What was the BAC TSR-2?

Introduction The British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2 was a cancelled Cold War strike and reconnaissance aircraft developed by the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) for the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The TSR-2 was designed to penetrate a well-defended forward battle area at low altitudes and very high speeds, and then… Read More

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What is a Bouncing Bomb?

Introduction A bouncing bomb is a bomb designed to bounce to a target across water in a calculated manner to avoid obstacles such as torpedo nets, and to allow both the bomb’s speed on arrival at the target and the timing of its detonation to be pre-determined, in a similar fashion to a regular naval… Read More

Who was Guy Gibson?

Introduction Wing Commander Guy Penrose Gibson, VC, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar (12 August 1918 to 19 September 1944) was a distinguished bomber pilot in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. He was the first Commanding Officer of No. 617 Squadron, which he led in the “Dam Busters” raid in 1943,… Read More

Who was Henrietta Barnett?

Introduction Air Commandant Dame Mary Henrietta Barnett DBE (16 February 1905 to 11 September 1985), known as Henrietta Barnett, was a senior officer of the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF). From 1956 to 1960, she served as its director. Military Career In 1938, Barnett joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service as a volunteer (IE private), and… Read More

Who was David Niven (RAF Officer)?

Introduction Air Vice Marshal David Miller Niven, CB, CBE is a former Royal Air Force officer who served as the inaugural Commander of Joint Helicopter Command from 1999 to 2002. Not to be confused with David Niven (the British Army officer and actor). RAF Career Educated at the University of St Andrews, Niven joined the… Read More

Who was W.G.G. Duncan Smith?

Introduction Group Captain Wilfrid George Gerald Duncan Smith, DSO & Bar, DFC & Two Bars, AE (28 May 1914 to 11 December 1996) was a Royal Air Force flying ace of the Second World War. He was the father of Iain Duncan Smith, a Member of Parliament (MP) since 1992 and Leader of the Conservative… Read More

Who was Geoffrey de Havilland?

Introduction Captain Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, OM, CBE, AFC, RDI, FRAeS (27 July 1882 to 21 May 1965) was an English aviation pioneer and aerospace engineer. His Mosquito has been considered the most versatile warplane ever built, and his Comet was the first jet airliner to go into production. Early Life Born at Magdala House,… Read More