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Classic World War II Aircraft Cutaways

6 October 2014

Classic World War II Aircraft Cutaways

Classic World War II Aircraft Cutaways, Bill Gunston, 1995, ISBN 978-1-4351-5282-3, 152 pp.

Classic World War II Aircraft Cutaways by Bill Gunston with cutaway drawing by Max Millar

Classic World War II Aircraft Cutaways by Bill Gunston with cutaway drawing by Max Millar

JH Clark and Max Millar produced cutaway drawings since the days of World War II, often producing those of Luftwaffe aircraft after studying their wrecks. Gunston lovingly describes their work and some gems are laid about for those to discover. Gunston also notes their rare errors — some due to understandable mistakes on wreckage inspection but some inexplicable perspective drawing mistakes. Over three dozen aircraft cutaway drawings and a handful of engine cutaway drawings fill this book with the marvels of flight engineering during World War II.

 

Classic World War II Aircraft Cutaways (backcover) by Bill Gunston with cutaway drawing by Max Millar

Classic World War II Aircraft Cutaways (backcover) by Bill Gunston with cutaway drawing by Max Millar

Gunston’s book is a joy for an aviation fan and best enjoyed with a cool drink and a magnifying glass for observing the details.

British Aircraft Carriers — and more!

1 October 2014

British Aircraft Carriers — and more!

British Aircraft Carriers: design, development and service histories, Davis Hobbs, 2013, ISBN 978 1 59114 074 0, 384 pp.

British Aircraft Carriers: design, development and service histories by Davis Hobbs painting on cover “HM Ships Victorious, Indomitable and Eagle during Operation Pedestal, August 1942″ by Anthony Cowland

British Aircraft Carriers: design, development and service histories by Davis Hobbs painting on cover "HM Ships Victorious, Indomitable and Eagle during Operation Pedestal, August 1942" by Anthony Cowland

British Aircraft Carriers: design, development and service histories by Davis Hobbs painting on cover “HM Ships Victorious, Indomitable and Eagle during Operation Pedestal, August 1942″ by Anthony Cowland

This is thoroughly delightful for the author’s expertise, knowledge, images, illustrations and weight. The book is an encyclopedia of British Aircraft Carrier design history as well as ship service records. The British Royal Navy (RN) invented the aircraft carrier and lead the way to each major carrier design evolution save nuclear power and size. The RN were the first to armor flight decks, utilize catapults, angle their flight decks, and used ski jumps (useful for conventional as well as STOVL aircraft).

Hobbs devised a few of the devices used by RN pilots to bring their aircraft aboard and could hardly write better or more objectively. Successes are described and failures discussed. Hobbs is enlightening and so many areas of carrier design and aviation development as well as employment. Design details are placed under a knowing eye and battle actions are descriptive and succinct. Ships plans for a few carriers are provided in fold-outs — these are reproductions of wonderfully crafted documents which have been given an aged look.

There are significant bonus sections in Hobbs’s excellent and easily read book: discussions of the aircraft carriers of several other navies, discussion of the UK’s choice to eliminate aircraft carriers then bring on two small sized carriers, and what the author’s opinion on the future of aircraft carriers. These are not simplistic discussions as economic facets are also brought into the analysis. The design differences of aircraft carriers across the world are laid out and better understood for where they are expected to serve, with mistakes noted.

This book is one for the personal library as well as for the person who wished to have an overall awareness of aircraft carrier design and service history — not a U.S. Navy centric one.

de Havilland Mosquito print by the renowned Ken Brookes awarded to The People’s Mosquito

30 September 2014

de Havilland Mosquito print by the renowned Ken Brookes awarded to The People’s Mosquito

TPM lapel

 

While at the airshow in Duxford this year Ken Brookes and Stuart Bourne (Quality Aviation Photos International), both famed professional aviation photographers, gift this copyrighted photo to  The People’s Mosquito to honor the effort to build a flying de Havilland Mosquito for the public trust. Brookes obtained this particular image at the 1962 Farnborough airshow. This specific Mossie was tail number TW117 at the time — a T Mk.III — and now resides in the Norwegian Aviation Museum (Norsk Luftfartsmuseum), in Bodø, restored as an FB Mk.VI variant though labeled as a T Mk.III.

Photographer Ken Brookes gives away the TPM print

Photographer Ken Brookes (on the left) gifting his copyrighted Mosquito print to a portion of The People’s Mosquito (TPM) staff representing TPM at this year’s Duxford airshow. Continuing from the left are TPM staff members Ross Sharp, Nick Horrox and Steve Manning. Photo provided by Kenneth A. Brookes ©2014

Watch for a post by The People’s Mosquito publishing this photo as well as a possible path to obtaining this nearly mystical image :)

The People's Mosquito

The People’s Mosquito

Wait…there are several well made items available now! TPM — The People’s Mosquito — is the unique project to build a new de Havilland Mosquito from the original molds up. TPM has been marked by the regular building of momentum and donations (the site has this web button for donations) as well as newly released pleasing and enjoyable fund-raising merchandise.

 

 

Fat Albert on the gas

29 September 2014

Fat Albert on the gas

Fat Albert under JATO — U.S. Navy photo by MAss Com Spec. 3rd Class Andrew Johnson

Fat Albert under JATO — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 3rd Class Andrew Johnson

“Fat Albert” is the C-130 Hercules assigned to the USN’s Blue Angels and here it is seen climbing at an extreme angle enabled by four JATO units on each side of its fuselage. AT one time there was a JATO (Jet Assisted Take Off) option and a RATO (Rocket Assisted Take Off) option — in the present day it is all RATO but they are called JATO, such is the English language!

Obviously, JATO shortens an aircraft’s take-off roll by rapidly accelerating to flying speed. Imagine how even more attentive the pilot must be to an engine failure or JATO bottle failure as sudden onset of asymmetric thrust must be that much more difficult to handle — especially since JATO bottles cannot be switched off once lit!

 

Donating made easier

26 September 2014

travelforaircraft:

The worthy project to fill the empty niche of no flying de Havilland Mosquito in a public trust. A shame that this aircraft, one of the few which fought above its weight so effectively as well and sensationally, has only private owners which fly them. This can be remedied with your support for The People’s Mosquito.

Originally posted on The People's Mosquito:

TPM lapelIn April of this year we launched our fundraising campaign to return Mosquito RL249 to the sky. Donations have been steady but relatively slow, so in an effort to further engage with our supporters and make it easier to donate we have signed up to make use of two third-party online donation facilities. The two services we have chosen to use, which are described in detail below, will cost us nothing, but will help generate a steady income for the fund, while offering a simpler, more direct way for people to support us and help return a British-based Mosquito to flight.

make-a-donation

How it works:

The make-a-donation website allows you to donate directly to The People’s Mosquito fund, and making a donation from the easy-to-use website ensures that the fund receives your whole donation. There are no fees or commissions charged to either you or The People’s Mosquito. We call that win-win!

How to donate via make-a-donation.org:

1. Go to the website

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Zulu Cobra — the Bell AH-1Z Viper is most revolutionary

24 September 2014

Zulu Cobra — the Bell AH-1Z Viper is most revolutionary

Servicing the AH-1Z Viper aboard the USS Makin Island (LHD 8)— U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 2nd Class Alan Gragg

Servicing the AH-1Z Viper’s hingeless and bearingless rigid rotor system aboard the USS Makin Island (LHD 8) — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 2nd Class Alan Gragg

The U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) has evolved their Bell AH-1W SuperCobra (highly capable twin engine Cobra) significantly into the Z-variant with the new designation AH-1Z Viper. Similarly with their advancement of the Huey to the Bell UH-1Y Venom the Vipers are more than an improvement as they have a four rotor blade system, as opposed to the previous twin rotor blade, of previous models — as well as much more power. The USMC has also greatly simplified aviation logistics with regard to Vipers and Venoms since they share tail booms, engines (2 x GE T700-GE-401C turboshaft at 1800 shp/1340kW), drivetrains as well as avionics — there is commonality greater than 80% which should also keep costs in check as well as easing logistic duties. The four blade rotor system no longer has hinges or bearings (only 25% of the number of original parts hence 75% less things to fail) which revolutionizes the helicopter’s performance envelope. The Viper’s wing stubs are longer and have added wingtip stations for mounting air-to-air missiles as well as Longbow radar. The Marines have an extremely potent hunter aircraft in the Viper with a combat radius of 125 miles, a cruise speed of 184 mph and a weapons load of a chin turret 20mm rotary cannon and six pylons which can mount a mix of Hydra 70 or APKWS II rockets in 7 or 19 shot pods, up to 16 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles in 4-round pods as well as wingtip mounted AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.

As an infantry support, anti-armor attack and anti-helicopter aircraft the Viper is formidable and can be also used to counter jet attack air aircraft in the proper circumstances such as in canyon country where the helicopter can use terrain masking to await in ambush.

USMC AH-1Z Viper departing the flight deck of the USS New Orleans (LPD 18) — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 3rd Class Dominique Pineiro

USMC AH-1Z Viper departing the flight deck of the USS New Orleans (LPD 18) and note the wingtip mounted missile — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 3rd Class Dominique Pineiro

 

 

 

PBI diorama model

22 September 2014

PBI diorama model

26° 41′ 18″ N / 80° 05′ 25″ W

PBI diorama showin the McCampbell (Main) Terminal as well as Airsides B and C — photo by Joseph May

PBI diorama shown in the McCampbell (Main) Terminal as well as Airsides A, B and C with Airside C at the top, Airside B below and in the foreground, with diminutive Airside A on the left (passengers walk on to the ramp area to board as well as deplane) — photo by Joseph May

Palm Beach International (PBI) Airport is a comfortable airport and is in West Palm Beach FL. Parking is ample and inexpensive and the terminals are within easy walking distance of one another as well as not too long in-and-of themselves. Quaint might be the word though it serves medium-sized airliners, ones large enough to fly directly to Chicago.

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