The Observer's Book of Aircraft

Inspiration - The Observer's Book of Aircraft January 31 2014, 2 Comments

FLIGHTBOOK was inspired by the 1956 edition of "The Observer's Book of Aircraft.  This British publication presents approximately 350 fixed wing and rotary aircraft - each shown via one photograph and three simple yet detailed profiles (top, front and side) in black and white.

Cover of the 1956 edition

The book was originally created to help spot friendly and enemy aircraft in World War II and then developed post war to include all major types of civilian and military planes and helicopters.

Pages on aircraft identification

The now out-of-print book also lists the major aircraft registrations of the time - including a number of now former British colonies:


Pages of aircraft registration


The 1956 edition is particularly interesting as international commercial jet aircraft was just about to take off and yet there were still a number of WWI-era aircraft in use at that time.

Pages of the Lockheed Super Constellation


Pages of the Boeing 367-80


Pages of the Dassault Super Mystere B1


Pages of the Ilyushin Bison


Pages of the Douglas F4 Skyray


We hope our FLIGHTBOOK incorporates some of the same successful design concepts found in The Observer's Book of Aircraft - clean, simple, easy to examine images and straightforward explanations.

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Floyd Bennett Field October 06 2013, 1 Comment

While participating in a motorcycle rally near KJFK to help raise money for wounded soldiers, I stopped by Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York - around 10 miles west of the airport.

Floyd Bennett Field was the original New York airport and was built between 1928 and 1931.  In 1939 LaGuardia Airport opened and Floyd Bennett Field became a Naval Air Station. Today the New York City Police department uses a portion of the field for helicopter training.

The control tower at Floyd Bennett Field 

Today, inside a nondescipt hangar on the edge of the airport, a group of experienced volunteers and professionals restore and display a number of fascinating aircraft. It's a hodgepodge of a dozen or more planes, helicopters, engines, equipment, (disarmed) bombs and other interesting items and all they ask for is a USD2 donation.

Boeing KC97 Stratofreighter


Interestingly, there is an illustration of the Boeing KC97 Stratofreighter in The Observer's Book of Aircraft:

Pages of the Boeing KC97 Stratofreighter


Lockheed "Neptune"


Aircraft with wing sawn off 


Being buzzed by an NYPD helicopter before the motorcycle rally


 New York Police Department Agusta Spa A119 


When leaving Brooklyn, I had to stop and photograph is this sign:


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