* Posts by Martin Winchester

10 posts • joined 15 Oct 2007

Mosquitoes, Comets and Vampires: The de Havilland Museum

Martin Winchester

One small thing... The Horsa was an Airspeed design, not Handley Page... Airspeed were an interesting company, started in part by author Neville Shute, who were ultimately absorbed by DeHavilland. Interestingly Shute predicted the fatigue problems that would plague the early Comets in his novel 'No Highway'

Its worth remembering though that large chunks of DeHavilland remain as parts of Airbus. The vast Airbus wing factory at Hawarden near Chester was for years a DeHavilland factory, as was Astrium in Stevenage.


Meryl Streep to tackle Margaret Thatcher

Martin Winchester

Alternative title...?

Maggie Mia...?


National space agency for Blighty, says Drayson

Martin Winchester
Thumb Up

I wonder what the chances...

of it being called the British Experimental Rocket Group...?

Bernard would finally be proud...


Iranian rocket puts satellite into orbit

Martin Winchester

Re: Check Your Sources...

Well you could also try the BROHP... the British Rocketry Oral History project: http://www.brohp.org.uk/index.html

Or Nicholas Hill's Vertical Empire:


Examples of Blue Streak can be seen at the National Space Museum in Leicester, Black Arrow at the Science museum, and Black Knight at Liverpool Museum. All are well documented in other sources so quite frankly there is no excuse.

One thing that nobody has mention is that we are still a large producer of world class satellites, either from EADS Astrium (descendant of the company that made Blue Streak) or Surrey Satellite Technology (now owned by EADS).

Personally i think we (and the engineers and backroom boys) deserve an apology from Lewis...!


Martin Winchester


Not forgetting of course the Blue Streak 1st stage to the aborted Europa launcher... worked every time, it was the french, german and italian bits that kept breaking...



Can I suggest Lewis, that at lunchtime you take yourself off to the Science Museum in South Kensington and have a good look at the the space gallery, as the forth Black Arrow, R4, is on display there, together with a mock up of Prospero, the original of which incidentally is still in orbit and functioning...


Hutton robs forces, pours MoD cash into UK arms biz

Martin Winchester

$6m for a seahawk...? er...

Im curious as to where lewis (and everybody else...) gets this figure of $6m for a Seahawk... last time i looked the Brazilian Navy paid nearly $195m for just four of the birds...

Even my code addled brain can work that at nearly $50m per airframe...


Artemis Fowl scribe to pen sixth Hitchhiker's novel

Martin Winchester
Paris Hilton

Would somebody please...

Would somebody please, feed the Author, manuscript and the Suit responsible for this dreadful idea to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Trall...?

Failing that... steal the manuscript, lock it in a filing cabinet, lock the filing cabinet in a disused lavatory, stick a sign on the door saying beware of the leopard and finally remove the light.

This by the way is just culture shock... wait till I get my bearings, then i'll start complaining...

Paris... because she has a terrible pain in all the diodes down her left hand side...

The war on photographers - you're all al Qaeda suspects now

Martin Winchester
Black Helicopters

There is a funny side... honest...

As a keen amature photographer of dubious talent im lucky only ever to have been stopped twice.

The first was talking a picture of a shop front in a shopping centre in Preston, "Sorry Sir, this private property, no photography allowed..." fair enough says I and put the camera away...

The second time was photograhing the architecture at Sellafield... ok not perhaps the best idea in the world... but it did end up being rather amusing... PC Plod walks over to us trying to look as intimidating as possible...

"You do realise Sir that taking photographs in the current political climate is inadvisable..."

"I just what some shots of the cold war architecture...."

"Thats as maybe Sir, but taking photographs in the current political climate is inadvisable..."

Its at this point that his mobile goes off... quite why he was so embarressed about having the theme to Miami Vice as his ring tone i'll never know, but any pretence at authority ran away screaming...

"IM BUSY....!"

At this point we decided that discretion was the better part of valour and headed of smiling for the visitors centre...

Black helicopters beacause we were followed for the rest of the day...


Red Arrows Olympic 'ban' causes online furore

Martin Winchester

Re: Fatigue

"In all likelihood, the fatigue life on the Reds Hawks will run out by 2011..."

"Says who?"

Well by then the youngest of the aircraft will be 30 years old, doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that 30 years of Hi-G manouvers will take its toll on an airframe. There comes a point it it begins to be very expensive to keep an aircraft flying.

Its one of the reasons that the MoD is buying new Hawks for the training fleet. At the last count they were only buying 28, so that doesn't leave much for the Reds.

My guess is that the lowest houred examples of the training fleet might go to the reds, but its only a guess.


Martin Winchester

There is one good reason why the reds might not be there...

In all likelihood, the fatigue life on the Reds Hawks will run out by 2011...


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