The SLV’s Dutchmen

Currently on at the State Library of Victoria (re-opening today) is the ‘Velvet, Iron, Ashes’ exhibition, which among several other great things contains an excellent selection of items relating to the 1934 MacRobertson air race. The display includes a newsreel highlights, and the promotional poster (seen above) as well as one of the many route…

Visibly Invisibly Wonderful

By special request, today we have Wonder Woman‘s invisible jet. The toy above (image from here on Flickr) represents one vision of invisibility, while the still from the TV series is quite different below, and almost could relate to the popular plastic model kits with see through structures often touted as the ‘Visible ‘or ‘Invistible’…

Toys of Yesteryear

Today a photo of a British toy shop window – A caption gives it as ‘Henley, UK, 1960, by Stuart James’. It’s an interesting mix that social historians could, I’m sure, make a lot of. Aircraft aren’t particularly prominent, but they’re there. Right in the middle, is model box of a de Havilland DH 106…

Travolta’s Smallest Airliner?

The one and only John Travolta (just arrived in Australia as I write) well known as a film star, sometimes known as a pilot, and an owner of several large aircraft, including his own Qantas colours bedecked Boeing 707 – yes, a real, full-size airliner. This is due to be donated to the Historic Aircraft…

AI – A?

Fifty years ago on the 15th September, 1969, the ‘Battle of Britain’ film was released. A painstaking effort at telling the story of the 1940 Battle, as well as an all-star cast, a huge fleet of aircraft was assembled for the real aerial cinematography. Though the film was not a success at the box office,…

Flight Deck!

Today a toy that will bring back memories for the seventies Airfix generation. It was issued in two forms; the original blue Royal Navy McDonnell Douglas Phantom and a later yellow version, much simplified overall. Here, above is the simpler version. The exciting box contained the bits to enable you to launch a Phantom jet…

Fair Flak

Today we have a children’s board game. The boxtop is pretty clear, it’s a Nazi German anti-aircraft game. Entitled ‘Adler Luftverteidigungsspiel’ (Eagles Air Defence Game) the box depicts a German 88mm Flak gun shooting down a British Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV (a favourite ‘target’ of German propaganda). The story, thanks to Board Game Geeks website: ‘This…

Card Game Biplane

Lots of games and toys have representative ‘aeroplanes’ within them. Here’s one for the App Solitare by Mobility Ware from my phone. This is a biplane (so extra points) and while it ‘cheats’ by changing the dimensions of some cards to fill some bits of the structure, I think it captures the spirit of both…

Sunset Walrus

HMS Sheffield’s Supermarine Walrus amphibian alighting in Hong Kong harbour, 1938, notes the caption in Roy Huxley’s painting for the boxtop of the Matchbox 1/72 kit. A beautifully evocative, accurate image. James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer. Internet find.

Ghost on the Label

Another neat item courtesy Gregory Alegi in Italy, an air freight parcel label. Gregory writes: “Air freight label of ALI [Avio Linee Italiane] Flotte Riunite, hence post 1949, used to ship a model train from Rome to Milan. It was a Christmas gift for a well-to-do twelve year-old, who eventually went on to become a…