The Kawanishi N1K1-J Shiden (“Violet Lightning“, Allied Code Name: George) and N1K2-J Shiden Kai (Modified) are regarded as the best land based fighter operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War Two. The George was reasonably fast (top speed 595 Km/h / 369 mph – a bit less than the planned 656 km/h / 408mph),… Read More The Survivors: Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden Kai – When Violet Lightning Strikes!
The Seversky P-35 single seat pursuit aircraft was developed in the 1930’s and became the first all-metal monoplane fighter with an enclosed cockpit and retractable landing gear for the US Army Air Corps (USAAC). 77 P-35’s were ordered by the USAAC for delivery between 1937-38 (76 P-35’s were delivered and the 77th was converted to… Read More The Survivors: Seversky P-35 – In Pursuit Of Success
Sleek, stealthy, fast and lethal. The highly advanced fifth generation Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor air dominance fighter is only operated by the USAF and first entered service on December 15th, 2005. In addition to stealth technology to avoid radar detection, the F-22 features a combination of advanced sensor technology, integrated avionics, situational awareness and weapons to… Read More Up Close with a USAF Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
Now this is my kind of garden! The history of the early years of the US space program conducted by NASA are on display in the rocket garden at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. Here you can see the Mercury-Redstone, Atlas and Titan rockets that first put US Astronauts into space. The Mercury-Redstone rockets… Read More NASA Rocket Garden – Kennedy Space Centre
Over the last few years I have slowly but surely managed to see all of the surviving NASA Space Shuttles. The most recent one was also the most special to me: Space Shuttle Atlantis (Orbiter Vehicle OV-104). Not only is Atlantis the most impressively displayed it is also the only one I ever personally saw launch… Read More Space Shuttle Atlantis
At the annual 2014 Wings Over Miami museum car show they had a great variety of cars on display but they also had their aircraft museum open for viewing. There was a Consolidated PBY Catalina “Super Cat“ out in the car park surrounded by classic cars but in the hangar was their mighty Grumman F-14D Super Tomcat. Sitting next… Read More Another Cat Among the Pigeons
One of my favourite DC Comics characters is Batman. A superhero that uses his physical strength and sinister appearance as the Dark Knight to spread fear amongst the scum and villainy of Gotham City. What I like most about Batman is he is just a man. Admittedly one with some very handy skills, a vast fortune… Read More To the Batcopter!
The Consolidated PBY Catalina was a World War Two era flying boat used by the Allies for maritime patrol, search and rescue, laying mines and anti-submarine warfare. Between 1936-1945 over 3,300 Catalina’s were manufactured. A number of US Navy squadrons had PBY’s painted in a matt black paint scheme that were specially equipped for night-time operations against Japanese… Read More A Cat among the Pigeons
With the relaxing of the budget, 2014 has seen a limited return to the US air show circuit of military jets including the US Navy Blue Angels display team who fly the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. I am happy to say I got to see the Blues once again at the Sun ‘n Fun air show in Lakeland,… Read More 2014: The Return of the US Navy Blue Angels
With the relaxing of the budget, 2014 has seen a limited return to the US air show circuit of the military jets including the USAF Thunderbirds display team. I was lucky enough to see them fly twice this year already. Admittedly it was over two days at the Tampa Bay Air Fest in Florida but each day was slightly different and to me it… Read More 2014: The Return of the USAF Thunderbirds