Archive for the ‘Aviation’ Category

Imperial Airways
was the early British commercial long range air transport company, operating from 1924 to 1939 and serving parts of Europe but principally the British Empire routes to South Africa, India and the Far East, including Malaya and Hong Kong. There were local partnership companies; Qantas (Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd) in Australia and TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Ltd) in New Zealand.

a12089_imp_air_06Imperial Airways was merged into the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) in 1939, which in turn merged with the British European Airways Corporation to form British Airways.


The establishment of Imperial Airways occurred in the context of facilitating overseas settlement by making travel to and from the colonies quicker, and that flight would also speed up colonial government and trade that was until then dependent upon ships. The launch of the airline followed a burst of air route survey in the British Empire after the First World War, and after some experimental (and often dangerous) long-distance flying to the margins of Empire.

Empire services

Route proving

Between 16 November 1925 and 13 March 1926 Alan Cobham made an Imperial Airways’ route survey flight from the UK to Cape Town and back in the Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar–powered de Havilland DH.50J floatplane G-EBFO. The outward route was London– Paris– Marseille– Pisa– Taranto– Athens– Sollum– Cairo– Luxor– Assuan– Wadi- Halfa– Atbara– Khartoum– Malakal– Mongalla– Jinja– Kisumu– Tabora– Abercorn– Ndola– BrokenHill– Livingstone– Bulawayo– Pretoria– Johannesburg– Kimberley– Blomfontein– Cape Town. On his return Cobham was awarded the Air Force Cross for his services to aviation.


On 30 June 1926 Alan Cobham took off from the River Medway at Rochester in G-EBFO to make an Imperial Airways route survey for a service to Melbourne, arriving on 15 August. He left Melbourne on 29 August and, after completing 28,000 miles in 320 hours flying time over 78 days, he alighted on the Thames at Westminster on 1 October. Cobham was met by the Secretary of State for Air, Sir Samuel Hoare, and was subsequently knighted by HM King George V.


27 December 1926 Imperial Airways de Havilland DH.66 Hercules G-EBMX City of Delhi left Croydon for a survey flight to India. The flight reached Karachi on 6 a12089_imp_air_07January and Delhi on 8 January. The aircraft was named by Lady Irwin, wife of the Viceroy, on 10 January 1927. The return flight left on 1 February 1927 and arrived at Heliopolis, Cairo on 7 February. The flying time from Croydon to Delhi was 62 hours 27 minutes and Delhi to Heliopolis 32 hours 50 minutes.

Short Empire Flying Boats

In 1937 with the introduction of Short Empire flying boats built at Short Brothers, Imperial Airways could offer a through-service from Southampton to the Empire. The journey to the Cape was via Marseille, Rome, Brindisi, Athens, Alexandria, Khartoum, Port Bell, Kisumu and onwards by land-based craft to Nairobi, Mbeya and eventually Cape Town. Survey flights were also made across the Atlantic and to New Zealand. By mid-1937 Imperial had completed its thousandth service to the Empire. Starting in 1938 Empire flying boats also flew between Britain and Australia via India and the Middle East.


In March 1939 three Shorts a week left Southhampton for Australia, reaching Sydney after ten days of flying and nine overnight stops. Three more left for South Africa, taking six flying days to Durban.


Air Mail

Flown cover carried around the world on PAA Boeing 314 Clippers and Imperial Airways Short S23 flying boats 24 June-28 July 1939

In 1934 the Government began negotiations with Imperial Airways to establish a service (Empire Air Mail Scheme) to carry mail by air on routes served by the airline. Indirectly these negotiations led to the dismissal in 1936 of Sir Christopher Bullock, thePermanent Under-Secretary at the Air Ministry, who was found by a Board of Inquiry to have abused his position in seeking a position on the board of the company while these negotiations were in train. The Government, including the Prime Minister, regretted the decision to dismiss him, later finding that, in fact, no corruption was alleged and sought Bullock’s reinstatement which he declined.

The Empire Air Mail Programme began in July 1937, delivering anywhere for 1½ d./oz. By mid-1938 a hundred tons of mail had been delivered to India and a similar amount to Africa. In the same year, construction was started on the Empire Terminal in Victoria, London, designed by A. Lakeman and with a statue by Eric Broadbent, Speed Wings Over the World gracing the portal above the main entrance. From the terminal there were train connections to Imperial’s flying boats at Southampton and coaches to its landplane base at Croydon Airport. The terminal operated as recently as 1980.

To help promote use of the Air Mail service, in June and July 1939, Imperial Airways participated with Pan American Airways in providing a special “around the world” service; Imperial carried the souvenir mail from Foynes, Ireland, to Hong Kong, out of the eastbound New York to New York route.

Captain H.W.C. Alger and his wife

Pan American provided service from New York to Foynes (departing 24 June, via the first flight of Northern FAM 18) and Hong Kong to San Francisco (via FAM 14), and United Airlines carried it on the final leg from San Francisco to New York, arriving on 28 July.

Captain H.W.C. Alger was the pilot for the inaugural air mail flight carrying mail from England to Australia for the first time on the Short Empire flying boat Castor for Imperial Airways’ Empires Air Routes, in 1937.

Text from Wikipedia

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Test Pilot George Aird, flying an English Electric Lightning F1
ejected  from his plane at only about 100 feet in the air in 1962.

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Passengers in fur and high heels supped champagne from crystal glasses as bee-hived air stewardesses handed out deluxe freebies, from cigars and deodorant to embossed evening robes. Come evening time, guests could stretch out on full-size sleeper beds, where they were pampered in style with thick blankets, slippers and large, fluffy pillows.

There was no need to worry about leg room; 1950s and 60s airliners such as Imperial Airways and Pan Am came with vast amounts of space. There was room enough to have space for spiral staircases, meals served on actual tables, bathrooms with urinals in, and mile-high bars serving exotic cocktails.

From luxury dining to glamorous guests and acres of space, here’s a collection of vintage photos from the golden age of air travel, via Stylist Magazine.

1. The Marvellous Meals

Once upon a time, an in-flight meal meant bow-tied waiters serving a three-course feast on actual tables, with linen tablecloths and fresh flowers to boot. Forget cardboard and polystyrene trays – it was china and glass all the way…

Passengers enjoy a drink and a game of cards in the cabin of
an Imperial Airways plane in 1936

Dining service aboard the Pan American Martin Clipper aircraft, circa 1936

2. The Leg Room

There was no such thing as reclining rows. No-one ever had to argue over space, because they had acres of it – guests could have easily performed cartwheels round the cabin if they fancied it.

Relaxing in the main salon aboard the Pan American Martin Clipper aircraft,
circa 1936

Text and images found on vintage everyday

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a12048_the flying car
From an article from 1933 found on James Vaughan’s flickr albums

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a1142_jersey airways

Jersey Airways was an airline that operated air services to and from the Channel Islands from 1933 until 1947, when it became part of British European Airways.

a1142_jersey airways_03History

Jersey Airways Limited was formed by W L Thurgood on 9 December 1933. The first commercial service took place on 18 December, with a passenger service from Jersey to Portsmouth. In the absence of a proper airport, the aircraft used St. Aubin’s beach at West Park, St. Helier, and the airline had its maintenance base at Portsmouth Airport, (moving to Southampton Airport in 1935). On Sunday, 28 January 1934, the first flights began from Heston (with a special bus connection from London) to Jersey, in March 1934 flights began from Southampton, and during summer 1934, a service was operated
to Paris. In its a1142_jersey airways_01first full year, Jersey Airways carried 20,000 passengers, using a fleet of eight DH.84 Dragons, each capable of carrying eight passengers.

On 1 December 1934, Channel Islands Airways was registered as a holding company for Jersey Airways Ltd. and its subsidiary Guernsey Airways Ltd. which had been formed a week earlier. Shares were bought by the Great Western Railway and the Southern Railway. This allowed expansion, and in 1935, six four-engined DH.86s and two DH.89 Dragon Rapides were introduced, to replace the Dragons. On 8 January 1935, a service began to Rennes, in France, although on 29 March 1935 it ceased. In April 1936, a Plymouth-Jersey service began, and in 1938 to Exeter, Dinard and Shoreham.

a1142_jersey airways_05

Jersey Airport opened on 10 March 1937, and Jersey Airways was able to operate a fixed timetable that no longer depended on the state of the tides. This also meant the company obtained the mail-carrying contract, freight traffic increased, and night flights could begin.

a1142_jersey airways_02Meanwhile, in Guernsey, things were at a less advanced stage, and most air services were those by flying boats and amphibians. Guernsey Airways was very much smaller than its sister company in Jersey. Two Saro flying boats were used: Windhover (G-ABJP) and Saro Cloud (G-ABXW), named “Cloud of Iona”. In May 1939,Guernsey’s new airport was opened. On 8 May 1939, Guernsey Airways began a service to Southampton, using a DH.86A (G-ADVK) and a DH.86B (G-AENR), later joined by a DH.95 Flamingo (G-AFUF). In June 1939, the prototype Flamingo (G-AFUE) was evaluated by Jersey Airways, but further orders for the type were frustrated by world events.

At the outbreak of war on 3 September 1939, flights to the Channel Islands ceased. In a1142_jersey airways_04November 1939, services resumed from Shoreham, under the direction of National Air Communications. On 13 June 1940, all scheduled air services between the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands were suspended. The following day, Jersey Airways began flying its staff and equipment to the United Kingdom mainland, and on 18–19 June 1940, the DH.86 fleet was used to evacuate 320 islanders to the mainland, before German forces occupied the islands on 1 July 1940. One DH.86 (G-ADVK) was on overhaul at Jersey at the time, and was abandoned; the rest of the fleet was impressed into RAF service.

Following the liberation of the islands in 1945, Channel Islands Airways resumed scheduled services in June 1945, using ex-RAF DH.89A Dragon Rapides. Jersey Airways and Guernsey Airways flights then terminated at Southampton and at Croydon. In May 1946, a Bristol 170 Wayfarer (G-AGVB) was loaned to Channel Islands Airways.

a1142_jersey airways_06
De Havilland DH.86 Express, G-ACZN, Channel Islands Airways – Jersey Airways

In 1947, the British government nationalised the UK airlines, including Jersey Airways, to form British European Airways (BEA). The Channel Islands authorities resisted this move, feeling that it was unacceptable to be dictated to by the British Government, who had no legal jurisdiction over the islands. However it was made plain that flights from the Channel Islands would not otherwise be allowed to land in England, and consequently on 1 April 1947, the airline staff, the eight Dragon Rapides and their routes all became parts of BEA.

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a1131_mariner 2_02‘Music of spheres’ hails Venus fly-by

The unmanned US spacecraft, Mariner 2, has taken the first-ever scan from space of the planet Venus. The mission took the spacecraft closer to Venus than any had ever been. Radio contact was established at about 19:00 GMT, heard in the form of strange chord-like sounds at the Goldstone tracking station in California.

As the sounds were picked up at Goldstone for the first time, Dr William Pickering of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory said, "Listen to the music of the spheres."

Long-distance signal

The scan lasted a little over 40 minutes, seeking heat and microwave emissions breaking through the cloud cover around the planet. The continuing signal transmitted a wealth of information across 36 million miles (58 million km) of space. The readings will now be analysed to see if they indicate some form of life on Venus.

James Webb, Nasa administrator, called the 110-day flight an unqualified success. He said Mariner’s observation systems were working perfectly.

"More may be added to Man’s knowledge of the planet Venus than has been gained in all the thousands of years of recorded history," James Webb, Nasa administrator

Never before has a radio signal successfully been transmitted over such a distance.

a1131_mariner 2_03


The success of the mission is all the more remarkable as it had to overcome continual setbacks. The most recent was this morning when the electronic commander on board failed twice to trigger the radiometers on board the spacecraft.

Finally at 13:41 GMT Mariner 2 verified the radio signal had been received and acted on. Other problems included the loss of the craft’s direction control nearly two weeks into the mission, possibly due to a collision with a small object.

a1131_mariner 2_01

Then at the end of October, one solar panel failed, turning off scientific instruments for a week. The panel failed again at the beginning of last month, but by then Mariner 2 was close enough to the Sun for one panel to supply enough power.

There was further tension during the past week when the space capsule began overheating in temperatures which turned out to be far higher than allowed for by scientists. In the event, however, instruments continued to function despite the heat.

In Context

After the results of the Mariner 2 scan were analysed, the first picture emerged of the atmosphere on Venus. They revealed that the planet rotates in the opposite direction to the Earth – only one other planet in the Solar System, Uranus, does this – and has high surface temperatures.

They also showed an atmosphere dominated by carbon dioxide, continuous cloud cover and no detectable magnetic field.

Despite many attempts, no more data was received from Venus until the Soviet Venera 4 in 1967. More Venera probes and landers in the years that followed, as well as two Nasa probes known as Pioneer Venus, increased knowledge of the hostile conditions on the planet.

Then in 1989, Nasa launched the Magellan mission, the most ambitious and successful exploration of Venus to date.

Between 1990 and 1994 the spacecraft orbited Venus and successfully mapped the majority of its surface, before plunging into the atmosphere and disintegrating under the massive pressures.

A further mission to the planet was undertaken by the European Space Agency. Known as the Venus Express, it launched in November 2005 and began sending back its first pictures in April 2006.

Text from BBC’s OnThisDay

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Original caption from a BOAC ad from 1946:
Passengers on long-distance Empire flights will soon be enjoying four course meals, served 10 000 feet above the Mediterranean or Persian Gulf. In a specially equipped London kitchen, BOAC’s experts are completing experiments with novel “deep freezing” methods. They are aiming at perfection in pre-cooking, packaging and freezing at exceptionally low temperatures, BOAC will establish a chain of depots where air meals will be prepared and terminals in the Dominions will be equipped for catering on return journeys. Picture shows a captain of a flying-boat dining with passengers when nearing Lisbon, en route to America. They are enjoying a three course hot dinner cooked and frozen some days before it was put in a special heater and served piping hot.

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On-board mocca set of airship Graf Zeppelin, 1928.
Heinrich & Co., Selb, Photo: © Porzellanikon.


The shown lounge is on the much-advanced Hindenburg. The Graf only had a combination dining room/lounge in the centre of her passenger gondola (decorated in 20s version of traditional style), as opposed to the generous spaces afforded by the in-hull built accommodations of the Hindenburg.


Graf Zeppelin over Capitol, 1928, the German airship on its visit to Washington. Unknown photographer. Source.

Images and text found on Design is fine. History is mine

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Beryl Markham (26 October 1902 – 3 August 1986) was a British-born Kenyan author, aviator, adventurer, and racehorse trainer. During the pioneer days of aviation, she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west. She is now primarily remembered as the author of the memoir West with the Night.

Record flight

Beryl Markham is often wrongly described as "the first person" to fly the Atlantic east to west in a solo non-stop flight, but that record belongs to Scottish pilot Jim Mollison, who attempted to fly from Dublin, Ireland, to New York City in 1932. Low visibility forced Mollison down in New Brunswick, Canada, but he was still able to claim the Atlantic east-to-west record (a westbound flight requires more endurance, fuel, and time than the eastward journey, because the craft must travel against the prevailing Atlantic winds). Markham was however, the first woman to complete this feat.

When Markham decided to take on the Atlantic crossing, no pilot had yet flown non-stop from Europe to New York, and no woman had made the westward flight solo, though several had died trying. Markham hoped to claim both records. On 4 September 1936, she took off from Abingdon, England. After a 20-hour flight, her Vega Gull, The Messenger, suffered fuel starvation due to icing of the fuel tank vents, and she crash-614_beryl2landed at Baleine Cove on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada (her flight was, in all likelihood, almost identical in length to Mollison’s). In spite of falling short of her goal, Markham had become the first woman to cross the Atlantic east-to-west solo, and the first person to make it from England to North America non-stop from east to west. She was celebrated as an aviation pioneer.

Markham chronicled her many adventures in her memoir, West with the Night, published in 1942. Despite strong reviews in the press, the book sold modestly, and then quickly went out of print. After living for many years in the United States, Markham moved back to Kenya in 1952, becoming for a time the most successful horse trainer in the country.

Text from Wikipedia

In Context:
Hemingway wrote about Beryl Markham : "She has written so well, and marvellously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But this girl, who is to my knowledge very unpleasant and we might even say a high-grade bitch, can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers … it really is a bloody wonderful book." 

Text from FuckYeahHistoryCrushes

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Paris, 20 November 1903: the ghostly form of an airship floats past an equally ghostly Eiffel Tower, before a very solid crowd of completely entranced spectators. It is Le Jaune, ‘The Yellow’, the first of the successful Lebaudy series of French semi-rigid airships.

Text and image from Turn of the Century

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From “Victorian Inventions” by Leonard De Vries published by American Heritage Press in 1972part1_040_ill

On 2nd July 1869 a demonstration was given in a hall in Shell Mound Lake, California, with a small model airship which its inventor Mr Frederick Mariott names the ‘Avitor.’ Shaped like a cigar, it is 37 feet long and the diameter in the middle is 11 feet. The ‘Avitor’ has two wings under each of which there is a propeller driven by a steam-engine. The airship appeared to operate perfectly in the hall but in the open air, even in a gentle breeze, it was entirely unsatisfactory and we therefore do not expect that Mr Mariott’s invention will be a practical success.

This is one of the few places in the whole book where the publication that first published the article show even the slightest doubt about the project at hand and it was refreshing to see – Ted

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The Qantas story is inextricably linked with the development of civil aviation in Australia. It begins with fragile biplanes carrying one or two passengers in open cockpits and progresses to the new Airbus A380s flying some 450 people half way around the world in a day.

But, it is a story of human endeavor, not just machines. A few determined individuals overcame formidable obstacles to establish the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd (QANTAS). Supported by committed staff and loyal customers, the airline persevered through war and peace to serve the nation and build an enterprise. The Qantas story is about the people who have created its exciting and productive history – its staff, its customers and the excellence of its business partners and key suppliers…

You don’t see them much nowadays – hardly any at all in fact. Lasting little more than 12 years, the golden age of the flying boat in Australian aviation history was as brief as it was dramatic. Luxurious Empire Class flying boats that were designed to open international air routes and strengthen ties within the British Empire became targets of Japanese attacks on Australian soil during the World War II. Flying boats set records, suffered tragedy and played a crucial role in keeping Australia connected with the outside world. Following the war, however, the development of longer-range land-based aircrafts signalled a slow demise in the role of the flying boat in commercial aviation.


Text from Quantas and ClubMarine

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The post-WWII relaxed haze of happiness gave birth to the most ridiculous inventions. Like this one, we can see what it it does, but can anyone see the use. A vehicle that is half automobile and half airplane and ends up being useless as both. It can’t fly and it is a death trap of a car.

I can just see professor T Edward Moodie sitting there, punch drunk, at his trusty drawing board sketching away and, eureka, let’s build something like that. Any sane person would have dropped the idea in the sobering light of morning. But not professor Moodie. Oh no – Ted

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Fixing holes in a Zeppelin, high above the South Atlantic on the way to Rio.
Some adventures are more adventuresome than others.

Image and text from I’ve had dreams like that

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408_Nancy-Bird Walton_01Nancy-Bird Walton, AO, OBE, DStJ (16 October 1915 – 13 January 2009) was a pioneering Australian aviator, and was the founder and patron of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association. In the 1930s, defying the traditional role of females of her time, she became a fully qualified pilot at the age of 19, and became the youngest Australian woman to gain a pilot’s licence.

Born in Kew, New South Wales, Australia on 16 October 1915 as Nancy Bird, she wanted to fly almost as soon as she could walk. As a teenager during the Depression in Australia, Nancy Bird found herself in the same position as many other children of the time, leaving school at 13 to assist her family. In 1933, at the age of 18, her passion drove her to take flying lessons. Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, who was the first man to fly across the mid-Pacific, had just opened a pilots’ school near Sydney, and she was among his first pupils. Most women learned to fly for recreation, but Nancy planned to fly for a living.

408_Nancy-Bird Walton_04

When she was awarded a commercial pilot’s license at the age of 19, through a legacy of 200 pounds from a great aunt plus money loaned from her father (which she paid back), Nancy bought her first aircraft, a de Havilland Gipsy Moth. Soon after Nancy Bird and her friend Peggy McKillop took off on a barnstorming tour, dropping in on country fairs and giving joyrides to people who had never seen an aircraft before, let alone a female pilot. Whilst touring, Bird met 408_Nancy-Bird Walton_02Reverend Stanley Drummond. He wanted her to help set up a flying medical service in outback New South Wales. In 1935, she was hired to operate the service, named the Far West Children’s Health Scheme. Bird’s own Gipsy Moth was used as an air ambulance. She bought a better-equipped aircraft, and began covering territory not yet reached by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. She told others that it was rewarding but lonely work.

In 1936, Nancy Bird entered an air race from Adelaide to Brisbane, and won the Ladies’ Trophy. In 1938 she decided to have a long break from flying. A Dutch airline company (KLM) invited her to do some promotional work in Europe, where she stayed for a couple of years. She returned to Australia soon after World War II broke out. She began training women in skills needed to back up the men flying in the Royal Australian Air 408_Nancy-Bird Walton_03Force. She was 24 when she married an Englishman, Charles Walton, and had two children. He preferred to call her "Nancy-Bird" rather than "Nancy", and she became generally known as "Nancy-Bird-Walton". In 1950, she founded the Australian Women Pilots’ Association (AWPA), where she remained president for five years. Nancy Bird-Walton became Patron of the AWPA in 1983 following the death of Lady Casey, the original Patron. In 1958, she decided to return to flying after a twenty year absence.

Throughout her life Walton was notable for her support of charities and people in need. This generous spirit saw her invested as an Officer of Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1966. She was later appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia. She was the starting block for generations of female pilots. She was never involved in an accident, despite the risks of early aviation.

The National Trust of Australia declared her an Australian Living Treasure in 1997.

The first Airbus A380 (VH-OQA) delivered to Australian airline Qantas was named in her honour. Her name on the A380 was originally written "Nancy Bird-Walton", but Qantas respected her preference for the hyphenation that her late husband used ("Nancy-Bird"), and the hyphen was added before the aircraft’s naming ceremony.

One of her last main interviews was for the feature length documentary film Flying Sheilas which provided a unique insight into her life along with seven other Australian female pilots.

Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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Felixstowe is an Edwardian seaside town on the North Sea coast of Suffolk, England. The town gives its name to the nearby Port of Felixstowe, which is the largest container port in the United Kingdom. Nestled between the River Orwell and River Deben, visitors to Felixstowe often come to see the Historic Vehicle Run, traditional Carnival, Book Festival, Art on the Prom and Christmas Craft Market.

401_Felixstowe_03A village has stood on the site since long before the Norman conquest. A Saxon shore fort was built by the Romans in the third century Template:Felixstowe: Robert Malster 1992 The early history of Felixstowe, including its Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Norman and medieval defences, is told under the name of Walton, because the name Felixstowe was given retrospectively, during the 13th century, to a place which had already been important for well over a thousand years.

It continued as a linchpin in England’s defence, as proved when in 1667 Dutch soldiers landed near the Fludyers area and failed to capture Landguard Fort. The town only became a major port in 1886. In addition to shipping, tourism increased, and a pier was constructed in 1905 which is still running to this day. Indeed, during the late Victorian period (after circa 1880) it became a fashionable resort, a trend initiated by the opening of Felixstowe railway station, the pier, (see above) and a visit by the German imperial family. It remained so until the late 1930s. In 1953, at least 48 people died in the town in the North Sea flood.

401_Felixstowe_02During the Second World War the majority of the pier, at the time one of the longest in the country and complete with its own train, was purposely demolished by Royal Engineers to prevent it being used as an easy landing point for enemy troops. Unfortunately after the war the damage was never repaired and the pier never regained its original length. Felixstowe was also one of the few places bombed by the Italians during the Blitz. Benito Mussolini’s airforce proved to be no match for the Royal Air Force, who shot down a fair number of Italian biplanes over the English Channel and around Felixstowe itself. Felixstowe was bombed by a Zeppelin during the First World War.

Railway stations
401_Felixstowe_05The sole remaining railway station, known as Felixstowe Town, opened in 1898 in the well-preserved building which now houses a supermarket, shops and Felixstowe Radio, the local community radio station.

In its prime the railway station saw more than 20 services a day and is now served by an hourly service to Ipswich. The station now has only one platform, which has been created from the far end of one of the original platforms. Felixstowe Beach railway station was demolished in 2004 despite a storm of protest from many local people keen on saving the 137 year-old historical building which the council had branded as ‘unsafe’. The station was originally opened in 1877 and was used continuously until 1959, after which it was the site of a small printers for many years until its demolition.

From 1877 until 1951 there was also Felixstowe Pier railway station sited inside the area of the modern day docks at a small pier popular with pleasure boats, and paddle steamer link to London. A dock next to the pier was approved in 1879.

Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In context
The Felixstowe F.2 was a 1917 British flying boat class designed and developed by Lieutenant Commander John Cyril Porte of the Royal Navy at the Seaplane Experimental Station, Felixstowe during the First World War adapting a larger version of his superior Felixstowe F.1 hull design married with the larger Curtiss H12 flying boat. The Felixstowe hull had superior water contacting attributes and became a key base technology in most seaplane designs thereafter.


.The Felixstowe F.2A was widely used as a patrol aircraft over the North Sea until the end of the war. Its excellent performance and maneuverability made it an effective and popular type, often fighting enemy patrol and fighter aircraft, as well as hunting U-boats and Zeppelins. The larger F.3, which was less popular with its crews than the more maneuverable F.2a, served in the Mediterranean as well as the North Sea.

Text from WWIaviation.com

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From “Victorian Inventions” by Leonard De Vries published by American Heritage Press in 1972


Professor Baranowski has designed a steam driven flying-machine a model of which has flown with great success in St Petersburg, according to a report in the French Revue Militaire. The machine consists of a large cylinder, shaped like a gigantic bird. Inside this cylinder is an extremely powerful steam engine which moves the wings up and down, while simultaneously driving the air screw – one at the tail and two on the sides below the wings. The oar which can be seen to the left of the tail serves as a rudder. This has been omitted on the right-hand side for the sake of clarity. What may be described as the beak of the bird is arranged in such a way that air can penetrate to the interior to permit the crew to breathe and enable the fuel to burn. As the huge craft moves through the air, the escaping smoke and steam will cause it to look like a comet with a luminous tail. A weight suspended below the flying-machine keeps the whole construction correctly in balance.

With a multitude of insane ideas like this being taken seriously by scientific journals one wonders where Otto Lilienthal and the Wright brothers got sane their ideas from – Ted

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The world changed at 10:35 AM, on December 17, 1903 on the north side of Kill Devil Hill, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. It was at that moment that the Wright Brother’s “Wright Flyer”, with Orville Wright at the controls, lifted off in sustained, controlled flight. This first heavier-than-air flight travelled a mere one hundred twenty feet, and lasted only twelve seconds. Until that moment, men had only dreamed of flying.

The dream of flight goes back to the dawn of recorded history. Greek legends describe a winged horse, Pegasus, which carried Bellerophon into battle against a monster. Another Greek myth describes Dedalus and Icarus making wings of wax and feathers, and flying from Crete to Naples. The scheme worked, but Icarus flew too close to the sun, and his wax melted, and he fell into the ocean, and to his death.

Beyond Greek mythology, Man’s attempts at flight go back thousands of years. Around 400 BC Chinese successfully built the first kites. While these early kites were unmanned, they did result in critical learning about aerodynamics of flight.

For several hundred years men tried in vain to fly like birds. People made wings out of wood and canvass, strapped them on, and tried to fly. The results were often disastrous as human muscles do not have the strength needed to fly, given the weight of the human body.

Perhaps Man’s first successful “flight” was on November 21, 1783. The French brothers Joseph Michel and Jacques Montgolfier developed a hot air balloon made out of silk. They successfully launched the balloon with two people onboard, and the balloon gained an altitude of over 5,000 feet and traveled over a mile.

From 1800 to the 1850’s efforts focused on gliders. Many of these early gliders were successful, but the gliders had to be launched from a high spot, and they would simply glide to the ground.


Efforts in the 1890’s began to focus on powered flight. These earliest attempts at powered flight were hampered by the power to weight ratio of the engines of the day. The engines were heavy, and did not generate much power.

Foremost among those working on powered flight were Orville and Wilbur Wright. In 1903, they built the Wright Flyer. They carved their own propeller, and made their own custom engine . . . designed to maximize output power, and minimize weight.

On December 17, 1903, in a frigid wind gusting to 27 miles an hour, the Wrights took to the air in their powered Flyer. While the flights were short, and did not gain much altitude (about 10 feet), they showed that heavier than air flight was possible, and the world has never looked back.

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357_pilot_01Helen Richey (1909–1947) was a pioneering female aviator and the first woman to be hired as a pilot by a commercial airline in the United States.

Richey was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. She graduated from McKeesport High School in 1927. Her father, Joseph B. Richey, was superintendent of schools in McKeesport from 1902 to 1935. During her teens, Richey was one of the few girls in McKeesport who wore pants. She learned how to fly a plane at age 20. Her father bought her a plane when she obtained her pilot’s license.

In 1933 Richey partnered with another female pilot, Frances Marsalis, to set an endurance record by staying airborne for nearly 10 days, with mid-air refuelling. In 1934 Richey won the premier air race at the first National Air Meet for women in Dayton, Pennsylvania. Also in 1934, Central Airlines, a Greensburg, Pennsylvania–based carrier that eventually became part of United Airlines, hired Richey as a pilot; she made her first regular civil flight with them on December 31, taking a Ford Trimotor on the Washington to Detroit route. She eventually was forced to step down from the cockpit by the all-male pilots union.


After leaving Central Airlines, Richey continued to perform at air shows. In 1936 she teamed with Amelia Earhart in a transcontinental air race, the Bendix Trophy Race. Richey and Earhart came in fifth, beating some all-male teams. Later, Richey flew with the British Air Transportation Authority during World War II.


In addition to being the first female commercial airline pilot, Richey also was the first woman sworn in to pilot air mail and one of the first female flight instructors.

Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Man, you just got to love the sixties – Ted

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