Entries by Cayley

Handley Page V/1500

The V/1500 was Britain’s first four-engine strategic bomber. It was built in response to an Air Ministry request for a long-range aircraft to “seriously worry Germany in centres where she felt herself perfectly safe from aerial attack”. The aircraft was specifically designed to be capable of bombing Berlin from bases in East Anglia. Hundley page responded with the largest British aeroplane produced during […]

Vickers Wellington

The twin-engined Wellington, affectionately known the “Wimpy”. was the RAF’s most advanced bomber aircraft going into World War II. It boasted a “geodetic” construction patented by inventor Barnes Wallis, its fuselage and wings being formed from a latticework of intersecting aluminium units, but could only be fabric-covered, a major disadvantage. However, the resulting airframe was light, damage-resistant, and easily repaired. This was extremely fortunate, […]

Rutan Voyager

The first aircraft to fly non-stop around the world without refuelling, Voyager completed its epic flight on 23 December 1986. The gruelling round trip from Edwards Air Force Base in California, took nine days, three minutes, and 44 seconds. Voyager was designed by engineer Burt Rutan and piloted by his brother, Dick, together with Jeana Yeager. It began as little more than […]

Curtiss Reims Racer

In August 1909 most of the adventurous pioneers then flying aeroplanes gathered at Reims in  France for the world’s first air show. The sole American present was Glenn Curtiss. His Reims Racer, the second aeroplane he had built  was a small,  light pusher biplane built for speed. Its pilot sat over the leading edge of the lower wing, using a wheellopped […]

Farman III Biplane

The slow but dependable Farma III was the classic pre-World War I biplane,sold around the world. Its creator, Henry (or Henri) Farman, was of English parentage but lived all his life in France. He began his aviation career flying a Voisin hox-kite biplane. After modifying this machine extensively, including fitting ailerons, he used it to make the world’s first true crosscountry flight, […]

Boeing 747

When the Boeing 747 entered service in 1970 it was by far the largest, heaviest, most powerful airliner the world had ever seen. With a tail as high as a six-storey building and a wing wide enough to park more than 40 family cars on, it could carry three times as many passengers as the Boeing 707, which was then still the […]

Northrop YB-49

Throughout his career, imaginative American designer Jack Northrop believed that the ultimate in aircraft development would be a “flying wing”, with neither fuselage nor tail. DuringWorldWar II his company developed the massive XB-35 all-wing piston-engined bomber, but by the lime it flew in 1946 the jet era had arrived. Northrop then built two jet – powered versions of the bomber, designated YB- […]

Mignet HM.14 Flying Flea

Frenchman Henri Mignet wanted everyone to have the chance to own and fly an aeroplane. Mignet claimed that anyone who could assemble a packing case could build his diminutive HM.14 Pou du Ciel – affectionately known as the “Sky Louse” or “Flying Flea” – and teach himself to fly it. For a time Flea fever raged, as hundreds of amateurs started building […]

Bristol F.2B Fighter

The Bristol Fighter was one of a new generation of British aircraft deployed on the Western Front in 1917, Designed by Captain Frank Barnwell, it was a solid, versatile, two-seater fighter-reconnaissance aeroplane with excellent all-round performance. The first version, the F.2A, made its maiden flight on 9 September 1916; the faster F.2B followed shortly after. When the Bristol Fighter first entered service with the […]