Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Empire of the Clouds? (aka `those were the days`)

Gulf War veteran (made in 1950's and still nifty)
God does fly a Fairey Gannet>

Mosquito under restoration>

Look! Improved accomodation for officers!! >>


powdergirl said...

I know nothing about planes, other than I figure it takes big power and some real cool science to keep them aloft. I understand there's a theory that planes don't fall down because they're go too fast to fall down. Wish I could do that : D
But I like the art on the noses, I do have to wonder why you'd paint a target on your aircraft? I wondered if it represented a "Go ahead, make my day" attitude for the pilot.
I'll go ride my very slow and earth-bound mower now. Wonder if I should put some decal's on it.
heh, my WV is skywas.

TonyF said...


Mossie NF11

Loverly And Black Alligator too.

sparkflash said...

Not so very far from where I live, there was an English Electric Lightning in a scrapyard, by the side of the road, and over the years as they gutted it of more and more parts, the shift in its weight made it rise up on its rear under-carriage - looked so desperate to be back in the air.
Gawd, that thing could move - after the Panavia Tornado (which doesn't really count as it was a multi-national project), the fastest plane we've made.

sparkflash said...

If you've got the time and inclination, I recommend Chuck Yeager's autobiography, co-written by Leo Janos. He doesn't, err, lack confidence and it can be a bit strident, but it's a really good read and shows a different time of ridiculously quick advancement and discovery - planes that never left the hangar and were already obsolete.
I love how unfettered by regulations they were - the man in charge of the Bell X-1 that broke the speed of sound, Colonel Boyd, wasn't happy about the Navy claiming that they had the first true super-sonic plane, because their's took off and landed under it's own power. So he asked the X-1 engineers to "come up with something" and they suggested that if they balanced the X-1 on some planks of wood, to find its center of gravity, they could evenly fill its twin tanks with just enough fuel to let it take off, break the sound barrier and turn around before the fuel ran out, to glide back in and land.
"Go do it."
We'd still be filling out paperwork and having focus-meetings.

Hogdayafternoon said...

PG: You must have seen a few De Havilland Beavers skimming acrosss the lake over the years! As for the theory, similar one that keeps motorcycles upright - well same idea ie you stop, you fall over ;)

Tony: Yup, 30 mins hop from Chateau Hogday.

Sparkflash: Thanks for the tip. TonyF recommended the below to me, bloody excellent book, now in paperback. Read and weep! eg ever wondered why the Dassault Mirage looked ratrher like the Fairey Delta FD2? It did a lot of its trials in France because the British Gov't didn't want it banging away in our skies. As you know, the Mirage III was a fantastic seller for the French. My God it makes you weep to see what we wasted.

sparkflash said...

Cheers to you (and TonyF) for the tip - I'll ostensibly buy it for the old man's birthday. And then have a read of it myself, when he's done with it. Though as an aerospace design engineer, it'll likely depress the crap out of him. I'm never amazed at this countries capacity to shoot itself in the foot.

After 25 years at British Aerospace, they fired virtually all their engineering staff, posted a huge yearly profit, paid their executives a fortune and then realised they could no longer make anything and had to employ people from Sweden to come over and replace the people who refused to come back.

He then went to DeRA (Defence Research Agency), which made a tidy profit of about £350m a year, but more importantly, would have the American's contributing more than 90% of the budget on some projects, provided they could share in the findings, as it had some very clever people there.

So, some fuckwit in the MOD decides to sell it. They get a £1bn, so it's only three years before they're making a loss on the deal and all the American funding disappears as they're, understandably, not prepared to finances a now private company that's in direct competition with their own defence industry.

Not so very long ago, with the country at war, you'd have been put up against a wall and shot, for so wilfully sabotaging something in the nations vital interests.

Hey ho.

TonyF said...

'Friday the 13th' Isn't quite what it seems...Its mainly a Haystack (Hastings) Bloody good job though.

TonyF said...

Have you been to East Kirkby?

The Panton Brothers have done a fantastic job there. There are many small monuments to lost aircrew, it's not a museum as such, more a live memorial.

I intend to go again soon.

TonyF said...

sorry, Black Alligator, BA, 11 Sqn's lead a/c at Binbrook.

For all things Binbrook!

Hogdayafternoon said...

Binbrook! Hail to the Mighty Lightning

Anonymous said...

I worked for the then Ministry of Labour. Following cancellation of the the TSR2 I was volunteered by my manager to go to our Preston office and then attend the English Electric works at ******* along with a number of other 'volunteerees' to advise redundant staff about re- location allowances, expected Benefit rates, jobs overseas, etc, etc. We were there for just over 3 weeks. We were treated quite royally, including lunch in the executives dining hall; a real eyeopener to us us 'dole clerks'.We understood that lunch breaks were of two hours duration but were told by our own supervisor that we would NOT exceed our customary hour. We were told quite firmly that we were to decine politely drinks and cigars and cigarettes that would be brought round to our tables. At the time our wages would have been, I think, £11.00 per week, and this instruction did not go down too well! One face in the dining hall I recognised was an internationaly known CTP and war hero. At the time and over the past 40 years I have often wondered how long a lunch- break senior staff at MIG, say, enjoyed, or even the Americans.On our last day we had the privelige of a sight of the other flyable TSR2; the other being, I think, down at Hatfield, though could be mistaken about this. Jayem.

Hogdayafternoon said...

Anon: Thank you. I was delighted to read your comment!

Bob Reed said...

Great photo spread HogDayAfternoon.

Those are some pretty darn sexy aircraft! The kind that counts as pr0n to this aerospace guy.

The only possible criticism is that some captions for the more exotic ones on display might be nice. But then again I suppose I could go to the museaum's webpage :)

My Regards.

Hogdayafternoon said...

Bob, you're right. Even as an archive, it desrves some captions! I'll get back to it.