Aviation & Automotive, Themed
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2021 Anniversaries of a few aviation and auto achievements

B-52 Stratofortress / Tyrell Ford
Top: B-52 Stratofortress. Bottom: Tyrell Ford

Aviation Anniversaries

30 years ago

17th January 1991 was the first day of Operation ‘Desert Storm’ when a US, UK, French and other coalition forces led a defence force to remove Iraqi forces from occupied Kuwait. U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bombers based in the US, flew a non-stop 35-hour, 14,000-mile round-trip mission to successfully strike Iraqi targets, the longest combat mission in history up to that time.

B-52 Stratofortress

B-52 Stratofortress

50 years ago

On 26th April 1971, an SR-17 Blackbird, flown by majors Thomas B. Estes and Dewain C. Vick, flew over 15,000 miles in 10 hours and 30 minutes. This flight was awarded the 1971 Mackay Trophy for the “most meritorious flight of the year” and the 1972 Harmon Trophy for “most outstanding international achievement in the art/science of aeronautics”.

SR-17 Blackbird

SR-17 Blackbird

Why not visit IWM Duxford and see a Stratofortress or the Blackbird on display in the American Air Museum?

80 years ago

On 9th January 1941 – Avro’s test pilot, Sam Brown, first flew the famous Avro Lancaster on its maiden flight from Ringway in Cheshire. Perhaps its most well-known bombing missions was in May 1943, when 617 Dam busters Squadron, led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, carrying the famous ‘bouncing bomb’, designed by Barnes Wallis, successfully destroyed three German Dams. Only 11 of the 19 aircraft returned to base.

Avro Lancaster

Avro Lancaster

You can see the above Lancaster, maintained and flown by the RAF’s Battle of Britain Flight, based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

100 years ago

On August 11th 1921, when Giovanni De Briganti, an Italian pilot, flew a Macchi M.7, to win the famous Schneider Trophy Race, with an average speed of 117.9 mph in Venice. The Schneider Trophy race was the brainchild of Frenchman, Jacques Schneider, who wanted to promote the use and development of seaplanes. The first race was held in Monaco in 1913 and triumphantly won by a French aircraft. It wasn’t until 1931, that Great Britain had won on 3 consecutive races and retained the trophy.

Macchi M.7

Macchi M.7

The World’s last remaining Macchi M.7 is being restored for static display at Sweden’s Air Force Base at Malmen Airbase in Malmslätt.

Automotive Anniversaries

30 years ago

In the UK, Vauxhall Cars redesigned their Astra as a third-generation model in October 1991, whilst in Germany, Volkswagen launched their new version of the famous ‘Golf’. The Mark 3 was subsequently voted European Car of the Year. What did they have in common? – a new focus on safety!

Vauxhall Astra third generation

Vauxhall Astra third generation

VW Golf Mark 3

VW Golf Mark 3

50 years ago

Formula One motor racing entered its 25th anniversary of the Federation Internationale de L’automobile. 1971 saw the Formula 1 racing driver Jackie Stewart winning the International Cup for F1 Manufacturers driving a Tyrrell Ford. Now Sir Jackie Stewart, he has won the Grand Prix 27 times in 99 races, 3 world championships and becomes one of the greatest Formula One drivers ever.

Tyrrell Ford

Tyrrell Ford

80 years ago

UK Car production was replaced by the need to support the war effort.

In 1940, the British Army were down to their last 100 tanks, and Winston Churchill called on Vauxhall Motors in Luton to save the day. They ably rose to the challenge, even though it made the town a target for the Luftwaffe and between March and December 1941, 500 Churchill Tanks were built. The factory in Luton also turned out a quarter of a million trucks during the course of the war and resumed car production in 1945.

Luton’s Vauxhall factory in 1941

Luton’s Vauxhall factory in 1941

Churchill Tank

Churchill Tank

Why not see a Churchill Mark MkII A22 Tank at the Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset?

100 years ago

James Lansdowne Norton started manufacturing motor bikes in 1902 and in 1921, launched the ‘Colonial’ which was a Model 16 with higher ground clearance for use on poor quality roads. Now, 100 years later, the reborn marque is planning to manufacture their famous motor bikes once again. Under their new owners, the Indian TVS Motor Group plans to hand build more than 200 bikes each year at a new factory at Solihull, West Midlands.

Restored 1921 Norton Colonial

Restored 1921 Norton Colonial

Places to visit:

American Air Museum, Cambridge
www.americanairmuseum.com

RAF Coningsby, Lincoln
www.raf.mod.uk/our-organisation/stations/raf-coningsby

Tank Museum, Bovington
www.tankmuseum.org

American Air Museum

Tank Museum

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