I had no idea we had material like this on YouTube, I recall the venue well but not the photographer.
Archive for the ‘Nostalgia’ Category
‘Just picked up this interview from my colleagues on our forum. It concerns Captain ‘Winkle’ Brown (RN Rtd), a now retired test pilot from the second war years. By any measure he is an exceptional person, as a pilot he was, and probably remains unsurpassed in his trade both for types flown and his testing and evaluation skills.
If you would like to listen to a radio interview that has him discussing his experiences you could use the link below. Just ignore the BBC presenters banter that opens the interview and wait for gems and gold-drops from the man himself.
As the book project moves ahead and the research effort starts to ramp up, we have decided to create a sepete place for our reflection on Arthur’s life and times with the RFC. We have established a blog (a Brazil address – don’t ask) to focus our efforts and provide a space for anyone who would like to contribute their thoughts and who knows, the fruits of their knowledge or research.
If you are interested in the early years of aerial conflict and this compelling story, please visit and browse ‘awhile.
Arthur is still very much with us. Flying open cockpit aircraft always bought new skills and techniques such as pasting a chart to a piece of thin marine plywood. All that to save a blurred flash as your chart gets whipped away by the slipstream during aerobatics.
See The Memorial Flight to look at a very fine SE5a restoration.
Perhaps the best WW1 aircraft restoration website on the web.
After relative silence on the subject for a while we seem to have hatched a plan for next year. The proposal is that we three interested parties (Piers, Whitters and yours truly) go across to France during a ‘Spring Offensive’ to visit the airfields that Arthur flew from with 40 Squadron until the time of his parting.
These airfields include amongst others, Bruay and Bryas. Not much left of the former sadly… We are doing the research as part of the ongoing project into this chapter of Arthur’s life and it is proving to be enduringly fascinating. The forum members of The Aerodrome.com and Cross & Cockade have been generous with information and advise during the early stages of the research.
Ken McBride is obviously a man of talent even without his 360º rig. A generation of Nimrod pilots can revisit their jet at will. Well, I gather it wasn’t that different?
These 360º graphics are amazing, the first I saw (paradoxically) was Burt Rutan’s Airship 1. That was impressive. Then Enola Gay followed by the 787 in the iPad version of Wired magazine.
Of course the one that will send many nuts is Concord. Best viewed in Full Screen.
Word in a short while ago from a very knowledgeable follower of the story concerning the Spads.
Yes Alex, very interesting. Does anyone know of the precise location of the airfield at Bruay. I have it on the chart and on Google Earth but have not the time at the moment to ponder through it. Perhaps I’ll give that a go on my next layover.
I never cease to be amazed at the encyclopedic knowledge that the cognoscenti of the Great War aviation scene nurture and accumulate. The Aerodrome and particularly The Cross & Cockade forums are alive with enthusiastic browsers who take a delight in forensic analysis of the available evidence.
Gentlemen, I take my hat off to you!
I have now had a good look at the material in Arthur’s field letter case (the tin box) and it is very complete and quite a trove. His MC is there along with other awards and a ton of letters, photographs and papers. Some of his personal effects are quite amazing. For instance, a tubular silver case for just one cigarette with a lighter in one end and a compass at the other. One for smoking in a field whilst waiting to be picked up by the squadron Crossley Tender after the engine stops… or worse.
The sense of immediacy is amazing, it’s like breathing in pure history – a snapshot of someones life. As Piers and I rooted carefully through the contents we were simply bowled over by the story, most of it yet to unfold.
Note: The Spad above was part of a lineup shown in other pictures in the box.
*It seems that I will now be writing the book with Piers as Head Researcher and Archivist.
Neutral countries during wartime are may be either a net or a sanctuary for aviators. Portugal is well placed as an Atlantic diversion refuge to this day, during wartime it was a lifebuoy for those with technical problems or a landfall for the lost.
This fascinating website has cataloged the waifs, stray and the unfortunate who made it into Portugal during the Second World war. I found it fascinating and short only of expanded story-lines and perhaps a few photos. You cannot blame the webmaster Carlos Guerreiro for that, those treasures are probably lost forever or buried deep within Portuguese Air Force archives as military secrets.