39° 47′ 02″ N / 84° 06′ 30″ W
The British Bomber since 1914, Francis K. Mason, 1994, ISBN 1-55750-085-1, 416 pp.
Francis Mason’s British Bombers Since 1914 is a tour through British aviation design for nearly a century. The famous aircraft. The infamous aircraft. The “odd duck” aircraft. Bomber as well as attack aircraft are here, beginning with the Bristol T.B.8 and finishing with the Short S.B.6 Seamew with a tremendous variety of aircraft included along the interesting journey Mason entertainingly leads.
The famous aircraft are not left out. Aircraft such as the Halifax, Mosquito, Lancaster, Victor and Vulcan. Also, the aircraft which carried the load but did not become famous, like the Gannnet, and Shackleton. The historian will be pleased with the plethora of aircraft which were built in limited numbers—surprisingly, perhaps, many of them. The Nimrod is not part of this book but the Panavia Tornado is.
Mason goes well beyond simply cataloging the aircraft types with his grouping by chapters by their historical eras—the best context since the designs, as well as the technology, are driven by the era of the time. Peacetime, wartime, the Cold War, and recent deployments are also well described by Mason so that these aircraft do not exist is technical pieces like a museum display but as part of the history they were used to make.
These two aircraft at the Miami International Airport were revisited recently—it appears they are undergoing major overhaul efforts or simply being parted out.
Crane & Co. Aviation Themed Stationery
Crane & Co. have been making high quality paper since the U.S. were colonies. High quality paper is made with cotton instead of wood pulp—like paper currency—which gives the paper the “tooth” which a fountain pen’s nib can be used with to render a scintillating writing experience. Though ball points and rollerballs combined with conventional paper have more general utility the fountain pen + high end paper pairing something good is usually left behind whenever we progress. Nothing compares well to the tactility of the fountain pen’s nib scratching (scribing?) ever so lightly across the grain of excellent paper. It is nothing like the feel of a ball point or a rollerball. High end paper is pricey. High end nibs even more so with their rare earth metal alloys and multiple hand prep manufacturing operations.
Ultimately, it is up to the writer to judge if the benefit exceeds the cost, of course—though good writers write for their audience😉 Here is an example of a Crane an Co. product—a thank you note card and mailing envelope. Note the detail of the envelope interior as well as the near machine fit of the card into the envelope. High end products with tight tolerances—taking writing well above the mundane
The U.S. Army is replacing the OH-58 Kiowas and UH-1 Huey/Venoms (an evolved Huey) with the Airbus Helicopter UH-72A Lakota as its light utility helicopter. Eurocopter had been the most recent manufacturer until acquired by Airbus Helicopter—the original design firm was Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB). These have often been seen as medevac helicopters for EMS as well as hospitals for two decades. Essentially unmodified civilian helicopters, the Army is purchasing the Lakotas to free up UH-60 Blackhawks for combat missions. Clamshell doors at the rear admit two litters as well as easy cargo access. The twin Turbomeca Arriel 1E2 turboshaft engines, of 738 shp each, provide reliability. Cruise speed is 153 mph over 370 miles. Crewed by two its troop capacity is nine (optimistically, perhaps) or two litter cases and medical personnel.
Kevan of the bloc on preserved aircraft Pickled Wings has this interesting note: “…the UH-72 is a development of the Eurocopter EC-145. The EC-145 was developed from the MBB BK-117, itself a development of the BO-105.” As he later sums up, the Lakota is a grandchild of the BO-105. Thank you Kevan for the description of the Lakota’s esteemed lineage
MBB (Messerschmitt-Bölkhow-Blohm), now owned by Airbus Helicopter, BO-105 making hot runs during training against a target vessel. The U.S. Army is purchasing descendants of these, as the UH-72 Lakota, for its light utility helicopter in an expedient move to improve logistics and free up UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters for combat assignments.