By Jim Eames
How do you try force a jumbo jet? And why did a civil aviation director as soon as taxi a airplane down Perth's major highway to wait a ball? From the ridiculous to the downright risky, the tale of Australian aviation is filled with stories of event and state development. it's also a narrative approximately tragedy and whimsical characters with wild larrikin spirits. during this striking, attention-grabbing, and infrequently very humorous assortment, Jim Eames brings jointly the nice forgotten and untold stories of Australian aviation. There are the tales of the Catalina flying boats that have been Australia's purely aviation hyperlink to the united kingdom in the course of global warfare II, and that of Qantas' record-breaking continuous flight internationally. And what of the long-forgotten hijacks and the dramas of the Darwin airlifts after Cyclone Tracy? unique, nostalgic, and intensely readable, the tales Jim tells will surely make you need to take to the skies.
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Extra info for Taking to the Skies: Great Australian Flying Stories
Even when viewed against the tremendous development in post-war aviation and the coming of the jet age, the Double Sunrise service stands as an incredible accomplishment. Very strict guidelines have always surrounded the operation of twin-engine aircraft over water, with the essential requirement for the aircraft to be within range of the nearest adequate airfield should one engine fail in flight. Even with the introduction of Qantas’ Bird of Paradise service with DC-3 aircraft between Sydney and Port Moresby in the fifties, the sector from Townsville to Port Moresby could not be flown direct but was ‘bent’, so that the aircraft was always within 60 minutes at single-engine cruise speed, first of Cairns, then Cooktown, then Lockhart River Mission and finally Thursday Island, all of which had to be ‘open for business’.
Thus pilots were forced to maintain forward pressure on the controls to keep the aircraft level enough to reduce drag and achieve its most efficient fuel-burning profile. With the addition of heavy fuel loads, taking off could be a protracted and, for some, an extremely uncomfortable experience. For a flying boat to become airborne it must reach sufficient speed over the surface of the water to allow the hull of the aircraft to rise onto what is termed ‘the step’, or the point at which the hull has lifted enough to overcome the drag created by the water.
As the weeks passed and demands for low-flying and parachute training increased, along with the long-range missions, maintenance crews would eventually work double shifts to keep the Liberators flying. There were positives, however, with the development of a close relationship with the men of AIB’s 3 Para Wing, which had been permanently based at Leyburn to provide training and parachute packing for the Z Special Unit personnel. As for the latter, 3 Para Wing, under the command of a former member of the British SOE, Major H.
Taking to the Skies: Great Australian Flying Stories by Jim Eames