& Bullets

Musings on the worlds of aviation, military and international affairs.


With reviews of books that cover these topics


For portfolio management, ShareScope is invaluable, for two months' free trial sign up here

Brize 2010 Reds 3

By psmiddy, Nov 23 2018 05:10PM

Sir Alan Cobham - The Flying Legend who brought aviation to the masses, by Colin Cruddas. Review is found here.

By psmiddy, Nov 2 2018 10:01AM

Attended an interesting presentation yesterday on the RAF's procurement of the P8 Poseidon. Its entry into service comes not a moment too soon - Russian sub activity around our island is higher than at any time since the Cold War.

On that note the Russian Navy has not had a good week, its carrier Admiral Kuznetzov has been damaged, along with the floating dry dock in which it was sitting, by a fallen crane. Careless.

Meanwhile the home team has been making new milestones in the introduction into service of the F35B off the Queen Liz.

By psmiddy, Oct 23 2018 06:55AM

of mine was published in the Times today. Sadly they chose to edit it heavily, severely inhibiting its thrust. The full text is below:


It is perhaps unsurprising, given her previous statements to the Times, that Ms Curtis-Taylor has now accused the members of the Light Aircraft Association as being “out of date misogynists” (Times 22 October). The demographic profile of the LAA is indeed old(er), male, and no doubt in her view, stale. However it simply reflects the demographics of those who have the time, skill and inclination to build and/or maintain their own aeroplanes.

From its earliest days aviation has had little truck with sexism. Sir Sefton Brancker, once elevated to become Director of Civil Aviation in 1922, made it one of his missions to promote women aviators – to the benefit of, inter alia, Winifred Spooner, Amy Johnson, and the Hon. Mrs Victor Bruce (the last being the subject of my biography). Nowadays the flight decks of most Western airlines have an increasing proportion of female aircrew. None of the aviation organisations to which I belong (and I attended the LAA AGM) - including those in which I am involved in their governance (the Royal Aero Club, and the Honourable Company of Air Pilots) - tolerate misogyny. The British Women’s Pilots Association is thriving, as I believe are other women pilots’ groups such as the 99ers.

I am continually amazed at the difficult, and in some cases courageous, flights quietly carried out by pilots (of both sexes) around the world, without blowing their own trumpet. It is regrettable that this case is not one such.

Yours Faithfully,

Paul Smiddy