How a Seaplane race helped save Britain from Invasion


I am sure some of you have heard of the Schneider Trophy which was started back in 1913 or to give it full title Coupe d’Aviation Maritime Jacques Schneider.

This race was world famous in it day and it lead to a rapid development of aircraft and engines.

The Schneider Trophy

The aircraft in the photo is called Supermarine S6B which won the trophy after the British government stopped supporting the trophy. A wealthy woman called Lucy, Lady Huston put up the money for the cup to be run. Lucy Lady Houston  . This aircraft was the basis for the Supermarine Spitfire and The North American Mustang both world beating fighter aircraft.

Supermarine S6

The S6 was designed by a team led by now legendary RJ Mitchell and Joe Smith a much less well known designer who took over RJ’s death from cancer and lead the team designing Spitfires. He died in 1956 two years after the Spitfire left front line service with the RAF.

Joseph Smith

Thanks for reading I hope you enjoy my blog. I will try to publish more in the future.





Why you should go to EAA Air Venture.

Art Nellis flying the world’s only privately owned Harrier Jet

My guess if you are reading this blog then you like aircraft like me. Now I have you been to the biggest air show in the world ? I not then you really should, I am very lucky I have been going since 2012. I got interested in the show through a guy who is now a good friend of mine who runs a blog called Air Pigz  He hasn’t posted for a while but well worth a visit.

He had a caption contest on his blog a photo a of Cessna 152 with a large prop and I won the contest and the prize was a bacon sandwich. The only catch it was at Oshkosh which I had heard but I knew very little about. So I thought why not? I booked my flights, hotel and a rental car. I only bought tickets for 3 days that was a mistake. I was blown away by the sheer size of the place. The bad thing was the hotel was a hour’s drive south of Oshkosh.

Where else can you see so many Mustang P51s ?

Just a few facts from last year’s air show which was a record breaking show for sheer numbers of people, planes and campers. 500,000 people and 10,000 aircraft attended last year’s show and it could be even bigger this year.

Harvard’s or if your prefer Texan T6

The best thing about Oshkosh is the people they are just awesome. I have made so many friends from attending Oshkosh  avgeeks, pilots, and podcasters. That is biggest thing about Oshkosh to quote a good friend of mine “The first year go for the planes, the second you go for the people”. There always parties to attend and people to meet up with.

If you like war birds there just hundreds of them to see from T6s to a B29 or maybe two. Jets and piston engined aircraft. Also there hundreds of vintage aircraft to see

This being a example of just one of the hundreds of vintage aircraft

All these photos where taken by me at EAA air venture. Here is just a few of aircraft you can see at Oshkosh


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I almost forgot there is another section well worth a visit as well the Seaplane base which only there for one week a year. Where you see aircraft like these



So if you are still interested in going here is the EAA air venture website with more detail and cool videos.  Thanks for reading I hope you enjoy my photos.

EAA air venture

The Gloster E28/39 Britain’s first Jet

On this day the 15th of May 1941 a Jet took off from RAF Cranwell.  Which was later become the RAF college for officers wishing to be come officers in the Royal Air Force. It was the product of many years of work by Sir Frank Whittle and his company Power Jets.Gloster-E28-39

This jet wasn’t the first jet aircraft the Germans had beaten the British into the air with there HE 178 which flew some 2 years earlier in August ’39.

The HE178 was a great technological leap forward but the Luftwaffe just wasn’t interested. Just like the lack of interest within the RAF with the jet engine project run by Sir Frank Whittle but of course World War 2 changed everything.

This jet was later developed into the Gloster Meteor two examples which are still flying as ejector seat testers for the Martin Baker company . It had a long service with many air forces round the world not retiring with the RAF till the 80’s.

There was a another jet developed by Gloster the E.1/44 which never did get past the prototype stage and was retired in the 50’s

The US air force was very interested in jets and the British did send a jet engine to the US for test and evaluation and in a B24 Liberator. The XP-59 which was developed by the Bell company  was not a very impressive aircraft and never got past the prototype stage.

On the other hand the P80 Shooting star was a very successful aircraft and was in service during the Korean war and many years afterwards.

So this pretty sums up some early jet designs of WW2. I haven’t mentioned the German and Japanese designs which I found while doing research for this blog as there just too many to mention.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog I will do another subject in the near future.


This was taken at Oshkosh 15 my own photo of a pair T33s taking off


Air NZ and Bumping Passengers

So Air New Zealand are now making headlines by removing passengers from there flights. It of course very much a news worthy subject after the United airlines incident which we all know about by now. The link is below to the story

Passenger removed from Air New Zealand Flight

Air NZ do like all airlines need to move there crews around the country and that is normal but to remove someone from a flight with out even asking for volunteers seems a bit harsh to me. The money given to the passenger was just pitiful $200 NZ for being thrown off a flight you had booked seven months ago? It seems just so wrong it really should have done by who booked last. Of course Air New Zealand won’t answer complaints from anyone in the media. They will just say it’s our airline and we will do what we like to themselves of course not in public.

Of course we have don’t have much choice here in New Zealand with only two national carriers. The other being Jetstar which aren’t the best to fly with there is a long list complaints against them in the news.

Bride delayed by 13 hours because of Jetstar

I do like flying Air New Zealand but they are getting too greedy they sell themselves on having great customer service especially on long haul but there prices are just too high the food in economy is not awful but there was on my last flight so little of it. The snacks where a joke the same as you get on a domestic flight. Virgin Australia on other hand  are very generous  with there snacks  and you help yourself to coke and chips. On long haul flights.

They do need to raise there game or people will just fly long haul with other airlines when realize that Air New Zealand is just after maximum profits. Also there partnered with United for domestic flights in the US you can judge a airline by there partners.

The Tallboy and Grand Slam Bombs

This is my first ever blog I hope you enjoy please let me know what you think.

All the talk in the news about the huge bomb dropped on Afghanistan, this week got me thinking about the Tall boy and Grand slam bombs which designed by the genius Barnes Wallis.

He first came to fame by designing the Upkeep weapon better known as the bouncing bomb which was used by 617 Squadron RAF to attack the German dams in an operation called  Chastise

Dam Busters

Before that he designed the fuselage for  another classic the Vickers Wellington bomber which served the entire war the only other aircraft to do so was the Fairy Swordfish. It was also famous for being featured in a propaganda movie when one was built in less than 24 hours as a publicity stunt The 24 hour Wellington bomber

Vickers Wellington

He also designed a weapon called highball which was never used but was designed to sink the battleship  Tirpitz. But another Barnes Wallis designed weapon was used instead. The Tallboy bomb which was dropped by a mixed unit of  9  and 617 Squadron RAF Lancaster bombers while it was berthed in a Norwegian fjord.

The Tallboy Bomb

This was a 11,000lb bomb first thought of back in 1941 and was widely used by 9 and 617 squadron. It was expensive to make being almost completely hand made. It was the first real bunker buster and was used right up to the end of the war to great effect. Destroying targets that couldn’t be destroyed by any other means. For more info click on the link below

Tallboy bomb operations

The Grand Slam Bomb

This is still the biggest conventional bomb by weight ever made at a whopping 22,000lbs or approximately 10 tons. It was nearly too late to see service during WW2 but was designed to be dropped on U boat pens which up to that time could not be destroyed. This bomb was also designed by Barnes Wallis and not as widely used as the Tallboy bomb but still effective.

Grand Slam Bomb

After the war before the Tallboy and Grand slam where kept in service but where never used and could have been carried by the V bombers which replaced the Lincoln bomber. That replaced the Lancaster with bomber command . But the Lancaster was still used by RAF and other countries as a maritime patrol aircraft still 1963 when it was finally retired from RCAF service.

So all the talk in the media about the MOAB is very interesting but don’t forget it was the Genius of Barnes Wallis who did it first.

For more info click on the links

Massive Ordnance Air Blast


Thanks for reading I hope to do this once a week. Please let me know what you think as this is all new to me.