Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1699400
Thanks for publishing that.

I once flew out to Clifden from Galway (when Galway had an airport) and went out to sea for a few miles before turning back inland, curious to know what they might have seen.

Ahead of me, the Twelve Pins (the mountains of Connemara) rose sharply out of the coastal plain. On this day, the tops were grazing the cloubase and I could image that to Alcock and Brown they might have looked like a barrier preventing further progress inland.

Routing toward the monument, I became aware of a rectangular looking patch of green amongst the rocky terrain. I took a bit of a double take, as there is no airfield recorded here. It really did look like a strip, even quite close in, and was of course the famous bog where they landed. The rectangular shape is co-incidental, but to those tired eyes, contemplating the mountains ahead, I could imagine how welcoming it must have looked.

Theirs was an amazing achievement, by any measure.
johnm, kanga, Lockhaven liked this
#1699404
I was crossing the Atlantic in 2005 when we had a call on 123.45 for a relay. The callsign was NX71MY, which sadly I recognised :cyclopsani:

I said, sure, we can give you a relay, is that Steve ?

No was the reply, it's Mark, Steve is sleeping.

It was Steve Fossett and Mark Rebholz re creating the crossing flight. By the time I got home, drove home, had a rest, they were still airborne !
Dave W liked this
#1699570
The crash site is by the Marconi radio station.
If it wasn’t due to some sort of RDF then this is an incredible coincidence.
I read somewhere that at the time there was an airstrip nearby.

Maybe the first instance of going below the MDA on an NDB approach?
#1699578
MichaelP wrote:The crash site is by the Marconi radio station.
If it wasn’t due to some sort of RDF then this is an incredible coincidence.
I read somewhere that at the time there was an airstrip nearby.

Maybe the first instance of going below the MDA on an NDB approach?


According to the pilots' logs, the turbine driving the generator failed early in the flight, so their wireless did not work. Even if it had, I'm not sure whether they had an ADF nor whether the Marconi station would have had any DF capability. The logs suggest a combination of impressive DR, especially having no gyros for flying in IMC, combined with the occasional star-/sunshot. They give various 'fixes' en route. Someone I know on the St John's commemoration team has plotted these on a contemporary North Atlantic chart for display at the events there, and sent me an image showing a track with a few distinct corrections.

They ended up pretty close to their intended landfall, presumably the nearest by great circle from St John's. It is perhaps unsurprising that Marconi should have set up a radio station there, to communicate with theirs in Newfoundland; it was a time when little was still known about wireless propagation 'over the horizon', and it would have been reasonable to suppose that 'closer was better'.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transatla ... _and_Brown
#1699663
This is the aviation achievement that most Americans have never heard of isn't it ?

At least , if my experience is anything to go by .

I took a colleague from LA to the Goodwood Revival a few years back and he seemed quite mystified when looking over the Vimy replica . It's 'N' reg. tail no. didn't help much either , especially when I attempted to point out that the original was built by British people at a place called Brooklands..... :o

But a fantastic and under-rated acievement I reckon , plus they had twice as much chance of an engine failure than Lindbergh did . :pale: and beat him by 8 years.. :thumright:

There's some amazing footage somewhere of the replica coming into Deanland in 2005.
Damned if I can find it though !
kanga, ChampChump liked this
#1700393
I’ve always been in total awe of this flight - the feat of navigation is quite incredible given the poor met forecasting and lack of any expected winds aloft.

I see that Arthur Whitten Brown obtained a commission with the Manchester Regiment, but transferred to the Royal Flying Corps as an observer, until November 1915, when he was shot down over enemy territory, receiving a permanent injury in one leg. He was repatriated in September 1917 and spent the rest of the War working in the aircraft production department of the Ministry of Munitions, whilst studying for his private pilot's licence. In 1919, he was out of work and looking for a job when he was invited by John Alcock to be the navigator in an attempt to make the first direct flight across the Atlantic.

However, all the pictures show him with a Pilot’s Flying Badge and not the Observer Flying Badge. Anyone know whether gaining a PPL in 1918 entitled you to a RAF Pilot’s Flying Badge?

Lt Brown is on the right of this photo - his Pilot badge and wound stripe on his sleeve are clearly visible.

Image
#1700402
I wonder if that actually is an RAF pilot badge?

The image doesn't lend itself to zooming in too far, and a quick Google search doesn't immediately reveal a higher resolution version, however a close look suggests that it might not be the same badge as Alcock's. (Subtlety of wing shape, more 'blobby' centrepiece...??)

But that's detail. Yes, what an achievement - and how far we have come in "only" a century.
#1700408
Dave W wrote:But that's detail. Yes, what an achievement - and how far we have come in "only" a century.


An under statement for that period of aviation, having done the same route in an MEP before GPS and using only DR their achievement was grossly understated.

It would be interesting to know were aviation would be today without having had two World Wars.
#1700423
@Dave W

As the RAF was transitioning to the more familiar uniform we see today then the Flying Badge was a gold bullion affair (like a full size Mess Dress one):

Image

Here is Lt Brown shortly after and his Pilot Flying Badge is pretty clear in this shot:

Image

So the question still is, did a PPL entitle you to a Pilot’s Flying Badge in 1918? I know it did back in 1912 when the FAI Aviator’s Certificate, or “ticket” as it was known then, was awarded. That is also the start of the incorrect use of the word “Brevet” which is French for a certificate or diploma - the badges or ‘wings’ have always been a “Flying Badge” in King’s and Queen’s Regulations and never should never be a “Brevet” (although some will swear blind they are!).

Anyone, know about the PPL? If so a link to a reference would be useful :thumright:
Dave W liked this