In the early 1980’s I was a Masters Student at what was then Cranfield Institute of Technology. The campus was on the site of a former RAF airfield and I was studying Bio-Aeronautics with the International Centre for the Application of Pesticides (ICAP) attached to the College of Aeronautics. As part of the course we … More Hitching a ride on a Jetstream
Whilst researching the Dambuster attack on the Eder Dam I came across an interesting snippet of history. It was told to me by my sister’s friend G.C. who was in the RAF in the early 50s. In 1952 G.C. was based in Germany at RAF Wahn which is now the modern day Cologne Bonn International … More Milk run over the Eder Dam
Although no Lancasters were supplied to the Russian military under the lend lease scheme in WW2 two examples were in fact used in Soviet Air Force markings. In preparation for Operation Paravane, the attack on the German Battleship Tirpitz which was anchored in a fjord in the far north of Norway, thirty-eight 617 Squadron and … More Lancaster bombers operated by the Soviet Air Force in WW2
The Dambuster Raids, or more correctly Operation Chastise is without doubt the most famous bombing mission of the Second World War (at least here in Britain). Over 75 years on everybody has heard about the ‘bouncing bomb’ and the hero pilot Guy Gibson. Most people, if they only know of one RAF Squadron, it will … More What happened to the Lancasters used on the Dambuster Raid?
The relationship between Manchester the city, and Lancaster the bomber is well documented. Many of us will also know that the Lancaster bomber originally started out as the Manchester bomber and that Avro, the aviation manufacturing company responsible for the Manchester and Lancaster bombers started in, and fortuitously remained Manchester based for the entire life … More From Manchester to Lincoln via Lancaster – An aviation aristocracy family tree
The famous aeroplane manufacturing company Avro is synonymous with the city of Manchester. The connection between the two lasted over one hundred years, longer if we consider that the founder of Avro was born in Manchester. Sadly, the last link was broken when the Avro successor, British Aerospace (BAe), closed its main facilities in 2012. … More Manchester’s Avro Aviation Heritage reminders
As a consultant I usually get to work on several diverse projects every year. It’s daunting, but always interesting to see the different locations and I always ensure I do a site visit. It’s fascinating to see the way different organisations work. Recently I had a tour around a speciality chemical plant. It was amazing … More Rolls-Royce Derby birthplace of the Merlin
If like me, you are excited by and want to see low flying fast jets without going to an airshow or standing at the end of a runway then the north-west has a couple of brilliant options. The UK is divided into 20 designated military Low Flying Areas (LFA) but most are only for administrative … More Mach Loop – Low flying jets at their very best
The Dambuster Raids, or more correctly Operation Chastise is without doubt the most famous bombing mission of the Second World War (at least here in Britain). 75 years on everybody has heard about the bouncing bomb and the flawed hero pilot Guy Gibson. Most people, if they only know of one RAF Squadron, it will … More Testing and training for the Dambuster Raids – what’s left to see?
As a hobbyist historian and writer I love historical links however tenuous. I recently gave a talk, in the beautiful setting of Mellor Parish Centre at the extremity of Greater Manchester, about the Poles exiled to Siberia and Anders’ Army. I was able to link in a member of Anders’ Army who, not only served … More Derbyshire’s High Peak link to the most famous WW2 Battle of Britain fighter squadron