Aprelya Odin

Aprelya Odin

The subject of UFOs became a very popular theme in the press, on the television and in film, something that Intelligence services quietly encouraged. There were many, very secret projects that the US Government was investing enormous resources in, and any alternative explanation was preferable than the truth. One such project was the Silver Bug, a US Black version of the Canadian Avrocar. However, the Silver Bug’s true capabilities were about to be discovered!  But beware… not everything may be as it seems!

Sightings given credibility by the Swedish Air Intelligence Service


Everyone was caught up in the new UFO phenomena


Henri Coanda, discoverer of the Coanda effect


Jack Frost of Avro, the designer of the Avrocar


USAF regulations relating to UFOBs


The Canadian Avrocar during tests



Groom lake in Area 51


Technical Report on the Silver Bug


The Silver Bug’s special Jet Stream aerodynamics

The Silver Surfer


The Silver Surfer accelerates


The Silver Surfer crosses the coast


The Silver Surfer completes its secret flight around the planet


The Soviet Aпреля Один (Aprelya Odin)


Images under Creative Commons Licence with thanks to the USAF, Bzuk, National Archives UK, Instituto Geográfico, Invencion propia, Doc Searles, William Bill Zuk, Phylyp and the USGov.

Terminal Velocity

Terminal Velocity

It takes about 12 seconds for the human body to reach terminal velocity.  At that speed they will see the earth’s surface approach them at 177 feet or 54 meters every second.  These are the stories of a few survivors who have fallen from an aircraft, without opening a parachute… and survived!


The remarkable Juliane Koepcke


Nicholas Alkemade


RAF Lancasters


The Ju88 nightfighter



The Il-4


B17 Flying Fortress bombers on a mission over Europe


The B17 ball turret


Vesna Vulović and a JAT DC9


Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to the RAF, SDASM, IWM and clipperarctic.  Other images are in the Public Domain or considered Fair Use.

The Kupang Kid

The Kupang Kid

The landing gear, or undercarriage, of a big airliner is a massive and powerful system. In modern times stowaways, have frequently attempted to hide within the undercarriage wheel-wells of airliners. The chances of surviving such an ordeal are remote in the extreme as the hazards are many. If someone attempting such a dangerous journey isn’t crushed by the movement of the gear as it stows or fall to their death when the undercarriage doors open to raise or lower the gear, then the environment will present an almost insurmountable hazard. Some, however, still survive!

The landing gear of a B747


The forces that the undercarriage assembly is subjected to are considerable


The landing gear assembly and doors of a B747


FAA guidance on times of useful consciousness


Stranded near Newfoundland in the ice


A Douglas DC8


The DC10


Japanese troops in Timor


A 1950’s airport similar to Kupang


A Netherlands Air Force C47


Darwin Hospital


Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to Adrian Pingstone, Faisal Akram, Alf van Beem, Australian War Memorial, Fotoafdrukken Koninklijke Luchtmacht and kenhodge13.

The Hover Cushion Glide Air Vehicle Thing

The Hover Cushion Glide Air Vehicle Thing

The Hovercraft is something of a rare beast. This story examines the many engineers and scientists who contributed to the development of a vehicle that is lifted on a cushion of air and is capable of travelling over land, water, mud, ice, tarmac, sand and many other flattish surfaces.


The Swedish scientist Emanuel Swedenborg is known to have sketched the first hovercraft design in 1714.

Dagobert Müller von Thomamühl’s Luftkissengleitboot, a surface effect boat.


How a hovercraft functions.


Ford’s efforts at hovering cars.


The L1 hovering tank.


Charles Fletcher’s Glidemobile.


Cockerell’s hovercraft patent.


Sir Christopher Sydney Cockerell.







The US Navy LCAC.


The Soviet Zubr class ACV, the biggest in the world weighing in at 555 tons.



Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to those in the Public Domain, Technical Museum Vienna, Messer Woland, the Ford Motor Company, Ad Meskens, GB Patent Office, The National Archives UK, USN, Andrew Berridge and Mil.Ru (LightZone).


The Horsehead Gang

The Horsehead Gang

Out of the gloom of thick cloud, through their windscreens, the pilots suddenly saw the tops of pine trees but it was too late to pull up. They ploughed through them as the branches smashed into the left wing shattering the navigation light. One of the passengers onboard was the President of the airline, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker… this is his story.

An Eastern Airlines DC3


Atlanta had poor weather and it was close to midnight when the aircraft crashed


Eddie Rickenbacker


The findings of the inquiry


Racing in San Francisco


Rickenbacker becomes CO of the 94th, the Hat in the Ring gang


After receiving many decorations, Rickenbacker returns to the US a hero


The Rickenbacker motor company


Rickenbacker survives a second crash, this time in a Boeing B-17


Capt. E.V. “Eddie” Rickenbacker wearing the Congressional Medal of Honor


Images published under Creative Commons Licence with thanks to Jack Delano, the Library of Congress, CAB, SF Public Library, NARA, Rickenbacker Motors, the USAFand the USAAF.

Flying the Red Flag, Part III

Flying the Red Flag, Part III

This is the final part of the Red Flag tales which carries on directly from Part II where we heard some exploits from participants of Exercise Red Flag. If you haven’t listened to the previous taleson this subject, it would be worth going back them.  My thanks to Jaguar Pilot Nij, Tornado pilot Gasher, Tomcat RIO Scott and RAAF F111 Nav Abs.






The E-3 Sentry AWACS.


Break Right Chuck, there’s one in your 6 o’clock!


A Smokey SAM.


Live weapons being dropped during Red Flag.


A Tornado drops flares.


An RAAF F111 puts its wings back and goes!


The Jaguar pilot’s favourite dance.


Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to the USAF, Photo-Concepte.de, the RAF, the USN,