The Aviation Historian

Issue 18: out now

Subscribe, or buy single issues from our online shop. Issue 19 will be published on April 15, 2017

VC10Elegance comes with a price-tag: how politics shaped the Vickers VC10

Catch-22Why Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22 nailed the experience of war

Zaire pilotAfrican Mirages: the career of the Dassault fighter in Zaïre’s air force

Pilot in plus-foursI say, chaps! Plus- fours and argyle socks on a grand day out in Belgium

Published quarterly by:

The Aviation Historian
PO Box 962
Horsham
RH12 9PP
United Kingdom

Editor
Nick Stroud

e-mail
nickstroud@theaviationhistorian.com (Please contact Nick to submit articles for publication)

Managing Editor
Mick Oakey

e-mail
mickoakey@theaviationhistorian.com (Please contact Mick for queries relating to subscriptions, advertising, marketing etc and to submit readers’ letters)

Telephone enquiries:
07572 237737
(please note this is a mobile number)

Top up your information levels

Here is a selection of links to other websites that we rate highly:

Activities

Into The Blue – www.intotheblue.co.uk/flying-experiences/ww2-planes/spitfire-flights/
IntoTheBlue is an experience-days company run by Jim Maitland (son of the late “Jock” Maitland), who was once responsible for running the Biggin Hill Air Fair. Aviation is part of the firm’s heritage, and it offers historic-aircraft experiences, including Spitfire flights.

Art

Ian Bott Illustration – www.ianbottillustration.co.uk
When not at his day-job at the Financial Times, Ian creates superb digital art and infographics for Aeroplane magazine, the RAF Museum, and now The Aviation Historian.

Juanita Franzi Aero Illustrations – www.aeroillustrations.com
Exceptional colour profiles and a wide range of other illustrations from an artist with a technical and industrial design background.

Studio 88 – www.studio88.co.uk
The official site of painter Michael Turner – President of the Guild of Aviation Artists and a renowned motor-racing artist. Also features his son Graham Turner's motor-racing and Medieval art.

TMB Art Metal – www.tmbartmetal.com
Expensive but beautiful and very special sculptures, cufflinks, clocks and other objects of desire made using metal from historic aircraft, cars, locomotives etc.

Blogs

Airminded – http://airminded.org
Melbourne-based Dr Brett Holman's research blog about "Airpower and British Society, 1908–1941 (mostly)"

Hush-Kit – hushkit.wordpress.com
A stylish blog reminding us all how remarkable and beautiful flying is. "Life begins at 40,000ft – articles, news, art and gossip, all from an aeronautical perspective".

Naval Air History – http://navalairhistory.com
Matt Willis's slick and authoritative blog charting "The story of aircraft over water".

Ron and Jim Smith: Aviators – www.ronandjimsmith.com/books/welcome/
Identical twin brothers Ron and Jim, authors of the book Two Up, have both followed careers in aviation. On their website they share anecdotes from "over 50 years of keen photography and copious note-taking".

Books, magazines and journals

The Aviation Bookshop – www.aviation-bookshop.com
The world's best specialist source of new and secondhand books. If you're in the UK, a pilgrimage to the shop in Royal Tunbridge Wells is a must; if you're not, simply buy online – and watch out for the shop's stand at events in the UK and Europe.

Aviation & Military Book Centre – www.aviationbookcentre.com
Catering for the historian and modeller, this excellent Leicestershire-based source offers a vast range of titles on civil and military aircraft, military hardware and weapons, and naval vessels, both via its online shop and via its stand at shows up and down the UK and in Europe.

Chevron Publishing – www.chevronpublishing.co.uk
Founded in 1995 by Robert Forsyth and Eddie Creek as Classic Publications, later acquired by Ian Allan, Chevron has consistently produced some of the best aviation-history books on the market, including volumes under its Air Power Editions and Tattered Flag imprints.

Famous Fish of WW2 – www.jakehassells.com/#!/books/fish
Yes, you read it correctly — this whimsical but well-informed “recognition” book by Jake Hassells is worth reading ...just for the halibut.

The Journal of Aeronautical History – http://aerosociety.com
A recently-established (and currently free) online publication by the Royal Aeronautical Society, offering some fascinating and detailed academic papers on diverse aspects of aviation history. The above link takes you to the intro page; for individual papers go to http://aerosociety.com/News/Publications/J-Aero-Hist/Papers

Valiant Wings Publishing – www.valiant-wings.co.uk
High-quality, well-researched technical detail books aimed at the serious aircraft scale modeller, plus fine resin accessories to improve kits, and World War Two aviation-history books.

Films and video

Fact Not Fiction Films – www.factnotfictionfilms.com
A small, independent and innovative documentary and feature-film company, based just a few miles from TAH's Sussex premises, which focuses mainly on aviation-history subjects.

Modelling

Hip Pocket Aeronautics – www.hippocketaeronautics.com
The thinking man's aeromodelling site, run by Canada-based Bruce Feaver and Dave Rattenbury. Note especially its Builders' Forum and Plan Gallery – if you have plans and scale drawings to share from your collection (provided they pass the site's copyright screening system), you can be an inhabitant of this Aladdin's Cave of material.

Museums

Farnborough Air Sciences Trust – www.airsciences.org.uk
Where it all began, for the UK at least: FAST exists to safeguard the priceless aeronautical heritage of Farnborough airfield, site of the first aeroplane flight in Britain and for decades the home of the Royal Aircraft Establishment and the annual SBAC Air Show.

Jet Age Museum – www.jetagemuseum.org
Based on the north side of Gloucestershire Airport (Staverton), the JAM comprises a superb collection of aircraft including Gloster E.28/39 replica, Javelin and Meteors, plus many other exhibits and an archive.

Objects of Desire

de Havilland Watches – www.dehavilland-watches.com
The TAH team met the founder of this Swiss watch company at, appropriately enough, the 2013 de Havilland Moth Club International Rally at Woburn Abbey, and were impressed by his products. The website is very stylish too.

Project Cancelled – www.projectcancelled.com
Aviation historian, author and publisher Rowland White’s sideline in quirky, well-designed and witty aerospace t-shirts, with logos from "#AvGeek" to "X-71 Pilot's Notes".

Organisations

RAF Heraldry Trust – www.rafht.co.uk
A project to catalogue and preserve the heraldic badges of all RAF units past and present – more than 1,300 in all.

Societies & groups

The Airways Museum & Civil Aviation Historical Society – www.airwaysmuseum.com
Based at historic Essendon Airport in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, this brilliant museum traces the development of Australia's civil aviation airways system; and the CAHS stages regular special exhibitions there.

The Catalina Society – www.catalina.org.uk
The supporters' club for the Duxford-based Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina – get involved in keeping a majestic vintage flying-boat in the air.

Defford Airfield Heritage Group – http://deffordairfieldheritagegroup.wordpress.com/
The story of the now-lost Worcestershire airfield that was the home of the Telecommunications Flying Unit and the development of airborne radar during and after World War Two.

Stirling Aircraft Society – http://stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org
Raising the profile of the Short Stirling bomber's contribution in WW2, and supporting the Stirling Project to recreate a forward fuselage section.

Ulster Aviation Society – www.ulsteraviationsociety.org
An especially active and vibrant regional society with a hangarful of historic and notable aircraft!

Miscellaneous

Royal Air Force WWII 38 Group Squadrons Reunited – www.raf38group.org
French enthusiast Bruno Lecaplain's online salute to the unsung work of 38 Gp, which used Stirlings and Albemarles and flew in support of SOE ops.