Aviation Features

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Recent UK planespotting highlights!

We present a selection of images of visiting aircraft from airports around the UK. For the most part they’re commercial jets, but almost all of them are unusual types, wearing new or unique liveries, or first visits by an airline or airliner to a particular airport.

Sir Miles Thomas (right) chats with Captain Alderson, under whose able eye all B.O.A.C.'s flight operational development work for the Comet has been done. Capt. Alderson is flanked by Capts. E. E. Rodley (left) and A. R. Majendie (right). Deputy Chairman Whitney Straight is on the left. Feature Premium

BOAC Chairman’s Comet insights

The Chairman of BOAC gave his view from the top on the first jetliner as the Comet entered commercial service in this article he penned for ‘The Aeroplane’s’ May 2, 1952 issue

Groundcrew tend to the sole completed Heston T1/37, L7706, at Heston aerodrome. It was a surprisingly bulky machine for an ab initio trainer, with a 42ft wingspan. ALL PHOTOS AEROPLANE Feature Premium

The wartime trainer nobody wanted

Not only did Heston’s T1/37 trainer look faintly outsized for its role, but the requirement to which it was built seems to have been taken less than seriously by the Air Ministry

Comet 4, XX944, of the Royal Aircraft Establishment over Hampshire. It first flew as G-APDP on May 25, 1959 and was delivered to BOAC.  Following a very brief spell with Dan-Air she was sold to the MOD in May 1973 and spent two years on Nimrod development before eventually being scrapped in 1984.  Jeremy Flack/API Feature Premium

The diverse roles undertaken by UK military Comets

Well known as a pioneering civilian jet airliner, the de Havilland Comet also enjoyed an often overlooked military service. In the September 2016 issue of Aviation News, Kevin Wright reviewed the type’s RAF history and talked to some of those who operated the aircraft

Stew Dawson at the controls of his R-3350-engined Sea Fury Spirit of Texas. DAVID LEININGER Feature Premium

Aeroplane Meets...Stewart Dawson

One of the USA’s most experienced warbird pilots has been the ‘go-to guy’ for all kinds of historic aeroplanes, and a Reno racer to boot

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AirForces Monthly June 2022

The full issue in page-turning PDF format

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Spatial awareness: The UK's defence space strategy

After many months of speculation as to where the UK’s Defence Space Strategy might head, the government earlier this year revealed which future capabilities are to be developed

Plans are afoot to remove the Swiss Pinocchio nose as soon as possible and to repaint LN-17 in RNorAF colours. Erik Nilsen Feature Premium

Vampire in the North – Norway’s first flying jet warbird

A Boeing 737 pilot broke new ground by getting approval from the Norwegian CAA to fly a de Havilland Vampire. The challenging project was detailed by Malcolm Barker in the September 1993 issue of FlyPast

At Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia, Northward- and Southward-bound Comets were photographed together. Feature Premium

Rare Photos of BOAC Comets in Africa

Prior to the Comet entering service BOAC undertook route familiarization flights in Africa. Depicted are some stunning colour photos from the May 2, 1952 issue of ‘The Aeroplane’

A good view of the initial ice patrol modifications made by Nordair to its L-188C Electras: an under-fuselage radome taken from a CP-107 Argus, an astrodome that used to be a Sabre canopy, and bulging observation windows. Observers would take hour-long turns in the upper ‘bubble’. DAVE OSBORNE Feature Premium

Nordair L-188 Electras – Hunting icebergs

A good view of the initial ice patrol modifications made by Nordair to its L-188C Electras: an under-fuselage radome taken from a CP-107 Argus, an astrodome that used to be a Sabre canopy, and bulging observation windows. Observers would take hour-long turns in the upper ‘bubble’.