Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Road Hog! Air Libya BAe-146-300

An Air Libya BAe-146-300 takes off from Rhebat airstrip,
a stretch of mountain road, near the Nafusa Mountains, Libya.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Armstrong Whitworth Argosy

The Armstrong Whitworth Argosy was the last aircraft produced by Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft. It first flew on the 8th January 1959. 56 military AW.660 were built for the Royal Air Force. They could accommodate 69 troops, or 48 stretcher cases or 29,000 lb (13 tonnes) of freight. The AW.660 version had the nose door sealed to take a weather radar radome, the rear doors were changed to 'clam shell' style with an integral loading ramp and two doors were fitted on the starboard side to enable paratroopers to exit. 17 AW 650 in total were built for civil operators BEA and Riddle Airlines. Many ex RAF AW.660 also ended up with civil freight airlines.
For more details about "The Whistling Wheelbarrow” or "The Whistling tit”

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Portsmouth Aerocar Major

The Aerocar was produced by Portsmouth Aviation and first flew on June 18th 1947, piloted by its designer Major Frank Luxmoor. It made its debut at the 1947 SBAC show at Redllet on the Isle of Wight. It was given its certificate of airworthiness in September 1948 and was displayed at the first SBAC show at Farnborough the same year. Due to shortages and the economic climate the Aerocar never made production.

Monday, 12 September 2011

DC-9 ? No it's a BAC One-Eleven

The wonderful BAC One-Eleven was leased to many carriers in it's heyday that operated the DC-9.
That must of made people look twice! Some nice rare pictures below...

G-AWYS Leased from BCal 23.04.1970 - 31.10.1970
G-ATPJ Leased from BAC 1967 for just a few months

YR-BRA Leased from TAROM  1989-80
G-ATPL leased from Dan-Air 1967 

G-WLAD Leased from Airways International Cymru 1986
YU-ANT  1987

...and some rare ones in main carriers colours:
GAVMI European Aircharter leased by Sabena from March 1995- June 1996.

G-AYOP Leased from BCal 1974

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Court Line - A pictorial tribute

A lovely shot of 4 Court Line One-Elevens at Luton

G-BAAA "Halcyon Days"

G-BAAB "Halcyon Breeze"

G-AXMG "Halcyon Sky"


G-AWBL "Halcyon Dawn" The only 400srs they operated 

 3 One-Elevens

another shot of G-BAAA "Halcyon Days"

UPDATED 16/10/2015

Interesting aircraft types operated by Cimber Air

Cimber Air was established on the 1st of August 1950. It was founded by the late Captain Ingolf Nielsen.

Cimber Sterling (the name it now operates under) was created on the 7th of January 2009 after Cimber Air bought the air operators certificate of the bankrupt Sterling Airways. Cimber Sterling now operates ATP42/72s, 737-700s, & CRJ-200s.

Back in the days of Cimber Air it operated a range of rarer aircraft types that made them a bit more interesting than many other airlines. Their old colour scheme was also one of my favorites.
DH 104 Dove

Gulfstream 1

Nord 262

VFW 614

Saturday, 20 August 2011

The De Havilland DH.104 Dove on Floats!

DH.104 Dove 1 CF-DJH c/n 04015
The only Dove ever fitted with floats was a one off conversion
for the Hudson Bay Company of Canada.
 It was then operated by S.J. Phillips as N91827
The aircraft was written off in Alaska 196

The Bristol Blenheim on floats!

Bristol Fairchild Bolingbroke Mk III.

Thursday, 4 August 2011


The CANT Z.511 was a four-engine long-range seaplane designed by Filippo Zappata of CRDA -"Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico", meaning "Re-united Shipyards of the Adriatic Sea". Originally designed for the Central and South Atlantic passenger routes, it was later adapted as a military transport and special raider. These plans were cancelled on the outbreak of World War II, but a version of the aircraft was adapted for long-range maritime patrol, armed with 10 single-mount 12.7 mm (.5 in) machine guns in both sides, in two upper turrets, and belly positions. Plans were made to install 20 mm cannons in a front turret or in a glazed nose position, and more machine guns in a tail position.
The first flight was on the 19th October 1940 commanded by Mario Stoppani and CRDA's Guido Divari, Designer Filippo Zappata was also on board. Between  February and March 1942,  Mario Stoppani succeeded in taking off and landing fully loaded in very rough seas, with 1.5 m (5 ft) waves and winds of 55–65 km/h (34-40 mph). The aircraft apart from being under powered with unreliable engines It was very good in all other areas.

The fuselage was manufactured in two levels: the lower one forms a luggage compartment having a length of 15 m and a height of approximately 1 m, while the upper layout options were 16 reclining seats that could be transformed into berths, or 48 places in 4 compartments. The luggage compartment was accessible in flight, and from it through two narrow passages (going on all fours) the motor units and the outer fuel tanks can be inspected. In vicinity of the inner engines it was also possible to descend from an internal ladder down inside the floats (that could contain stores) or from a lateral hatch to control mooring operations.

In March 1942 the prototype was  transported to Grado, Venezia (further away from the insecure Yugoslavian border) for further evaluations; the last test and operational flight occurred on 1 September 1943, the same day that the Italian Armistice was signed.
After the division of the Italian forces, one aircraft was appropriated by the Fascist Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana. However, it had been damaged only three weeks before by British fighters, which had strafed it on Lake Trasimeno where it was undergoing final trials. It was transferred to the seaplane base at Vigna di Valle. There it suffered from sabotage by base personnel to prevent it falling into the hands of either the Allies or the Germans. The other aircraft, still under construction at the CRDA factory, was retained by Axis forces and scrapped for the metal, which was sent to Germany.

Total Aircraft Built: 2

Crew: Six
Capacity: 16 passengers or 48 (civil)
Length: 28.50 m (93 ft 6 in)
Wingspan: 39.86 m (130 ft 9 in)
Height: 11.0 m (36 ft 1 in)
Wing area: 195.0 m² (2,098 ft²)
Empty weight: 20,692 kg (45,522 lb)
Loaded weight: 34,200 kg (75,240 lb)
Useful load: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb)
Powerplant: 4 × Piaggio P.XII RC.35 radial engines, 1,120 kW (1,500 hp) each

Maximum speed: 424 km/h at 4,000 m (228 kn, 262 mph)
Cruise speed: 330 km/h (177 kn, 203 mph)
Range: 4,532 km (2,447 nmi, 2,796 mi)
Service ceiling: 7,550 m (24,764 ft)
Rate of climb: 4.16 m/s (820 ft/min)

10 × Breda-SAFAT or Cannone-Mitragliera da 20/77 (Scotti) 12.7 mm (.5 in) machine guns in both sides, two upper turrets, and belly positions.
Up to 4,000 kg (8,800 lb) bombload in internal bomb bay and mounted on outer wing positions

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

De Schelde S.20 & S.21

The prototype De Schelde S.20 was just completed before German occupation in June 1940. It was designed as a trainer for KLM & the military. It first flew on March the 29th 1940 and showed good performance & stability. Sadly the flying could not continue for long.  The aircraft was hidden from the Germans in a hanger under some junk. It was finally discovered in June 1941 but was badly damaged by resistance fighters and never flew again.

De Schelde S.20
Crew: 2 men
Payload: 250 kg
Power plant: Hirth 160 hp air-cooled six-cylinder 
with adjustable two-bladed wooden propeller
Wingspan: 11.35 m
Length: 8.65 m
maximum height: 2.60 m
Propeller diameter: 2.10 m
Empty Weight: 840 kg
Normal takeoff weight: 1260 kg
Maximum takeoff weight: 1340 kg
Fuel tank capacity: 200 liters
Lubricant tank capacity: 20 liters
Fuel Consumption: 37.8 liters / h
Lubricant consumption: 0.5 kg / h
Wing loading: 78.36 kg / m²
Power load: 8.38 kg / hp (11.38 kg / kW)
Speed near the ground: 194 km / h
Maximum speed of 3,000 m: 216 km / h
Cruising speed at 3,000 m: 180 km / h
Landing speed: 86 km / h
Ceiling: 4,800 m
Climb: 4.5 m / s
Rise time to 1,000 m: 3.8 min
Rise time to 3,000 m: 15.0 min
Normal range: 650 km
Maximum range: 780 km
Flight duration: 1.75 h

De Schelde S.21

The prototype De Schelde S-21 was nearing completion when the Germans occupied the works in 1940, and it never flew. It was to have had a 1,085-h.p. Daimler-Benz DB-600G pusher engille with which a top speed of 367 m.p.h. was estimated. Armament consisted of two 7.7-mm. and two 23-mm. guns, two firing forward and two aft.

De Schelde S-21

Monday, 18 July 2011

The Frost Airship Glider. Was it the first?

The Frost Airship Glider was designed and constructed by William (Bill) Frost. Frost was a carpenter who was born, died and lived most of his life in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire ,South Wales. Despite his poverty he managed to construct the "Frost Airship Glider", which seems, in principle, to have resembled a vertical takeoff aeroplane, with gas-filled tanks.

From the Patent description:
"The flying machine is propelled into the air by two reversible fans revolving horizontally. When sufficient height is gained, wings are spread and tilted by means of a lever, causing the machine to float onward and downward. When low enough the lever is reversed causing it to rise upward & onward. When required to stop it the wings are tilted so as to hold against the wind or air and lowered by the reversible fans. The steering is done by a helm fitted to front of machine."

Frost reportedly made a flight in September 1896. Observers said the machine flew about 500 metres, then crashed into bushes, outdistancing the 120 feet in 12 seconds by the Wright brothers in their first powered flight, which did not feature a vertical takeoff. During the night following the flight, a violent storm destroyed and scattered the flying machine.
To Frost's misfortune, the event, apparently witnessed, was not recorded except in local memories. Although a poor working man, Frost applied for a patent which was accepted and registered in London on 25 October 1894 under number 1894-20431. Unable to pay renewal fees, he allowed the patent to lapse four years later. He died without wealth or recognition in 1935.
From Wikipedia

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Blackburn B-20

The Blackburn B-20 was an experimental aircraft, first flying in 1940, that attempted to drastically increase the performance of flying boat designs. Blackburn Aircraft undertook an independent design study based on a patent filed by their chief designer, J. D. Rennie

The B-20 was an attempt to combine the best features of both the flying boat and the floatplane. While on the water, the B-20 was essentially a floatplane, using a large float under the fuselage for buoyancy, and two smaller floats near the wing tips for stability. In flight, the main float retracted towards the fuselage, fitting into a "notch" to become streamlined as a part of the fuselage. The wing floats folded outward to become the wing tips. Blackburn along with Supermarine and Saunders-Roe tendered craft for Air Ministry Specification R1/36. What would enter service as the Saunders Roe Lerwick was the chosen aircraft but the Ministry was interested enough to authorise prototype of the B-20, serial number V8914. The prototype would fly for the first time on March 26, 1940. On 7 April, during a test run, the aircraft experienced extreme vibration due to aileron flutter and the crew bailed out, three were lost the other two were picked up by HMS Transylvania, a converted merchantman. Development ceased when the first prototype crashed, as Blackburn's resources were dedicated to the war effort.

The aircraft's wreck still exists, but remains undisturbed as it is designated a War grave. In 1998, one of the engines was raised as it had been caught in a fishing boat's nets and dragged away from the wreck, into shallower water. It is currently an exhibit in the Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum.

From Wikipedia

Read more about it with some good pictures:

Societe Aerienne Bordelaise AB-80

A flying tin shed!

In August 1933 the French Ministry of Aviation published a program to build new military aircraft multi-role "BCR" (Bomber, Combat, and Reconnaissance). The SAB AB-80 was built for the task.

The first flight of the single prototype took place at Mérignac on June 13th 1934 piloted by Mr. Descamps. The early flight testing was never fully completed as the company was taken over by Potez-Bloch and it was also up against 6 other aircraft for the task: The Amiot 144, Breguet 460, Bloch 130, Dewoitine 420, Farman 420 and Potez 541.

The AB-80 was powered by two Hispano-suiza 860hp engines.  Its defensive armament consisted of three planes 7.5-mm machine guns located on movable turrets.  To bomb strikes plane could carry up to 2,000 pounds of conventional bombs (weighing from 10 to 500 kg) and 4 30 kg of flares. For ground attack it had a 25mm gun and flare could also be fired. To conduct reconnaissance flights mounted cameras were fitted.
SAB AB-80 data:
Wingspan 24 m
Length 18.50 m
Height 6.10 m
Maximum speed 330 km / h
Landing speed 125 km / h
Cruising speed, 285 km / h
Empty weight 4300 kg
Normal take-off weight 8100 kg
Service ceiling 8000 m
Normal range of 1100 k

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Landing at Brooklands

Great vidoes of the final flights of two great British aircraft landing on a very old and very very short runway.

(landing starts at 1:57)

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Convair XC-99

The Convair XC-99, 43-52436, was a prototype heavy cargo aircraft built by Convair for the United States Air Force. It was the largest piston-engined land-based transport aircraft ever built, and was developed from the B-36 bomber, sharing the wings and some other structures with it. The first flight was on 23 November 1947 in San Diego, California, and after testing it was delivered to the Air Force on 23 November 1949.
Design capacity of the XC-99 was 100,000 lb (45,000 kg) of cargo or 400 fully equipped troops on its double cargo decks; a cargo lift was installed for easier loading.
Operational history:
In July 1950 the XC-99 flew its first cargo mission, "Operation Elephant." It transported 101,266 pounds (45,933 kg) of cargo, including engines and propellers for the B-36, from San Diego to Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, a record it would later break when it lifted 104,000 lb (47,200 kg) from an airfield at 5,000 ft (1,500 m) elevation. In August 1953, the XC-99 would make its longest flight, 12,000 mi (19,000 km), to Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany, by way of Bermuda and the Azores. It carried more than 60,000 lb (27,000 kg) each way. It attracted much attention everywhere it flew.

The US Air Force determined that it had no need for such a large, long-range transport at that time, and no more were ordered. The sole XC-99 served until 1957, including much use during the Korean War. It made twice weekly trips from Kelly AFB to the aircraft depot at McClellan AFB, California, transporting supplies and parts for the B-36 bomber while returning by way of other bases or depots making pick-ups and deliveries along the way. During its operational life the XC-99 logged over 7,400 hours total time.
Retirement and display
The XC-99 landing during trials.The aircraft was put on display at Kelly Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas. During the 1960s, it was considered for restoration by the San Antonio Air Logistics Center at Kelly AFB, but the deterioration of the airframe due to the high magnesium content led to the abandonment of that plan. The airplane was later moved to a grassy field near the base. In 1993, the USAF moved it back to the Kelly AFB tarmac (29°22'27.37"N 98°35'13.74"W). It was planned to move the XC-99 via road to the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, restore and reassemble it, and put it on display in the USAF Museum's collection of experimental aircraft. Ultimately, transporting the massive aircraft by ground proved impractical and too expensive.
Disassembly of the aircraft began at Kelly Field in April 2004. Portions of the airframe were then airlifted from Kelly to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. Upon arrival at Wright-Patterson's active base, the parts had to be further moved by truck several miles to the Museum side of the base. Transporting the XC-99 components taxed the C-5A's cargo capacity, as the largest piece moved intact was over 75 feet by 13 feet. By the summer of 2008, the XC-99 had been completely transferred to Dayton and was laying on the ramp outside the Museum's restoration facility. Upon examination, the aircraft was found to have suffered from considerable corrosion, which was not unexpected considering it had remained outside for over fifty years. The wing spar was found to be too badly corroded to restore, and a new replacement would need to be fabricated. A full restoration is being performed by the restoration crew of the Air Force Museum, though no timetable exists at this time. As of May 2011, the corrosion control of the center wing boxes was nearing completion. Once this portion of the project is finished, the XC-99 will be reassembled and the restoration work started.
Following restoration, the aircraft is expected to be displayed inside in one of the Museum's new hangars. Like its relative the B-36, it is expected to become a showpiece of the Museum. Once all aircraft have been moved from the Museum's current "Research and Development Hangar" to a new display hangar planned to be added onto the main Museum buildings, the XC-99 restoration project will move into the former R&D Hangar where visitors will be able to watch the restoration in progress.Upon completion, the XC-99 will remain on display in the former R&D hangar.Pending the restoration and display of the XC-99, in an effort to educate visitors about the aircraft the Air Force Museum has placed a model of the XC-99 on display in its Post-Cold War Gallery. The model, in approximately 1/72 scale, was constructed by a member of the Museum's restoration staff. An explanation of the Museum's plans for the restoration and display of the XC-99 is located in the case with the model.
A civil variant of the XC-99, the Convair Model 37 was a large passenger aircraft which was planned but never built. The Model 37 was to be of similar proportions to the XC-99; 182 ft 6 in (55.63 m) length, 230 ft (70 m) wingspan, and a high-capacity, double-deck fuselage. The projected passenger load was to be 204, and the effective range 4,200 mi (6,800 km).15 aircraft were ordered by Pan American for transatlantic service.Unfortunately for the project, the fuel and oil consumption of the six 3,500 hp (2,600 kW) Wasp Major radials powering the XC-99 and B-36 meant that the design was not economically viable, and hoped-for turboprop powerplants did not materialise fast enough. 15 orders were not sufficient for production, and the project was abandoned.
Specifications XC-99. Data from General Dynamics Aircraft and their Predecessors
General characteristics:
Crew: Five duty + five reserve crew
Capacity: 400 troops
Payload: 100,000 lb (45,000 kg)
Length: 182 ft 6 in (55.64 m)
Wingspan: 230 ft 0 in (70.12 m)
Height: 57 ft 6 in (17.53 m)
Wing area: 4,772 ft² (443.5 m²)
Empty weight: 135,232 lb (61,469 kg)
Loaded weight: 265,000 lb (120,455 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 320,000 lb (145,455 kg)
Powerplant: 6 × Pratt & Whitney R-4360-41 Wasp Major
28-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 3,500 hp (2,611 kW) each
Maximum speed: 307 mph (267 knots, 494 km/h)
Range: 8,100 mi (7,043 nmi, 13,041 km)
Service ceiling: 30,000 ft (9,150 m)

From Wikipedia