Friday, 1 February 2013

Fairey Barracuda

Barracuda - Courtesy IWM

This week Naval Air Historian Matt Willis joins us on the show to discuss his new book on the Fairey Barracuda a mono wing fleet air arm torpedo bomber from the second world war. Designed to be a mulit functional aircraft, the ‘Barra’ suffered reputational challenges from its perceived weaknesses. However, it proved itself many times and flew well into the ‘50’s.

This is of course the aircraft my father flew late in the war and relayed many of his memories and stories to us in his segment a while ago

Not a single complete airframe is left of the 2,600 Barracuda’s built but there is a project being delivered by the Bluebird team and supported by the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton to recreate a lasting memory to this both beloved and sometimes sneered upon aircraft. To Pieter, it is of course the chariot on which his father flew the majority of his fleet air arm missions and activities and therefore remembered with a little more fondness than others.

Matt can be found at and on Twitter@NavalAirHistory.
Matt’s published books include: Blackburn Skua and Roc andJunkers Ju 87 Stuka.
Naval History Links:

Thursday, 24 January 2013

'Take Off' with Ian Grosz

Flying Training Scholarships are now being offered through a new aviation charity for 16 to 18 year old's in the Perth area of Scotland. Take Off is the new Charity looking to give something back to the aviation community in a part of the world where aviation is crucial to the economy and well being of the region.

Ian Grosz
How has this come about, who are the main supporters and sponsors? Well on this weeks Across The Pond segment of the Airplane Geeks podcast (, we talk to one of the driving forces behind the scenes Ian Grosz, a commercial helicopter and fixed wing pilot with a considerable amount of flying time and experience. Ian tells us why he fought to get this going along with his other Charity Trustee Howard Duthie, (a retired teacher and a keen microlight pilot). 

Supported by Perth and Kinross Education Authority and the Scottish Aero Club this is an absolutely fantastic opportunity for youngsters who may never have been given this chance.

Ian can be personally followed on Twitter @AusterPilot

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Southampton Airport Mini Series 'Charlie' Innovations in lighting

New Aircraft Stand Lighting at Southampton Airport

Back at Southampton Airport well talk again to Dan Townsend who tells us that once again Southampton is leading the UK’s airports with its innovative and sustainable approach to lighting. Work was recently completed on the replacement of the lights on all 14 of the airport’s aircraft stands with LED lighting.
British Airways’ Olympic Torch liveried Airbus A319 ‘The Firefly’ at Southampton 
Having successfully used LED and solar lighting around the airport for other projects, when the lights illuminating the aircraft stands at night were reaching the end of their lives the airport’s projects and engineering teams were keen to explore the same technology.
Dan tells us the benefits of using LED and solar power in the airfield environment.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Southampton Airport Mini Series 'Bravo' Avian Management

Southampton Airport has become the first in the UK to bring a hand held laser bird scaring device into regular operation on the airfield following successful airside trials.
Continuing with our series from the airport we talk to Dan Townsend, Airside Assurance Manager.  
Being a relatively small airfield, it’s important that vehicle movements across the runway are kept to a minimum, especially during periods of higher traffic, when the risk of bird strike increases. It’s also vital at these times that birds are dispersed quickly and the laser allows the airport to accurately disperse the birds in a safe direction, from a distance of up to 2km, the full length of the airfield.

Southampton Airport will use the laser in conjunction with the airport’s other active bird control measures which should reduce overall costs associated with pyrotechnics and ammunition. During the trial the operations team worked to develop a detailed risk assessment and to gather evidence on the effectiveness of the laser on a variety of different bird species.

In order to safely bring the laser into the daily operation a suite of safety management documents has been put together including a comprehensive training plan, local operating

Although it needs to be closer to the birds at dusk or dawn, it is still effective up to a distance of about 800m.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Farnborough Air Sciences Trust

In this special segment we visit the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST) Museum.

The Museum is dedicated to Farnborough's aviation history and heritage and focuses on the technological and aerospace advances that Farnborough has delivered to the aviation industry.

Listed by the Sunday Times as one of the Worlds Top 10 Geekiest attractions, there is an amazing collection of archived documents and photographs, engines, wind tunnel models, aircraft and we could go on,,,,Its simply an amazing visit for anyone interested in aviation heritage and the developments of new technology for the aerospace industry. And ITS FREE :-)

Formed in 1993 FAST's objective was to save the Farnborough factory site and some of the critical artifacts developed through the decades and most recently by the Royal Aircraft Establishment.

You will be surprised to hear that many technology advances common today in new aircraft and space vehicles originated here and not in other parts of the world and hopefully you too will visit and support the work the team is doing, because without the volunteers, these aircraft and aviation artifacts would be lost to us all.
Twitter @FASTMuseum

Thursday, 20 December 2012

100 Across The Pond segments!

Its taken a few years but we have now reached 100 Across The Pond segments. Airplane Geeks Podcast Ep228

Superjet 100

Avro AJ 100

This week we go back to some of guests and ask them what does the number One Hundred mean to them in aviation terms.

100 Years of US Naval Aviation

Fokker 100

You can find my guests this week on Twitter @Gareth_Stringer@AviPlatform@FlightLevel150,@KarlenePettit@Pilot_NGB and @DLopezSalazar

You can find me on Twitter @Nascothornet

Thursday, 13 December 2012

South Africa 'Alpha'

Danie Heath, Editor of Aircraft.Co.ZA joins us this week on Across The Pond on the Airplane Geeks podcast, to help us better understand the aviation sector in South Africa. Danie runs a fabulous website with some great aviation photographs but its his knowledge about the sector that we are keen to find out more about.

Kalula B737 8 at Cape Town International - Photo Courtesy of  Hansueli Krapf

We talk about the major airlines, both international and regional and where they operate from. What about low cost airlines and their fabulous names such as Mango and Kalula?

We also discuss the South African aviation manufacturing sector and discover its still running strong.

If you want to learn a little more about aviation in South Africa, listen in. Airplane Geeks Episode 227
Twitter: @Aircraft_co_za