Defenceless, it relied on its unmatched performance to provide vital data for the USA and NATO on some of the most sensitive parts of the globe. One of the regular missions flown by the SR71 Blackbird out of a base in the United Kingdom, RAF Mildenhall, was East across the North and Baltic Seas towards the territories of the Soviet Union; these flights were known as the Baltic Express. All went until one day... The SR71 at Mildenhall The original A12 The Baltic Express track The Saab 29, nicknamed the Tunnan The Draken The Saab AJS 37 Viggen The Vig was also capable of operating from unusual locations Shockwave formation during an unstart. An SR71 pilot in his pressure suit The Mig 25 Foxbat Three of the 4 Viggen pilots involved receive their Air Medals Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to the Digital Public Library of America, USAF, John5199, Blockhaj, Alan Wilson, Guenter KONZ-BEYER Bad Erlach, NASA, Alex Beltyukov, Defence Imagery and the US Gov.
D'autres épisodes de "Plane Tales"
The Mike Wildeman Story – Part 2
18:49This is the second part of my interview with Mike Wildman, an amputee pilot who has had a fascinating career in aviation. The first part covered Mike’s life in the Royal Air Force flying, amongst other aircraft, the C130 Hercules. In this part we hear about his life changing decision to have part of his left leg removed and his fight, not only to get back into the cockpit of an aircraft but to lead the world’s first disabled formation display team. Recording the interview with Mike in front of a Yak 52 Mike, a Captain with Virgin Atlantic Airways Mike after his life changing decision to have part of his left leg removed Aerobility, the organisation that got Mike back into the air as an amputee pilot Sir Douglas Bader, a double amputee WWII Battle of Britain fighter pilot The pilots of the world's first amputee formation team The Bader Bus Company Still Running formation team Mike climbing out of his Yakovlevs Yak 52 Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to the RAF, Aerobility, the Yakovlevs, the Bader Bus Company and Mike Wildman.
The Mike Wildeman Story – Part 1
20:50Mike Wildman is an amputee pilot who has had a fascinating career in aviation. This tale is about his time in the Royal Air Force flying the C130 Hercules in some very challenging theatres. His story will both amaze and inspire, particularly in the later parts when we will cover his work as the leader of the world's only fully aerobatic amputee formation team... TeamPhoenixAir.com Mike, learning to fly Mike during his RAF basic flying training Mike was posted to fly the C130 Hercules Low flying over the desert Mike, the captain of a Belgium Air Force C130 during his exchange tour The EPTS Andover that Mike flew The Boscome Down Comet 4 named Canopus that Mike flew to the North Pole The day at RIAT when a Mig 29 crashed onto Mike's aircraft nearly killing him and the others who were watching the show from the top of the fuselage! Contact details for Mike and Team Phoenix, the world's only disabled aerobatic formation team Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to Mike Freer, RuthAS and the RAF.
Where it All Began
18:26The Old Pilot ventures back to the little airport where his career in aviation began nearly half a century previously, meets the young lady now doing his old job and recalls some adventures from his early days. Many thanks to Nev of Plane Talking UK for providing the audio visual equipment Grace talks about Synergy Flight Training The Old Pilot does his thing! Thanks to those who came
The Millionaire’s Mob
20:21White's is the oldest and most exclusive Gentleman’s club in London its members have included more Earls, Dukes, Lords, Barrons, Princes, Knights, Viscounts. Marquesses, heads of industry and notable politicians than you could shake a stick at. The name we’re interested in, though, is that of Lord Edward Grosvenor, the youngest son of the 1st Duke of Westminster. It was in White's that Grosvenor had the idea to form an RAF Squadron of wealthy aristocratic young aviators all of whom were already amateur pilots and members of the club... this is the story of that Squadron. Hot Chocolate, the drink that started it all Chocolate and Coffee Houses were known for anarchy, licentiousness, gambling, hobnobbing, and politicking. White's, the oldest and most exclusive Gentleman’s club in London The French Foreign Legion The Gordon Bennett Balloon Race trophy An officer and a gentleman The Avro 504 No 601 Squadron the County of London Swapping cockpits Billy Fisk III driving the 1932 US Olympic bobsled team The Hawker Hurricane Canadian Sir John William Maxwell Aitken The Millionaire's Hurricanes over England Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to the Library of Congress, Afro Bighair, Anthony O'Neil, the National Archives, Deutsche Fotothek and the RAF.
The Sensory Pilot
19:26The world of a pilot is different to any other. They see things from a different perspective and view the world from places that even the mightiest birds cannot reach. All their faculties of sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing experience sensations unique to their position whether they are manoeuvring a mighty airliner or sliding through the air on sheets of silk in a slippery sailplane. When they get a chance, even the most professional and conscientious pilots will take a moment to marvel at their world. These are treasured moments that they will lock in their hearts and only bring out in quiet moments of contemplation, perhaps when they look back and realise what a life of wonder they have led. The gear The brain Cordite Passengers Switches Gloves Goon suit Size Saraha Ice rivers Ice bergs Streets of cumuli Skyscrapers Noctilucent Glory Trails Moon Sunset Steph Rick Atlantic Touchdown
19:58We all have our favourite flying movies, whether it’s a black and white classic with biplanes wheeling around the sky flown by actual World War One flying aces, comedy cult movies from which we can quote our favourite lines (Shirley you don’t mean that) or modern thrillers which employ state of the art computer generated imagery. This is a story of a much loved actor who didn't just act in an aircraft crash, he became an unwilling participant. Favourite movies Ancestor William Bradford Army swimming training Going AWOL, a black mark for the squad The Douglas AD-1Q Skyraider A ditched Skyraider A single seat dingy The coast off Point Reyes The RCA station that took him in Clint Eastwood Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to Glasshouse, coolvalley, Impawards, MGM, the US Army, US Navy, the Produzioni Europee Associati and the NPS GOV.
The “Young Tiger” Tanker Boys
18:45The work the Young Tiger crews performed during the Vietnam War was monumental. With an average fleet of 88 tankers over a 7 year period they performed nearly 180 thousand missions offloading 8.2 billion lbs, thats over 3,700 million tons, of fuel. A staggering achievement only surpassed by the hundreds of aircraft saves they achieved, preventing many of their fellow aircrew from falling into enemy hands. The Lockheed L193 tanker proposal A B52 of SAC refuelling from a Boeing KC135 The KC135 Flying Boom The Flying Tigers in Vietnam The F105 A KC135 refuelling F105s Navy Whales The Daisy Chain An F111 tanking The Flying Tigers at work Images shown under Creative Commons licence with thanks to Lockheed, the USAF, NAID, the US Government and the US Navy.
Four Instructors Walk into a Bar, Part 2
18:50Forty years ago, four RAF pilots graduated from Central Flying School and became fast jet Qualified Flying Instructors. They hadn't been together at the same time since then. When they did, they shared some more stories. Four QFIs then Dave A typical course photo How Dave's Hawk might have looked! The Hawk canopy showing the lines of Miniature Detonating Cord MDC Dave after receiving his Green Endorsement Dave's Green Endorsement Nij An F4 Barry An RAF Canberra Four QFIs now Images shown under Creative Commons licence with thanks to Airwolfhound, the RAF and JohnnyOneSpeed.
The Asoh Defence
17:53Sadly there are also many who think that ‘Boy Scout’ honesty is something that should be left behind in childhood but luckily not many that do take on the responsibility of becoming a career pilot. When I discovered recently that there is a name for this capacity to openly admit guilt for one’s mistakes, it didn’t come as a surprise that it was named after a pilot. Captain Asoh. Tokyo airport A DC8 on approach A JAL Captain's hat The DC8 cockpit The miraculous accidental landing of Shiga The ditched JAL DC8, repaired and flying again for Okada Air Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to SAS, Felix Goetting, Werner Friedli and Pentti Koskinen.
Four Instructors Went Into a Bar
19:35Forty years ago, four RAF pilots graduated from Central Flying School and became fast jet Qualified Flying Instructors. They hadn't been together at the same time since then. When they did, they shared a few stories. Four QFIs back then The Hawk in close formation The English Electric Lightning The Lightning F3 Loch Ness Four QFIs now! Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to Mike Freer, Bob Adams, RuthAS and the Director General of the Ordnance Survey.