Tag Archives: Shuttleworth

The Airman ~ Henlow Bedfordshire

It seems fitting that I’m sitting in The Airman in Henlow, not too far away from Old Warden and Shuttleworth and even more of a coincidence that Google have a picture of Amelia Earhart on their search page to celebrate her 115th birthday. She disappeared in 1937 in her attempt to be the first women pilot to fly around the world.

Why am I in The Airman? BT have decided that it will take until 5pm on Thursday to fix both my phone and internet. Yesterday I tried unsuccessfully to find a local internet cafe. I spent an hour in the local library which helped, but in order to use my own laptop, in desperation I drove to Baldock Services. It was on the way home that I noticed The Airman.

Being a pub, restaurant, hotel close to Shuttleworth and Henlow Base and Henlow Airfield it was a perfect spot to decamp to. In fact, in the pre lunch time hour it has been calm and peaceful and I’m tempted to stay to lunch.

What have I learnt through this frustration without the internet and now Sans telephone too? Firstly I have focussed on my other project, a biography of a wonderful gentleman who is 102, since I feel the urgency to complete it this summer. Secondly I have learnt not to give up. In order to make arrangements and market your novel effectively you need both the inernet and a telephone, but with a little resourcefulness another way can be found!

Next posts will ‘Booksigning at Shuttleworth’ and ‘Exciting Events in the Southampton Area 2nd to 4th August.’


Filed under Marketing your novel, Southampton, The Shuttleworth Collection

The oldest ‘Flying’ Flying Boat in the World! -Another Flying Fact from Diana

Having watched in awe as the Bleirot took off and hovered above the ground at Shuttleworth in 2009, 100 years since it first flew in 1909, my interest in old aircraft took off, if you’ll excuse the pun!

Following this, my researched honed in on early development of flying boats, mainly due to my links with Woolston and Supermarine and so I was excited to visit Duxford last autumn to climb aboard the Catalina and then watch the old bird glide above us like a giant albatross. It was while watching this spectacle that I started my quest to find the answer to this question:

What is the oldest, airworthy, flying boat in the world?

Now, on their interesting Catalina website, it tells you that the Catalina XPY-1 first flew in January 1929 in Maryland. Quite impressive!

But is it the oldest?  

I was enamoured to see an old Southampton, well, what remains of it, originally built by Supermarine in 1925 but now in Hendon museum; with its carefully built wooden hull, crafted and varnished to perfection, but however impressive it is to look down into this aircraft, of course it cannot fly.

In the end I asked the same question on the Flying Boat Forum, a place where you will meet enthusiasts; experts in the unusual history of this unique craft. You see, there’s nothing quite like a Flying Boat. A sea plane or float plane looks good, but there’s something very special about a flying boat. My next blog will be more about the differences and why these aircraft were so special, especially when they were first conceived.

I had some speedy responses which narrowed it down to a Sikorsky  Type S39, an interesting looking craft, camouflage painted in brown and white no N50V. You can click on the following photo below by Nick Dean to see many more on the site where it came from.N50V @ IA27 - / - by Nick Dean

This Sikorsky can be found in Florida, owned by Kermit Weeks and I’m told is part of The Fantasy of Flight museum collection.

Imagine my delight when another member sent a response of a link to a video where an Sikorsky S38 is on an amazing flight. It tells us in the introduction that the aircraft first flew in 1928, so I think I have my answer. Thanks guys! I’ll have to think of some more questions.  

This is truly a pleasure to watch. Enjoy!

Video of the 1928 Sikorsky

You can find more information on Seawings, The Flying Boat website.

Leave a comment

Filed under Early Flight, Flying Boats and Sea Planes, Frivolous Flying Facts, Supermarine, The Shuttleworth Collection, Woolston