron of  The People’s Mosquito.

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The People’s Mosquito is a project to build an original Mosquito (with original data plate) for the public trust — and will be the sole flying Mosquito that is not privately owned. Check out the website, donate should you think the cause worthy as well as shop the available high-quality merchandise for unique gifts.

 

PRESS RELEASE – Capt. Eric “Winkle” Brown joins TPM as Patron

13 October 2014

Originally posted on The People's Mosquito:

PRESS RELEASE

Issued: 13th October 2014

Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown joins The People’s Mosquito as Patron

Capt. Brown Lossiemouth

Capt. Brown during his time as CO RNAS Lossiemouth, 1967

The People’s Mosquito, the UK’s DH.98 restoration-to-flight project, is honoured to announce that Capt. Eric “Winkle” Brown has graciously accepted its invitation to become the charity’s Patron.

To many, “Winkle” Brown will need no introduction, but for those who are less familiar with him, Capt. Eric Melrose “Winkle” Brown CBE, OBE, MBE, DSC, AFC, KCVSA, MA, PhD, Hon FRAeS, RN is a former Royal Navy officer and test pilot who, in testing 487 different types of aircraft, has flown more types of aircraft than any other pilot in history – a record unlikely to be broken. He also holds the world record for most aircraft carrier landings performed, completing 2,407, and is the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm’s most decorated living pilot.

Among those…

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Avro Lancaster 1941 onwards All marks

13 October 2014

Avro Lancaster 1941 onwards All marks

Avro Lancaster 1941 onwards All marks: Owner’s Workshop Manual, Jarrod Cotter, 2008, ISBN 9781844254637, 160 pp.

Avro Lancaster 1941 onwards All marks: Owner's Workshop Manual by Jarrod Cotter with cover drawing by ...

Avro Lancaster 1941 onwards All marks: Owner’s Workshop Manual by Jarrod Cotter with cover drawing by J.H. Clark

Cotter’s authorship of this beloved aircraft lives up to the Lancaster’s reputation. Another of the Haynes Owners’ Workshop Manual series this book includes what has become expected from this excellent series. History and design of the Avro Lancaster is addressed and quite well. The heart of the book is operating a Lancaster (the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight or BBMF) as well as the maintenance and costs — all are quite enlightening.

The pilot’s description of flying and navigating the BBMF’s Lancaster is impressive and insightful. Amazingly four sets of eyes are used when navigating as well as during the flypasts. The reading is riveting.

Photos of details abound as do line drawings with engine changes and fuel tank inspections explained by those who do the work. Other details surface which are known generally by only those who live with the Lanc.

This book wonderfully describes the Lancaster is all of its dimensions and, short of working on the Lanc as a volunteer, one cannot get to know it better.

 

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