Night Owls

With the Battle of Britain at its height the first Beaufighters were delivered to operational units. The new, heavily-armed, long-range fighters were all destined for night-fighter squadrons. The initial batch was fitted with cannon only but also had the airborne interception (AI) Mk IV radar with its characteristic ‘bow and arrow’ nose aerials and wing blade aerials. These machines represented a step-change in the nocturnal war.

From the Filton production line, the ‘Beaus’ were issued to units equipped with Bristol Blenheim Ifs, most of which had been fitted with AI. Getting the Beaufighter ready for its debut were the following

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We go from stock red to racin’ while this month on our TE449

This has been a great month on the TE449 and I have a heap of photos to show what we’ve been up to. We’ve done a lot of riding that included three epic rides on some prime trails. We’ve also made our first real changes to the ТЕ with a heap of genuine parts and the Husqvama Racing Kit that’s available for both the 449 and 511.

The riding has been a mixed bag in terms of weather and that’s partly what made the rides so good.

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LMAASA Flies First AT-63 Pampa

LOCKHEED MARTIN Aircraft Argentina SA (LMAASA) performed the first flight test of the AT-63 Pampa at its facility in Cordoba, Argentina, on June 23. This demonstrator for the new Pampa configuration, converted from third prototype EX-03, was first rolled out at Cordoba on December 15 last year, and has since successfully completed all necessary ground tests, culminating in the first flight. This new-generation Pampa advanced trainer and light attack aircraft provides for easier maintenance and better airframe stability than the earlier variant, having an upgraded cockpit and digital avionics suite, plus MIL-STD-1553B data bus architecture and advanced mission computers with

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Italian Flair

Dr Riccardo Niccoli reviews the structure, aircraft and helicopter types of the Italian Navy Air Force — an increasingly hi-tech amphibious force.

IN THE aftermath of World War Two, and during the years of the Cold War, the Marina Militare Italiana (MMI — Italian Navy) was structured and organised to operate in the Mediterranean theatre, with Soviet submarines as its primary opponent. The helicopter held huge potential as an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) weapon system, and in 1956 the Italian Navy purchased its first helicopters — three Agusta-Bell AB-47Cs. In subsequent years the new service gained momentum, and further helicopters arrived,

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Everyone was more than happy to have their portraits shot and I had my first sample shots to show other potential “tattoo models” here in Pokhara. Before leaving, Hari gave me the address of Master Mohan, a tattoo artist extraordinaire who had the oldest shop in Kathmandu.

The next day I hailed a cab, handed the driver Mohan’s address and not ten minutes later found myself outside Mohan’s tattoo parlor. Mohan was ready to meet with me and could not be more friendly. Mohan prides himself as much a teacher of the art

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Image of War — A Wet Landing

Located six miles north-west of Grantham in Lincolnshire, the construction of RAF Bottesford, which began in November 1940, was undertaken by George Wimpey & Co. Ltd. The airfield was built to the Class A standard set by the Air Ministry, the main feature of which was a set of three converging runways each containing a concrete runway for takeoffs and landings, optimally placed at sixty degree angles to each other in a triangular pattern.

Bottesford became operational in November 1941 with the arrival, from RAF Waddington, of 207 Squadron, part of Bomber Command’s No.5 Group. This squadron had the honour

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Hurric ane sortie

HERE IS absolutely nothing routine about your first warbird sortie.As an experienced pilot it is normal to get into a ‘routine’ with regard to any flight. Whilst any sortie requires thought about how to get‘up and down’, the majority of the planning process is spent on the execution of the mission in the middle. Quite the opposite when dealing with your first Hurricane ride!

I am absolutely pre-occupied with not only how I am going to get it airborne, but more importantly how I am going to get it safely back on the ground. The plan is simple enough: take-off,

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Hercules — The C-130 is service.

by Tim Laming; Airlife Publishing, 128pp, colour, £10.95, softback

BY THE VERY nature of things, only certain aircraft can be objects of beauty and grace. The C-130 clearly doesn’t possess too many pleasing aesthetic qualities, but this workhorse of the skies does command immense respect for its sheer practicality. If form equals function, then the flexible Hercules is comely indeed.

It’s nearly 40 years since the first prototype flew, and yet you’d have to look quite closely to differentiate a brand new C-130 from the first one off the production line. There have been innumerable changes under the skin, or

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Hall of fame — 10 ICONIC EXPLORERS

Whether by land, sea or air, exploring has aided our understanding of the world. Let’s follow in some adventurers’ intrepid footsteps…

Leif Erikson

ICELANDIC 970-1020

Whether or not Leif Erikson was the first European to land in North America, he got there 500 years before Columbus. When King Olaf I of Norway sent him as a Christian missionary to Greenland, it’s believed Erikson was blown off course and discovered part of North America, which he named Vinland. Whether accidental or a deliberate detour based on another explorer’s tale, Erikson went on to establish a small settlement in Vinland (ie Newfoundland,

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Gripen joins up

Delivery of the first Gripen to the Swedish Air Force, and the aircraft’s crucial role in the ‘leaner and meaner’ Air Force.

ESCORTED BY A PAIR of Saab AJ 37 Viggens from F7 Skaraborg Wing, the Swedish Air Force’s first JAS 39 Gripen flew into Satenas Air Base on June 8.

Earlier that day Gripen 39-102 was handed over to the Defence Material ministration (FMV) during a ceremony at Saab Military Aircraft at Linkoping in front of the Swedish Prime Minister and the Commander-in-Chief of the Swedish Air Force, Lt Gen Lors-Erk Englund.

The hand-over was the culmination of eleven

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