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"Everyone knows that Neil Armstrong, who died on 25 August 2012 aged 82, was the first man to step on the moon. What is probably less well known is that in 1971 he visited the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Bedford, at that time the UK’s premier flight testing and wind tunnel research centre, while on a goodwill visit to Britain.

The Establishment at Thurleigh was conducting experimental flying and other research as part of the Concorde development programme. As an experienced test pilot, Armstrong readily accepted the invitation to fly something unusual, one of RAE’s unique research aircraft, the Handley Page HP115. This was used to investigate the low-speed flying qualities of highly-swept “slender delta” wings suitable for Concorde…

The HP115’s first flight took place at Thurleigh on 17 Aug 1961..8 years before Concorde, which had its first flight in the same year, 1969, as Armstrong landed on the moon.

As his introduction to flying the single-seat HP115 aircraft at Bedford on 24 June 1971, Armstrong was briefed by RAE test pilot Ron Ledwidge (who died in 2003) and then, in effect, was handed the keys and
told to go. That’s what test pilots do. He came back safely, all smiles after a brief flight. The HP115 is now at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton” (via)

sunday fantasy #408: Luigi Prina
(via Paul Dunlop, as ever)

sunday fantasy #408: Luigi Prina
(via Paul Dunlop, as ever)

I’ve been busy raising an heir, and also plotting what will be the greatest science fiction novel of the new millennium (in my head, of course). I’ll be back soon.

I’ve been busy raising an heir, and also plotting what will be the greatest science fiction novel of the new millennium (in my head, of course). I’ll be back soon.

Spitfire

Happy New Year - upwards!

oh, ok. this can’t really wait until next year..

(via Code One Magazine’s Facebook page)

oh, ok. this can’t really wait until next year..

(via Code One Magazine’s Facebook page)

the year has escaped me. I’ll be back in 2014. goodwill to all of you.

(photo via The Aviation Historian’s page on Facebook)

the year has escaped me. I’ll be back in 2014. goodwill to all of you.

(photo via The Aviation Historian’s page on Facebook)

we left things back in October with this image, which I found in an old post on Scott Lowther’s “The Unwanted Blog”

a bit of hunting lead to me finding and purchasing a book entitled “Aerostatische Flugkörper, schwerer als Luft" ("Aerostatic missiles, heavier than air”) by Bernhard de Temple - a German professor who worked on a number of academic, professional and personal aerostatic projects between about 1982 to 2005 - and who died in April of this year.

There are several outlandish and grand designs among his work, and I ‘ll be posting a number of these over the next few days.

we left things back in October with this image, which I found in an old post on Scott Lowther’s “The Unwanted Blog

a bit of hunting lead to me finding and purchasing a book entitled “Aerostatische Flugkörper, schwerer als Luft" ("Aerostatic missiles, heavier than air”) by Bernhard de Temple - a German professor who worked on a number of academic, professional and personal aerostatic projects between about 1982 to 2005 - and who died in April of this year.

There are several outlandish and grand designs among his work, and I ‘ll be posting a number of these over the next few days.

Oct 7
up next…

up next…

Oct 4

Absence

I’ve been trying to get hold of a very obscure book from Germany, which should contain things never before seen on-line - and I’m determined that the next posts will be about it, and it alone x

Another definite sign of a quality aviation museum (RIP Ken Wallis)

Another definite sign of a quality aviation museum (RIP Ken Wallis)

One of the signs of a quality aviation museum

One of the signs of a quality aviation museum

V-Force

V-Force

Sep 5
the “most aircraft in flight in one photo” challenge

"Flight by Rockwell Field aviators over San Diego, celebrating Peace - Nov 27, 1918" 

(via the SDASM Archives on Flickr)

117 aircraft! The Flickr set contains a great selection of other numerous formation photographs - including this one, which seems to be a manipulated version of the picture above (?)

the “most aircraft in flight in one photo” challenge

"Flight by Rockwell Field aviators over San Diego, celebrating Peace - Nov 27, 1918"

(via the SDASM Archives on Flickr)

117 aircraft! The Flickr set contains a great selection of other numerous formation photographs - including this one, which seems to be a manipulated version of the picture above (?)

Sep 5
the “most aircraft in flight in one photo” challenge

"Many German communities saw our large formations en-route to the Reich capital." 

part of a larger photo that shows at least 114 B-17’s in formation.

the “most aircraft in flight in one photo” challenge

"Many German communities saw our large formations en-route to the Reich capital."

part of a larger photo that shows at least 114 B-17’s in formation.

Sep 5
the “most aircraft in flight in one photo” challenge

"Air group six of the USS Enterprise (CV 6) pictured in flight over ships during exercises at sea" 

I count eighty.

(via, and spotted in the Planeshots Tumblr’s “Formation Flight Sunday”)

the “most aircraft in flight in one photo” challenge

"Air group six of the USS Enterprise (CV 6) pictured in flight over ships during exercises at sea"

I count eighty.

(via, and spotted in the Planeshots Tumblr’sFormation Flight Sunday”)