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Flying low between some trees with Jim Burt as passenger.

Flying low between some trees with Jim Burt as passenger.

Built from 1929 to 1933, the DH80A moved light aviation from open cockpit biplanes to cabin comfort ,100 mph cruising speeds and folding wings for easy storage. DH80As set many inter-War distance records including Jim Mollison's first solo east to west North Atlantic crossing, which took 31 hours 20 minutes in August 1932. British based DH80As continued to serve during World War II, notably with the Air Transport Auxiliary. Some examples are still airworthy today.

Built from 1929 to 1933, the DH80A moved light aviation from open cockpit biplanes to cabin comfort ,100 mph cruising speeds and folding wings for easy storage. DH80As set many inter-War distance records including Jim Mollison's first solo east to west North Atlantic crossing, which took 31 hours 20 minutes in August 1932. British based DH80As continued to serve during World War II, notably with the Air Transport Auxiliary. Some examples are still airworthy today.

The Luftwaffe had surrendered to the Allies and British, American and Soviet scientists were keen to learn the secrets of their recent aerial foes.  In a corner of an airfield at which the cream of Nazi technology had been gathered for evaluation by white suited technicians, a high ranking RAF officer has arrived in a silver de Havilland DH80 Puss Moth to ask of his subordinates,  "How do these German aircraft compare to our Hawker Typhoon?"  The answers can be summarised as follows:

The Luftwaffe had surrendered to the Allies and British, American and Soviet scientists were keen to learn the secrets of their recent aerial foes. In a corner of an airfield at which the cream of Nazi technology had been gathered for evaluation by white suited technicians, a high ranking RAF officer has arrived in a silver de Havilland DH80 Puss Moth to ask of his subordinates, "How do these German aircraft compare to our Hawker Typhoon?" The answers can be summarised as follows:

The Gloster Gladiator was both the last biplane fighter used by the RAF and also the first with a fully enclosed cockpit. First flown as the Gloster SS37 in September 1934, 72 Squadron RAF was the first to equip with the type at Tangmere in February 1937. By September 1939, Gloster Gladiators were widely spread across the Mediterranean and Middle East and this example – Sea Gladiator N5531 – has a special story to tell.

The Gloster Gladiator was both the last biplane fighter used by the RAF and also the first with a fully enclosed cockpit. First flown as the Gloster SS37 in September 1934, 72 Squadron RAF was the first to equip with the type at Tangmere in February 1937. By September 1939, Gloster Gladiators were widely spread across the Mediterranean and Middle East and this example – Sea Gladiator N5531 – has a special story to tell.

As was proved by Terminal 1 as well as my Airfield Embankment and Universal Works layouts, parts of airfields are a great way of both using up otherwise redundant space on a model railway layout as well as adding interest for a whole different demographic.  In fact when Universal Works saluted English Electric in 2010 so many people were telling me stories about their experiences with Lightnings and Canberras that I had to stop running trains!  More specifically, the two lids on the new ...

As was proved by Terminal 1 as well as my Airfield Embankment and Universal Works layouts, parts of airfields are a great way of both using up otherwise redundant space on a model railway layout as well as adding interest for a whole different demographic. In fact when Universal Works saluted English Electric in 2010 so many people were telling me stories about their experiences with Lightnings and Canberras that I had to stop running trains! More specifically, the two lids on the new ...

The title “Universal Works in The Gathering Storm” for this combination of Big Four steam locomotives, private owner wagons and 1930s RAF aircraft was inspired by the first volume of Winston Churchill’s six part history of the Second World War, dealing with the years from 1919 until Britain’s declaration of war on Germany on Sunday 3 September 1939.  In the “wilderness years” between his memorable times as First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill was elected as a back bench MP for…

The title “Universal Works in The Gathering Storm” for this combination of Big Four steam locomotives, private owner wagons and 1930s RAF aircraft was inspired by the first volume of Winston Churchill’s six part history of the Second World War, dealing with the years from 1919 until Britain’s declaration of war on Germany on Sunday 3 September 1939. In the “wilderness years” between his memorable times as First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill was elected as a back bench MP for…

"The Gathering Storm" in question was also the title of the first volume of Winston Churchill's six part history of the Second World War, dealing with the years from 1919 until Britain's declaration of war on Germany on Sunday 3 September 1939.  In the "wilderness years" between his memorable times as First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill initially worked on a biography of his ancestor, the first Duke of Marlborough, while representing Epping Forest as a Conservative back bench MP…

"The Gathering Storm" in question was also the title of the first volume of Winston Churchill's six part history of the Second World War, dealing with the years from 1919 until Britain's declaration of war on Germany on Sunday 3 September 1939. In the "wilderness years" between his memorable times as First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill initially worked on a biography of his ancestor, the first Duke of Marlborough, while representing Epping Forest as a Conservative back bench MP…

However, practical hydrofoil warships had to wait until the gas turbine era with the USS Tucumcari – powered by a Bristol Proteus engine – entering service in 1968. Following a successful tour of duty in Vietnam, the Tucumcari toured the World and was followed by the six strong Pegasus class of Patrol Missile Hydrofoil between 1977 and 1993. These included the USS Taurus, seen here, which could reach 51 knots, and were known as "the grey terror that flies" to the Caribbean drug smugglers…

However, practical hydrofoil warships had to wait until the gas turbine era with the USS Tucumcari – powered by a Bristol Proteus engine – entering service in 1968. Following a successful tour of duty in Vietnam, the Tucumcari toured the World and was followed by the six strong Pegasus class of Patrol Missile Hydrofoil between 1977 and 1993. These included the USS Taurus, seen here, which could reach 51 knots, and were known as "the grey terror that flies" to the Caribbean drug smugglers…

The Walrus was a catapult-launched, biplane amphibian with pusher propeller, developed from the Supermarine Seagull. It was the standard catapult launched reconnaissance and SAR (Search and Rescue) aircraft for some time with 740 being built between 1936 and 1944. Rather rectangular in outline, it was hard to believe that the Walrus was built by the same firm as the Spitfire! The prototype Walrus – originally designated the Seagull V - had one 635hp Pegasus IIM2 engine and was initially…

The Walrus was a catapult-launched, biplane amphibian with pusher propeller, developed from the Supermarine Seagull. It was the standard catapult launched reconnaissance and SAR (Search and Rescue) aircraft for some time with 740 being built between 1936 and 1944. Rather rectangular in outline, it was hard to believe that the Walrus was built by the same firm as the Spitfire! The prototype Walrus – originally designated the Seagull V - had one 635hp Pegasus IIM2 engine and was initially…

The Napier Sabre-engined Hawker Typhoon first flew in February 1940 although delivery to the RAF did not begin until September 1941 and engine and structural problems dogged the Typhoons early career as a low-level interceptor. However, from 1942, the Hawker Typhoon excelled in its role as a ground attack strike aircraft, fitted with four 20mm canon and either bombs or rocket projectiles.

The Napier Sabre-engined Hawker Typhoon first flew in February 1940 although delivery to the RAF did not begin until September 1941 and engine and structural problems dogged the Typhoons early career as a low-level interceptor. However, from 1942, the Hawker Typhoon excelled in its role as a ground attack strike aircraft, fitted with four 20mm canon and either bombs or rocket projectiles.

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