Thursday, December 28, 2006

Look And Learn ...

I received a certain pressie this year, something that was originally published in 1941 and something very few could do without. At that time aircraft recognition was far more than just a pleasant pastime, it was often a matter of life and death. R.A. Saville-Sneath set out to classify and catalogue all planes of both the friendly and enemy stables. Basically, anything you expected to find over British skies during the Second World War. For a pocket-sized handy guide, with many diagrams, a full glossary and some useful mnemonics, each type of aircraft can be identified quickly and easily.

Schoolboys would have found this fascinating - as do I. With scraped knees and a conker in their pocket, a snot-nose would have spent many happy hours atop a grassy hillside spotting the difference between Albacores and Ansons, Beauforts and Blenheims, Heinkels and Hurricanes, Spitfires and Wellingtons. The Observer Corps in a half-pint.

However, modern recognition hasn't changed. In fact, it has continued in the same vein - cross-sections, plane-sections and silhouettes. The only thing that has changed is the height at which they fly ... you're not likely to spot a modern-day fighter-bomber with the naked eye.

But for those who lived through one of the most glorious episodes in the history of air combat, Saville-Sneath's guide is evocative of those extraordinary days way back when ...

Quick ... the French are headed back into their basements!



Blogger Joker said...

It's a Harrier, no, it's a Tornado....bugger me, would never have guessed it was an AWACS!

On another note, I swear these word verifications get longer and longer!

Saturday, December 30, 2006 12:04:00 am  

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