09 February 2005


Predator drones have seen more combat service than is widely known, and Defensetech has the video footage to prove it.


In a move that will surely drive guys like Starfighter nuts (and I'm not exactly happy about it, either!), it seems that new releases of model aeroplane kits are being delayed or stopped altogether by issues over intellectual copyright;

These royalty demands grew out of the idea that corporations should maximize “intellectual property” income. Models of a companys products are considered the intellectual property of the owner of a vehicle design. Some intellectual property lawyers have pointed out that many of these demands are on weak legal ground, but the kit manufacturers are often small companies that cannot afford years of litigation to settle this contention.

These sorts of legal problems are affecting real aeroplanes as well. The magnificent Flug Werk FW190 reproductions had to call themselves "FW190s" rather than Fw190s in order to avoid legal wrangling, according to an excellent recent article in the January edition of Flypast magazine. None of this sounds sensible at all.


Lefty Gardner's famous P-38 is being sold. The new owners may even see the aircraft restored in time for Reno 2006.

02 February 2005


I watched The Alamo on DVD today, and was quite impressed with it. Strategypage provided a review recently which pretty much states what I think (lazy reviewer, aren't I?), but I did like the added touch of continuing the storyline on to the battle of San Jacinto. Whereupon the Mexican leader gets the most humiliating treatment I think a dictator got until Saddam was hauled from his fox hole.

It was certainly better than Gods and Generals, which I also looked at recently. I quite like civil war epics, and enjoyed Gettysburg, but somehow Gods and Generals falls short of the earlier films achievement, despite having the same backing in its production, and a similar attention to historical detail.

...and another thing....
The internet is certainly a wonderful time waster. Watching these films left yours truly pondering; when did the last veterans of these wars pass away? Just how far out of living memory are they?

Years ago I would have been left without an answer to a question like that for, well, years. Thanks to the wonders of google, though, we find out that;
-the last union veteran was Albert Woolson, who died 8/2/56, age 109,
-the last confederate was John Salling, who died 3/16/58, age 112.

This doesn't entirely satisfy my curiosity; it seems that Woolson never saw any combat, and neither did Salling. John Salling's story has also been disputed by some who think he may not have been honest about his background. So now I'm left pondering who the last combat veteran was. And this time, even google has failed me (so far). I can't work out who the last surviving veteran of San Jacinto was either. And before you think trying to find out whom the last surviving Alamo veteran was is a complete no-brainer, consider the case of the couriers who got out of the beleagured fort. They where certainly veterans, so who where they and what became of them, I wonder?


I've been absent from posting anything in recent weeks (I blame the silly season...and laziness), but on returning to look at the usual rounds of warbird web sites after a long absence I couldn't help but be impressed (as usual) by the recent articles published at Warbird Aeropress. Take a look.

Meanwhile, Blue Thunder Air Racing have some new information on their own P-51 racer. Except that it isn't quite a P-51!

But then, most of the P-51 airframes in the unlimited air racing class have been so modified nowadays that they aren't quite a P-51 either... not that it has ever stopped me from admiring them...


Aeroplane magazine is covering the recovery of a P-39 from an artic lake; from the first available picture, it seems very well preserved.