The Butcher Bird

The Butcher Bird

The German name for the Shrike songbird is Würger, which also means Strangler and by coincidence, was also the name given to the Focke-Wulf 190, a World War II fighter which quickly became one of the most feared Axis fighters of the 2nd World War.  Various dubious plans were made to get hold of one to reveal its secrets but then along came Oberleutnant Armin Faber.


Armin Faber’s gift in RAF markings.


The Shoreham Aircraft Museum.


Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to the Imperial War Museum, FO Watkins and the Shoreham Aircraft Museum.

The Battle of A Sầu

The Battle of A Sầu

Dick Andrews was flying over the battle of A Sầu in Vietnam and feeling deja view as he saw what was going on beneath him.  It took his mind back to the day in WWII when he landed his P38 Lightning in a field to rescue his leader who had crash landed there.  Now he was watching the same thing happening below except a Skyraider was landing amongst enemy Viet Cong and not German troops.  A remarkable coincidence and a remarkable pair of stories.  


Bernie Fisher wearing his Medal of Honour in 2008.


Fisher and Myers after the rescue.


Fisher’s damaged A-1E.


Dick Andrews and Dick Willsie squeezed into the same P38 cockpit.



Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to the USAF and March Field Air Museum.

The Triangle

The Triangle

I was about to enter the Devil’s Triangle, the Limbo of the Lost, the Twilight Zone or the Hoodoo Sea… more commonly referred to as the Bermuda Triangle.  What dangers awaited, would I disappear like the famous loss of the 5 Avengers of Flight 19!  Listen to this terrifying story of myth and mystery!


A fine example of a Pseudoscience.


The Bermuda Triangle.


Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to Lt Cdr Horace Bristol, US Navy, Alphaios and People’s Cyclopedia of Universal Knowledge (1883)

The A320

The A320

Boeing was the most successful aircraft manufacturing company on the planet but a European consortium thought they could take on the world’s best selling airliner, the B737, with a design of their own.  So was borne the A320 family of airliners with the most daring and radical of technological advances that the airline industry had seen since the advent of the jet engine.  But the birth of the A320 was marred by a controversial crash that might sink the project before it had got going!

A tale produced to celebrate the A320 Podcast’s 100th show.


The larger A321…


… and very much smaller A318.


Appendix 3 of the BEA final report into the crash of Air France flight 296.


The A320 and B737 in competition.



Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to Ken Fielding, Bill Larkins, Austrian Airlines, Aero Icarus and the BEA.

The Pluck of the Irish

The Pluck of the Irish

What better day to celebrate the aviators of Ireland than on St Patrick’s Day.  From the crash of Alcock and Brown to a tractor maker and a flying olympic competitor, the Emerald Isles have a fascinating aviation history.

Henry Ferguson, perhaps better known as an agricultural machinery maker than a pilot.


Lilian Bland piloting her Mayfly.


Lady Heath featured top centre amongst the best known aviators of the ’30s.


Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to Joseph D. Eddy and The Queenslander.


Passing More Gas

Passing More Gas

The sequel to Passing Gas recalls what it’s actually like to plug into a tanker and take on a fighter pilot’s life blood… fuel!  Of course not every tanker mission goes as planned and some have ended in tragedy and one, by the smallest of margins, was saved from further disaster on an epic scale.

Two MH-53E Super Stallion helicopters perform aerial refueling from a KC-130J Hercules tanker aircraft.


A K3 VC10 tanker of the Royal Air Force.


KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-16 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.


The casings of two B28 nuclear bombs involved in the Palomares incident on display at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to the US Navy, MCS James Turner, USAF, John E. Lasky, Marshall Astor and Chris Lofting.