As an excuse to wish you all a happy holiday season, I provide a few shots of the RAAF Edinburgh Air Show, 2019. Neil and I attended as part of the CAF’s 2019 Symposium, conveniently timed to catch the show.
In addition to the show and the old and bolds (us!) telling tall tales, some no doubt with at least a grain of truth, we were treated to briefings on the introduction of the P-8 and the development of the impressive Air Warfare Centre at EDN. I don’t think I’d pass the comprehension test on it all, but you can sense the energy and professionalism alive and well.
I must admit I don’t regularly trek far and wide to attend airshows. How many have we done between us all over the last seventy-odd years? However, the growl of the Spit’s Merlin is usually enough to get the skin tingling, reminding me of growing up near 23 Squadron (Mustangs) at Archerfield, then hearing the Battle of Britain flight come low over the grass airfield in front of our MQ at RAF Cranwell.
Added to this we saw Meteor (Skates at the controls), Hudson, P-40 and all sort of oldies take to the air. The Roulettes with their new PC-21s did their thing well.
I have to say the Catalina was a delight. This old PBY-5 is painted up in the Black Cats colours of the 40-series squadrons, although this particular restored airframe was not actually in RAAF service.
However, I recall that the late revered Flight Lieutenant Bill Minty, WWII Cat pilot with 62 long operational missions under his belt, put together a book on the subject — you can guess the title, Black Cats. He and Sir Richard Kingsland asked me years ago to write an introductory essay on the strategic significance of their operations, which I believe was indeed quite significant but under-rated.
We happened upon Jack and Shena Hayden at our local coffee stop recently. Recalling our bike rides together first mooted at our Nelson Bay reunion, they and other 14-ers have sent best wishes. (See the Netherlands ride blog here).
Well, enough reminiscences. We enjoyed it all and thought of our various aviation-related experiences with many of you, dear readers, to whom we wish …
Merry Christmas and a
wonderful New Year and 2020.
PS. Send reports of your latest doings or plans for 2020; I’ll post them up here if you desire.