Tag: Air World

Author Guest Post: Louise Wilkinson

What makes a volunteer?

The reserve forces of the Royal Air Force have been the focus of my research for a good many years now. I found it fascinating to learn that young men, often from wealthy backgrounds were prepared to volunteer to join either the Auxiliary Air Force, or from 1936 onwards, the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. The Auxiliary Air Force (AAF) was formed around 1925, and volunteers, had to be asked to join, by individual commanding officers, one of twenty-one squadrons. I started my research when I was a secondary school teacher, teaching history to 11-16 years in Stockton on Tees. I found that 608 (North Riding) Squadron had been based at Thornaby Aerodrome, which was around five miles from where I lived. I began my research in 2002, and have subsequently been on a journey of research resulting in two books, an MPhil, a PhD and being the project historian on the Spitfire Project in Thornaby. As I began my research, I realised that there was very little written about the reserve forces of the RAF. And what there actually was, was based on the experiences of 600 (City of London) and 601 (County of London) squadrons. In fact it was the quote below which captured my imagination and led me to where I am today.

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Author Guest Post: Graham M. Simons

The Story Behind the Book

Back in the early 1990s, I was privileged to research, write and compile three UK airline histories: During that time I met, interviewed and more importantly gained the trust of many of the major key players in the industry. People like Fred Newman, the chairman of Dan-Air for thirty-seven of the airline’s forty-year history, William ‘Bill’ Armstrong, the founder and chairman of Autair – and so many other airlines he could not remember them all! Ed Posey, the managing director of Court Line Aviation, who took the eventual collapse very personally, Errol Cossey, one of the three founders of Air Europe, who sold out at just the right time before moving on to found Air 2000, selling that and founding Flying Colours, selling that and…  David James, then the darling ‘Company Doctor’ of the City of London who was supposed to look after the banks interests, but fell in love with the smell of the kerosene and roar of the jets. They all saw dealing with me as being fraught with commercial danger – after all, most were still actively involved in the holiday business in one shape or form – but this understandable caution was balanced by their egos that wanted to be of assistance to ensure their story was told! Even so, they all tended to play things very close to their chests.

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Author Guest Post: Jack J Hersch

The Boeing 737 MAX, grounded since 2019 after two crashes took 346 lives, is nearing return to commercial service. But once the jet is back to carrying passengers, should you fly in it? I think not.

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Guest Post: Bruce Hales-Dutton


In his Norfolk jacket, stiff collar, tweed cap, gloves and polished brogues with a cigarette permanently dangling from his lips he epitomised early 20th century cool.

But then Arthur Charles Hubert Latham also combined show with go. Pioneer motorist, aviator, big-game hunter, explorer, man-about-town: Hubert Latham was all of these things.

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