Tag: aviation Page 1 of 5

Meet the author: Martin Bowman

I thought that it would be appropriate to have the publicity picture taken at the New Farm Aviation Heritage Museum near Norwich Airport as I have loaned them my framed Lightning T-Bird print of Lightning T5 XS420, 226 OCU/145 Squadron RAF Coltishall by Mike Rondot the famous Norfolk based aviation artist. It is above me sitting on one of the plush VIP airline seats that once graced the 747-SP that was operated by the late Sultan of Oman for many years. These seats have a Lightning link also as they were donated to the Museum some years ago by an ex-Lightning pilot from RAF Coltishall (which is only a few miles away from the museum) when the Sultan’s Jumbo was flown to a desert air park in Arizona and was replaced by a newer Jumbo jet! These must be the ultimate in ‘biz jets’! I believe the Lightning pilot in question used to fly the Sultan’s 747-SP.

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Author Guest Post: Louise Wilkinson

The Millionaires’ Mob

601 (County of London) Squadron Auxiliary Air Force were nicknamed the “millionaires’ mob” by other squadrons. Seen by many as rich young playboys who used the Auxiliary Air Force as a “gentleman’s flying club” I found this incredibly interesting and so I wondered whether this theme was common across all of the AAF squadrons in the country. My research tested this theory, and is available to buy in my new book, The Territorial Air Force.

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DEADLY HORIZON: A short story by Murray Rowlands

An Introduction:

It is more than 80 years since the battle of Britain was fought over the skies of Morley and the whole of the South of England.

Morley has a link to these events. A former Vice Principal Denis Richards wrote an authoritative book about “The Few” and the life and death battle taking place in British skies in July, August and September 1940. There is another link between New Zealand and Morley. The daughter of The Agent General for New Zealand William Pember Reeves, Maude Blanco White, was Principal of Morley in the 1930s. Her other claim to fame was having been one of H.G.Well’s mistresses.

I have just written a new biography of Air Marshal Keith Park a legend who is widely regarded as the principal architect of Fighter Command’s victory in 1940. My association with Morley was as a Director of Humanities.

Murray Rowlands

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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: Bryn Evans

Airmen’s Incredible Escapes

American and other Allied aircrew in the Second World War cheated death in inspirational struggles to survive.

In the latest book by Australian author Bryn Evans, Airmen’s Incredible Escapes, the resilience and self-sacrifice of the human spirit belie the horrors of war, in a message for us today and for future generations.

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Author Guest Post: Bryn Evans

Yorkshire born author is inspired by the Beatles

Airmen’s Incredible EscapesA message for future generations

In the latest book by Yorkshire born author Bryn Evans, Airmen’s Incredible Escapes, the resilience and self-sacrifice of the human spirit belie the horrors of war, in a message for us today and for future generations.

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Author Guest Post: Bryn Evans

Airmen’s Incredible Escapes

A message for future generations

In the latest book by Yorkshire born author Bryn Evans, Airmen’s Incredible Escapes, the resilience and self-sacrifice of the human spirit belie the horrors of war, in a message for us today and for future generations.

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Author Guest Post: Dilip Sarkar MBE

Johnnie Johnson’s 1942 Diary: The War Diary of the Spitfire Ace of Aces

Air Vice-Marshal James Edgar ‘Johnnie’ Johnson, a policeman’s son from Leicestershire, was the ultimate Boys’ Own Paper character: the RAF’s top-scoring fighter pilot and wing leader par excellence of the Second World War. A one-time household name, Johnnie’s aerial combat successes inspired schoolboys for generations – myself very much included. I was not to know then, of course, that one day ‘Greycap Leader’ and I would become great friends, spending many happy days together, attending enthusiast events, lectures, and our book signings.

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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: Colin Higgs

Empty Sky was never meant to be a book. But then none of the more than 130+ interviews we have conducted so far were ever intended for books; they were all filmed for TV programmes.

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