Aircraft Birthdays for 2020

2020 looks like a year where a good number of historically important aircraft have milestone anniversaries of their first flights. I’ve put together this list based on half decade increments using 1920 as the starting point and 1970 as the cut off.

It’s by no means meant to be exhaustive. Let’s have a look:

A DeHavilland DH.60 Cirrus Moth

95 Years Old

Flying for the first time on February 22 of 1925, the DeHavilland DH.60 Moth was a true pioneer of General and sport aviation. It quickly became a staple aircraft of flying clubs in its native Great Britain and many places beyond. It also served as the progenitor of the DH.82 Tiger Moth training aircraft which many Commonwealth flyers of the Second World War got their first taste of flying in.

A CASA 352, the Spanish post WWII built variation of the Junkers Ju 52

90 Years Old

Distinctive with its corrugated skin and three engine arrangement, the Junkers Ju 52 flew for the first time on October 13 of 1930. Used widely by both civil and military operators; the Ju 52 was the aircraft that German airline, Lufthansa, built their early reputation on. Like many aircraft Germany’s Luftwaffe used early on in World War II, the Ju-52 was a veteran of the Spanish Civil War. After WWII, variations of the aircraft were built in France and Spain.

 

Two old foes, the Messerschmitt Bf-109 and Hawker Hurricane both turn 85 in 2020.

85 Years Old

Heinkel He 111: First flown on February 25 of 1935, the Heinkel He 111 was Germany’s primary bomber aircraft through much of the Second World War. It was first used in combat during the Spanish Civl War. The CASA 2.111 was a post war Spanish built variation of it.

Avro Anson: First flown on March 25 of 1935, the Anson played a major role in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) in WWII. The type was used extensively for multi engine and navigation training.

Conslidated PBY Catalina: This most legendary and recognizable of flying boats first flew on March 28 of 1935. It flew in all theatres of WWII and continued with both civilian and military operators for several years after the war.

North American T-6 Texan/Harvard: As legendary and storied as many of the front line combat types it was used to train Allied pilots for, the Texan (Harvard in Commonwealth service) first flew on April 1 of 1935.

Bristol Blenheim: Though obsolete and outclassed by the outbreak of WWII, the Blenheim was critical in giving the Royal Air Force a light/medium bomber capability in the early stages of the conflict. It first flew on April 12 of 1935.

Messerschmitt Bf-109: The prototype of the aircraft that would become the backbone fighter of the Luftwaffe throughout WWII first flew on May 29 of 1935. Early versions of the Bf-109 saw action in the Spanish Civil War and post war variations were built in Czechoslovakia and Spain.

Hawker Hurricane: The primary fighter of the RAF at the outbreak of World War II and through the Battle of Britain, the Hurricane held the line admirably against the Luftwaffe until the Spitfire was available in sufficient numbers. Even after it was removed from day fighter duties, the Hurricane continued to serve the RAF in a variety of roles through the duration of the war. The Huricane first flew on November 6 of 1935.

Douglas DC-3: This most storied, legendary and influential of airliners needs no introduction. The DC-3 was a revolution in both airliner construction and the airline business. A much beloved aircraft design and subject of much nostalgia; the DC-3 served numerous operators, both civil and military, around the world for decades. It proved itself durable and very adaptable beyond its intended airliner role. It first flew on December 17 of 1935.

 

North American P-51 Mustang: 80 years old in 2020.

80 Years Old

Hawker Typhoon: Distinctive with its large “chin” radiator on the underside of its nose and the four 20 millimetre cannons in its wings, the RAF’s hard hitting dedicated ground attack fighter first flew on February 24 of 1940.

Saab B-17: Though unremarkable in design or performance, the B-17 light bomber was the first aircraft Saab designed and produced themselves. It stood as testament not only to Saab’s competence as a designer and producer of aircraft, but also of Sweden’s willingness to strive for self-sufficiency in matters of national defense. It first flew on May 18 of 1940.

North American P-51 Mustang: The Mustang is about as legendary as it gets as far as American made fighter aircraft of WWII are concerned. Through its size and higher fuel capacity, the Mustang was a game changer that allowed the Allied forces to take their fighters deeper in German held territory and stay longer. The Mustang had a distinguished career in the hands of many air arms after the war and remains very popular on the vintage aircraft circuit. It first flew on October 26 of 1940.

DeHavilland Mosquito: Designed to meet a medium bomber requirement, the Mosquito first flew on November 25 of 1940. Famous for it’s extensive plywood construction, the Mosquito was designed to be built with as little metal as possible so as not to spread resources thin or take metal workers away from projects they were already commited to. The wood construction made the Mosquito light and nimble enough that it didn’t need defensive gun armament, it could outrun most fighters at the time it was introduced to service.

 

The Hawker Sea Fury, one of the fastest single engine piston driven fighters ever put in service, turns 75 in 2020.

75 Years Old

Hawker Sea Fury: A descendant of the Hawker Typhoon, the Sea Fury came along too late to affect the outcome of WWII, but it played a significant role in the Korean War and served the air arms of a total of ten nations. It has the distincion of being one of the fastest single engine piston driven fighters ever put into service. It also has the very rare distinction of being one of the few piston driven aircraft to achieve an air to air victory against a jet fighter. The Sea Fury first flew on February 21 of 1945.

Douglas Skyraider: A similar story to the Sea Fury, the Skyraider came along too late for WWII. However it played significant roles in the Korean War as well as the Vietnam War. It served in the air arms of ten nations and saw significant use in Africa as well as Asia. It first flew on March 18, 1945.

Lockheed P-2 Neptune: A shore based maritime patrol and anti-submarine aircraft, the Neptune served the air arms of 11 nations and had a significant post military career as a fire fighting aircraft. It first flew on May 17 of 1945.

Yakovlev Yak-11: A training aircraft developed from Yakovlev WWII fighter aircraft, the Yak-11 became an important training aircraft for Warsaw Pact air forces for many years and for many nations that were on friendly terms with the former Soviet Union. They were built under license in the former Czechoslovakia as the Let C.11 and enjoy popularity on the vintage aircraft circuit. It first flew on November 10 of 1945.

Bell 47: Instantly recognizable by the bubble shaped canopy over its cockpit and the exposed welded tube steel tail section, the Bell 47 was a workhorse helicopter of the Korean War and has been indelibly etched in the minds of many generations through the “M*A*S*H” television series. Even if a person does not know the Bell 47 by its actual name, it’s most certainly the first image that will come to their mind if you say “The M*A*S*H helicopter”. It first flew on December 8 of 1945.

Beechcraft Bonanza: Recognisable by the “V” tail that early members of the aircraft family had, the Bonanza family holds the distiction of having the longest continuous production run of any aircraft type in history. The aircraft first flew on December 22 of 1945 and over 17,000 have been built since production started in 1947. It’s a robust and very popular general aviation design that shows no signs of slowing down.

 

The Avro Canada CF-100 interceptor. First flown in 1950.

70 Years Old

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17: A development of the MiG-15 fighter, the MiG-17 had a number of refinements over its forebear and became a formidable opponent to American military aircraft during the Vietnam War. Over 10,000 were built between the former Soviet Union, China, Czechoslovakia and Poland. It first flew on January 13 of 1950 and went on to serve in the air forces of no fewer than 40 countries.

Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck: The only Canadian designed fighter to ever see mass production, the CF-100 first flew on January 19 of 1950. Serving primarily as an interceptor, the CF-100 was also tasked with the electronic warfare role later in its life. Through its commitment to NATO, Canada also flew the CF-100 from its bases in Europe. The CF-100 was also operated by the Belgian air force.

 

The Tupolev Tu-104 first flew in 1955.

65 Years Old

Dassault Super Mystere: While not a widely used aircraft, this French design was the first supersonic aircraft of western European origins to go into mass production. It first flew on March 2 of 1955.

Aérospatiale Alouette II: The world’s first turbine powered helicopter to go into production, the Alouette II first flew on March 12 of 1955 and has served civilian and military operators in over 30 countries.

Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle: First flown on May 27 of 1955, the Caravelle was the world’s first jet airliner designed specifically for short and medium length routes. A very refined and clean design for the time, the Caravelle was a great success and was operated by civilian and military users in 60 countries.

Cessna 172: A living legend in general aviation. The Cassna 172 is, at 44,000 and counting, the most produced aircraft in history. It’s a fair bet that more general aviation pilots in the post WWII era earned their private pilot’s license in a Cessna 172 than any other type. The Cessna 172 first flew on June 12 of 1955 and is still going strong.

Tupolev Tu-104: The world’s second jet airliner to be put into regular service after the DeHavilland Comet from Great Britain. After the Comet was temporarily grounded following a series of accidents, the Tu-104 was the only jet airliner operating in the world between 1956 and 1958, thereby putting the west in a spot behind the former Soviet Union in the jet airliner stakes. The Tu-104 first flew on June 17 of 1955.

Lockheed U-2: America’s high flying and secretive Cold War spyplane took to the air for the first time on August 1 of 1955. Six and half decades later, members of this aircraft family are still just as high flying and secretive as they ever were.

Republic F-105 Thunderchief: First flown on October 22 of 1955 and designed to be a single seat nuclear strike aircraft, the F-105 instead went on to become a core component of American tactical air power in the Vietnam War. The aircraft was hard hitting, but quite vulnerable to ground based anti-aircraft weapons. Approximately 830 were built and almost half of them were lost in the Vietnam conflict. The F-105 was only used by the U.S. Air Force and the last of them were retired in 1984.

Saab 35 Draken: Distinctive with its double delta wing planform, the Saab Draken first flew on October 25 of 1955. Streamlined in design and capable of going twice the speed of sound, the Draken reinforced Sweden’s drive for self sufficiency in its military needs and its ability to defend its airspace in a credible manner. The Draken was easily on par with its contemporaries.

 

The Canadair CT-114 Tutor, mount of the RCAF’s Snowbirds team, turns 60 in 2020.

60 Years Old

Canadair CT-114 Tutor: First flown on January 13 of of 1960, this Canadian designed and built trainer served the training needs of generations of Canadian military pilots and remains the mount of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Snowbirds air demonstration team. Malaysia used the Tutor for ground attack from 1967 to 1985.

Grumman A-6 Intruder: The U.S. Navy’s long serving shipborne heavy strike aircraft, the Intruder first flew on April 19 of 1960. The Intruder saw action in the Vietnam War as well as action over Bosnia, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and Somalia. The last Intruders were retired from U.S. Navy service in 1997.

Grumman E-2 Hawkeye: Conspicuous by its rotating radar disk, the Grumman E-2 Hawkeye has been serving the U.S. Navy’s need for ship based airborne early warning for six decades, a job it continues to do today. It has been exported to seven countries over the years. It first flew on October 21 of 1960.

 

The Breguet Atlantic was the world’s first purpose built maritime patrol aircraft. It first flew in 1965.

55 Years Old

Antonov An-22: A hulking beast of a transport first flown on February 27 of 1965, the An-22 is the largest turboprop powered aircraft in the world. Very few of the 68 built still fly today and the ones that do fly are quite active with both military and humanitarian missions.

Breguet Br.1150 Atlantic: The Atlantic was first flown on July 19 of 1965 and was the world’s first maritime patrol aircraft that had been designed and built as such from the ground up. Created by a multinational consortium, the Atlantic remains in service only with the French navy today.

 

The distinctive Saab 37 Viggen hits 50 in 2020.

50 Years Old

Saab 37 Viggen: A decade and a half after putting their distinctive Draken in the skies, Saab sent their equally unique Viggen skyward. First flown on July 2 of 1970, the Viggen was the world’s first production aircraft to have canard foreplanes as a standard part of the design. The Viggen was also one of the first aircraft to incorporate a flight computer of integrated circuit design, thus allowing a complex military aircraft to be crewed by a single person. The Viggen only served Sweden and was retired in 2005.

McDonnell Douglas DC-10: The world’s first wide-body trijet first flew on August 29 of 1970. The combination of a wide body and three engines worked quite well for long haul airline routes and the DC-10 along with its MD-11 follow on developments have enjoyed a good deal of popularity in airline and air cargo service over the years.

Lockheed L-1011 Tristar: First flown on November 16 of 1970, the Tristar was Lockheed’s bid to get in on the wide-body trijet market that the DC-10 was airmed at. While the Tristar did enjoy some success, it was not quite the hit that the DC-10 was. Part of that was delays in the Tristar sales due to developmental issues connected to the aircraft’s Rolls-Royce engines. The Tristar continues to fly in limited numbers today.

Grumman F-14 Tomcat: First flown on December 21 of 1970, Grumman’s F-14 Tomcat was an umistakable symbol of U.S. Navy air power wherever it went. An intimidating looking aircraft, the Tomcat was built to provide air defence to the U.S. Navy fleet and for three decades it did that job very well indeed. Though retired from American service in 2006, the Tomcat still serves in limited numbers in Iran.

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Wishes from Pickled Wings

This is most likely to be the very last post at Pickled WIngs for 2019.

I thank all veteran readers for enjoying the website for another year and all new readers who found the site during 2019 for coming aboard.

To all the readership, old and new, of Pickled Wings; I wish you and yours a wonderful and magical holiday time and a New Year of prosperity and good fortune.

Rudolf the Red Nosed Airplane is Back for 2019!

December and the Christmas season are upon us. Long term followers of Pickled Wings will know that means it’s time for a bit of a tradition at the site that I call “Rudolf the Red Nosed Airplane”.

Simply put, it’s a time I go through photos I’ve taken of aircraft over the past year  and weed out the ones that show machines with fully red noses or at least a significant amount of red on them. A trip to Canada in October ensured that I could get red nosed aircraft from both sides of the Atlantic this year.

All things considered, 2019 was a pretty respectable year for “Rudolfs”. Let’s take a look:

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Canada Aviation and Space Museum – Ottawa, Ontario

National Pride, on the Wing 

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General view of the main hall.

Canada has a rich history with aviation that dates back to before the the turn of the 20th century. This should come as no surprise when one considers that Canada is the world’s second largest country and even up to the present day it contains vast unpopulated areas that are best traversed by aircraft as well as many isolated communities that are only accessible by aircraft.

With such great distances to be covered and a wide variety of often extreme geographical and climatic conditions to offer, Canada took to the technology of aviation early and has been a unique proving ground for exactly what can be done with aircraft and how capable aircraft can be in even some of the harshest and most demanding of conditions.

Spread across two buildings at Ottawa’s Rockliffe airport, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum is Canada’s nationial aviation museum and a great showcase of the people and machines that have made the nation’s history of aviation and space travel the fascinating and unique story that it is.

The location itself carries great history as there has been an airport at the Rockliffe location since 1918. In 1924, the newly formed Royal Canadian Air Force took the airport at Rockliffe as one of their first bases. The Canadian military stayed at Rockliffe until 1994, when post Cold War cutbacks led to the reduction and reoganization of Canada’s military and bases. In the years that followed, much of the former Rockliffe property was sold off and redeveloped for private use and little if any evidence of the former military presence remains today.

The museum itself was established at Rockliffe in 1964 under the name of the National Aeronautical Collection and was created through the amalgamation of the collections of three separate aviation museums. The museum has been through many organizational and name changes over the years. Its current form dates to an expansion and modernization that took place around 2010. The museum is presently part of Ingenium, a network of three technological museums in the Ottawa area.

The Main Hall – A Timeline of Flight 

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The Canadair CT-114 Tutor training jet in the entry hall.

The main hall of the museum is an expansive and cavernous place with aircraft organized in a quite logical fashion by both age and category. You can work your way from the pioneer era to the space age and see a wide variety of military and civil aircraft between. The main hall also contains a small café, the museum library, temporary exhibits and museum’s sizeable and well stocked gift shop.  The museum has a number of friendly and helpful guides staffing it and it is possible to tour the main hall on your own or as part of a guided tour in either English or French.

You’re in touch with aviation as soon as you walk through the front door, and before you can pay your entrance fee, as a Canadair CT-114 Tutor jet in the colours of the Canadian military’s Snowbirds air demonstration team is suspended in an appropriately aerobatic position in the entry hall.

Pioneer Era and World War I 

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The world’s only remaining AEG G.IV in the World War I collection.

Immediately after you pay your entry fee and start your journey through the exhibits, you’re met with the sight of a replica of the Silver Dart, the aircraft which in 1909 made the first powered flight in Canada. Nearby are a small munber of other aircraft from the same era, including a Blériot XI that dates to 1911 and the McDowall Monoplane of 1915 which holds the distinction of being the oldest surviving Canadian built aircraft.

In the First World War collection, sitting alongside fighter aircraft from legendary producers of the period such as Fokker and Sopwith, you’ll find a truly one of a kind exhibit in the form of a German AEG G.IV bomber. The aircraft was brought to Canada shortly after the conflict as a war prize and has been in the museum’s collection since 1970. A total of 320 of the type were built and the museum’s example is the only one of them left.

Between the Wars and in the Bush 

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The Noorduyn Norseman, the world’s first purpose built bush plane.

Following on from the First World War exhibits, you can take in a collection of civilian aircraft that represent the interwar boom in the emergence of flying clubs and schools as well as the birth of the airline industry and corporate aviation.

From a Canadian perspective, it was also the heyday of bush flying. Numerous enterprising aviators, many of them First World War veterans, used aviation to open Canada’s more remote and inaccessible regions. The bush planes on display here show the progression from improvisation with aircraft never meant to fly in such harsh conditions to more refined aircraft tailored to the rigors of the bush flying business.

In this grouping, you find early recreational aircraft types such as Travel Air 2000 from the 1920s as well as an example of the DeHavilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver; considered by many to be the ultimate bush plane. There are also examples of early airliners such as the Lockheed 10 Electra and the legendary Douglas DC-3 Dakota.

In the vicinity of the civilian aircraft collection, you’ll find a display of aircraft engines dating from the pioneer era onward.

World War II and the BCATP 

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Fairey Swordfish torpedo bomber.

The museum’s Second World War exhibit has two aspects to it; aircraft that were directly in the conflict and aircraft that were based in Canada as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP).

In the combat aircraft section you’ll find examples of Allied and German fighter aircraft as well as a Westland Lysander utility aircraft and a Fairy Swordfish torpedo bomber grouped together in the imposing presence of an Avro Lancaster Bomber.

Next to the combat aircraft is a group of distinctive yellow painted aircraft representing Canada’s major contribution to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Owing to its close proximity to the actual conflict and very real threat of enemy attack, Great Britain was seen as an inappropriate location to carry out the basic training of the air and ground crews that would eventually enter the fight.

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An Avro Anson navigation trainer in the BCATP collection.

Due to its clear weather and wide open flying spaces, Canada was selected as the main location for most of the BCATP program.

Over 230 BCATP flying bases were established in Canada and yellow aircraft that flew from them became a familiar and memorable sight to people who lived nearby.

This part of the museum’s collection contains legendary trainers such as the DeHavilland Tiger Moth and North American Harvard as well as a Fairchild Cornell, Avro Anson, Cessna Crane and the domestically designed and built Fleet Finch.

This section is a fitting tribute to the immensity of the BCATP and Canada’s contribution to it.

Helicopters and Vertical Flight 

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The Boeing CH-113 Labrador in search and rescue colours.

A smaller, but no less significant, part of the main hall display is the section dedicated to helicopters and vertical flight.

In this section, you’ll find an example of the Boeing CH-113 Labrador which played a vital role in the Canadian military’s search and rescue force for many years until the last of them were retired in 2004.

There is also a Canadair CL-84 Dynavert, an unseccessful attempt from the late 1960s and early 1970s to merge the qualities of a helicopter and conventional aircraft in one machine. The Dynavert here is one of only two remaining of the four built.

The Jet Age 

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The Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck.

Even before the Second World War was over, the clouds of the Cold War were forming. The jet age was dawning and Canada’s aviation industry was a key player in developing jet technologies and building jet aircraft either of domestic design or license building designs of other nations.

In the jet age exhibit, you can see a variety of aircraft that have defended Canadian skies up to the present and that Canada has deployed internationally to fulfil their commitments to NATO over the years.

Notable in this section is the domestically designed and built Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck interceptor. The CF-100 first flew in 1950 and served the Canadian military until the early 1980s. The aircraft was operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force from bases in Canada, France and the former West Germany. It was also used by the Belgian air force.

The jet age section also contains a forward fuselage and engine from the ill fated Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow interceptor. The Arrow was a highly ambitious, some might say over ambitious, attempt by Canada to make a supersonic interceptor to replace the CF-100. The cancellation of the Arrow project in 1959 still stirs strong emotions among Canadian aviation enthusiasts and historians to the present.

Canada in Space 

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The Canadarm

The last section of permanent exhibits in the museum’s main hall is dedicated to Canada’s contributions to space exploration.

This exhibit is split between some display cases on the main floor and other displays on a mezzanine that gives one a good general overview of the exhibits in the main hall.

Among the items on view here is a replica of the Alouette 1 satellite which was launched in 1962 and holds the distinction of being the first artificial satellite to be designed and built outside of the USA or former Soviet Union.

An example of the Canadarm, easily Canada’s best known contribution to space exploration, is also on view. The one on display in the museum was used in the Endeavour space shuttle.

There is also a gallery of Canadians who have gone into space and an exhibit about health in space.

The Reserve Hangar 

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Wing sections from an Avro Arrow.

Opened in 2005, the museum’s reserve hangar presents an opportunity to see more of the museum’s collection than would fit at one time in the main hall.

Unlike the main hall, the reserve hangar does not have particular organizational themes to the aircraft that are on display there and it can only be visited as part of a guided tour and at additional cost. Don’t let the additional cost put you off of visiting the reserve hangar, there are some rarities in there that make it well worth the extra cost to see it.

You can see more of the Avro Arrow in the reserve hangar in the form of some wing sections. You can also see a section of space shuttle payload bay.

A rare example of a Bristol Beaufighter was on view at the time of my visit in October of 2019 as was a Bristol Bolingbroke, the Canadian built version of the Bristol Blenheim bomber.

If you wish to take a tour of the reserve hangar, keep in mind that tours only happen twice per day and not on Tuesdays. The maximum group size is 15 and it’s first come first serve when getting onto a tour.

Visiting and Learning More 

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McDonnell F2H Banshee in Royal Canadian Navy colours.

The museum is open year round, though the hours vary depending on the time of year.

It is accessible by car, bicycle, public transport or even by light aircraft.

I travelled by public transport using the number 7 route from the city centre to the stop at the junction of St. Laurent Boulevand and Hemlock Street. From the stop, it’s about a 20 minute walk further along Hemlock Street and Aviation Parkway to get to the museum.

According to the museum website, there is a number 129 route that gets you directly to the museum. While I did see a bus stop near the museum’s main entrance, the information I found on the Ottawa public transportation website stated that there was no number 129 route in their system.

You can find out more about the museum, events happening there and the other two museums in the Ingenium network through their official website:

https://ingeniumcanada.org/

 

A Short Note on the New Look

Hello all,

As I mentioned a few posts ago, some changes are in the works for both my websites.

Here, at Pickled Wings, I’ve done a slight adjustment to the titles of the drop down menu sections in that they are all now by decade increments rather than the rather inexact way I had them before. As a result, some articles were moved into more fitting time ranges in the menu.

I’ve also changed the theme of the page from “Plane” to “Lodestar”.

After much deliberation, I chose “Lodestar” for the new theme as it maintained the page layout you’re used to here, but gave me the opportunity to have bigger header images. The smaller header image window of the “Plane” theme was getting quite limiting with the images I could share with you through it, so I decided to give myself a bit more room for that at the top of the page.

I am still experimenting with how to make pictures fit nicely in the new header window, so bear with me on that.

Another good aspect of “Lodestar”, I think anyway, is that the main menu bar moves as you scroll. That means that no matter how far you scroll down a page, the menu will be right there and you won’t need to scroll all the way to the top of the page to chose something else from the menu.

I think it will be a good theme to take the site through the next few years.

I hope you’ll feel the same.

NATO Days, 2019

September 21 and 22 saw the annual NATO Days show at Ostrava, Czech Republic take place.

The weather was great with lots of sun but bearable temperatures. Some old favorites were there along with some new visitors there for the first time. Romania did a very respectable job as the special guest host nation this year.

At that, here’s a bit of what was on hand when I visited the event on Saturday:

This German Panavia Tornado was one of two of the type in the static park this year.
Lithuania provided one of three C-27 Spartan transports at the show this year.
The RCAF brought a CF-18 Hornet. This is the second time Canadian Hornets have visited. 
A Czech Police Bell 412 in action.
A Hungarian air force Dassault Falcon 7X preparing to depart.
The Swiss air force PC-7 display team and F-18 Hornet solo fly together.
Swiss F-18 Hornet solo prepares to land.
An IAR 330 SOCAT, a Romanian built variant of the French designed SA 330 Puma.
The Italian air force brought a pair of AMX light attack aircraft to the event for the first time.
The French air force team, Patrouille de France, made their NATO Days debut in 2019.
A Polish air force CASA 295 about to unload a group of paratroopers.
This Norwegian F-16 wears a special paint scheme that was applied to it for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

Taking off Some Panels and Getting a Look Inside

Time for Some Deep Maintenance

It will probably be a while before my next larger article. Partly, it’s because I have quite a bit going on in life outside of blogging at the moment and also because I have to take a longer and closer look at all the changes WordPress has made to the editing functionality.

I’ll also be taking the opportunity to do more intensive housekeeping tasks on the blog. I’ll be keeping everything accessible to you, though you might see a few changes here and there from one visit to the next.

You might also see some of the older articles disappear for a while. The text is saved, but I might be taking them off the site for a bit until I can bring them up to scratch in quality and structure with more recent articles. Rest assured, if you see a favorite article of yours vanish, it’s not permanently gone.

I’m also testing the blog with different themes that WordPress offers, so a new look may become part of the changes you see.

Thanks for your patience and continued readership.