Issue 28 – Aero L-39 Albatros

Designed by the Aero Vodochody team under chief designer Jan Vlček, the prototype Aero L-39, actually the second aircraft built, first flew on November 4, 1969. Full scale production began in 1971 to equip the air forces of the Warsaw Pact and their allies as the standard basic and advanced jet trainer with a secondary […]

Issue 27 – Bell UH-1 Iroquois

The success of the Bell Huey family is an astounding achievement in rotary winged design; some of the first helicopters built in the 1960s are still in regular use today. Firstly, I have to apologise to the readers who were expecting the Huey to be the subject of the last issue, I am afraid I […]

Issue 26 – Focke-Wulf Fw 190

Few aircraft have the ability to radiate menace like the Focke-Wulf Fw 190. Its angular canopy, sharp fuselage, bulging radial-engined nose and heavy weaponry all say ‘threat’ and they do not say it very quietly. It is difficult to avoid comparisons with its stablemate and rival the Messerschmitt Bf 109 – they were two very […]

Issue 25 – F-4 Phantom

With a unique design that caused the first RAF engineer who saw one to question if it had been delivered the right way up, the F-4 Phantom – or ‘Toom’ as it is popularly known – is a Cold War icon, but one that is still in service in a number of countries today. Once […]

Issue 24 – Avro Shackleton

As all of you know who read this page it’s the hardest thing in the magazine for me, this one doubly so because this is a subject that means a great deal to me. I will admit immediately that I am biased; my father’s experiences with the aircraft fill my earliest memories, his tales instilling […]

Issue 22 – Douglas DC-3/C-47 Dakota

One thing I have learned is that each subject of Aviation Classics presents its own unique difficulties. What is there to say about the DC-3/C-47 that has not already been said many times? I would like to answer that by suggesting that this is an aeroplane with Connections, if I may return to James Burke’s […]

Issue 21 – Lockheed Martin

As anyone who reads this page knows, it’s the one I have trouble with. Yep, this is the 24th draft, so I am not doing well. As usual, it was an influence completely outside the research that gave me the key to how to begin this issue, how to define and distil the towering legend […]

Issue 20 – Alenia Aermacchi

In 1978, one of the finest minds of the 20th century, philosopher, historian and scientist James Burke, wrote and presented a television series called Connections; An alternative view of change. As a teenager I watched this avidly because it showed me a new approach to history. History is not a linear, neatly packaged process the […]

Issue 19 – Northrop F-5

Welcome to the second edition of Aviation Classics supported by the aviation industry. Joining Saab, we would like to thank RUAG Aviation, the Swiss aerospace group that maintains, upgrades and supports the Swiss Air Force Northrop F-5s that were built under licence in the country. Thanks to them, once again I find myself at the […]