Air NORTH Magazine Article Archive

Air NORTH prides itself not only on the comprehensive coverage of aviation in our local area, but also upon the quality and diverse range of the articles published in the 'back half' of each issue. Supplied by our many contributors, these articles form a substantial archive of original writing. This page provides links to yearly indexes of all those articles published in the past. If you are interested in any of these articles for individual research etc., please get in touch via the 'Back Issue Availability Request' button, as we may still have copies available! (samples of some of those articles listed can be accessed via the Adobe Acrobat pdf icons)

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

2011 2012 2013 2014



The Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland and Caithness Aviation Trail Part 1 - Graeme Rendall

The former airfields of Evanton and Alness form the basis of Graeme’s venture into Scotland as he looks at what remains of the former sights which housed 64 Sqdn, 774 Sqdn, No.4 (C)OTU and No. 8 Air Gunners School (8 AGS).


Foster Winker Wicko GM-1 G-AFJB - Raymond Rayner

Bad weather forced this aircraft to land at Walney Island and ultimately fall off the edge of the cliff. Restored years later this little known aircraft is back in the air today


Spotting En-route Paradise - Richard Athey

Maldives via Dubai provides the aviation enthusiast with and interesting array of exotic aircraft to look at. Richard travelled on a holiday but enlightens us as to what can be seen.


The Cosmic Canberra Visits Mildenhall - Phil Dawe

Canberra WB-57 NASA928/N928NA began a detachment to the UK in October 2005 to take cosmic dust samples. Phil gained access to the operation and visited the crew when fully ‘suited up‘, giving us an insight into this unique form of flying.



The Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland and Caithness Aviation Trail Part 2 - Graeme Rendall

Fearn (HMS Owl) RAF Tain and RAF Meikle Ferry are all visited with many of the buildings still surviving today. Tain is still operational through the range facility, whilst part of its past included raids by 76 Sqdn Halifax’s on the Tirpitz.


Concorde at East Fortune - Matt Falcus

Extensive shuffling of the established exhibits has taken place to accommodate Concorde G-BOAA in her new resting place. Matt made his way north to see how the changes have been made and climb aboard the SST.


The Vickers Warwick - Peter Ure

Loosely based follow-up to the Cairn Hill Warwick article, Peter looks at the development of the aircraft and its sterling service in the ASR role which included the ’Thornaby Bag’ survival kit, developed from personnel based at RAF Thornaby. Details of post war crashes are given including HG184, HF985, HF944 and HG136.


Aeroflot Turbolets at Kunovice - Graeme Rendall

Visiting the LET factory in 1992, our author wandered through 31 stored LET 410s, their fate unsecured as the collapse of the old Soviet Bloc began to bite.


Blackburn Beverley at RAF Ouston - Jack Harris

Two photo’s depicting Beverley ’N’ in support of the RAF Red Arrows Gnat deployment to RAF Ouston in Northumberland.


Aviation’s Unsung Hero Charles E. Taylor - Kenneth MacTiernan

The Wright brothers wouldn’t of got off the ground if it wasn’t for the efforts of Charles Taylor. His expertise in producing a lightweight engine gave the Wright Flyer just enough power to take to the air. The history behind the man is explained in this article.



The Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland and Caithness Aviation Trail Part 3 - Graeme Rendall

The focus falls upon Wick with its history of 803 Sqdn Skua’s and 269 Sqdn Anson’s to the modern day operation of Loganair SF.340s. The little known satellite landing grounds of Kirkton and Skitten are also covered in great detail.


Newcastle International Airport Scheduled Route Development 2005/2006 - Alan Ramshaw

New routes kept rolling in during this period of the airports history, Ryanair, Hapag-Lloyd Express, EU Jet, Jet 2, Lufthansa and Helios all added to the growth of this north east’s airport.


To Stansted by Easy jet - David Ferrari

Day return from Newcastle to Stansted is possible and affordable with easy jet and gives the aviation enthusiast an opportunity to sample the delights of Global Supply Systems 747s, Air Berlin 737s, Fedex MD-11s and the various stored aircraft at this busy Essex airport.


Mil’s First Big lifters - Graeme Rendall

The history and development of the Mil Design Bureau’s Mil-6 Hook and Mil-10 Harke are looked at by the author. Close up photography of Hook 51(red) at Novosibrisk/Severniy airfield and Harke CCCP-04119 at Irkutsk in 1992.


Mystery Mysteres - Richard Bowater

A photo feature asking for details of two French AF Mystere’s at Teesside Airport - subsequently, Mike Fairless in the May Mag. reveals 77/10-RC and 21/10-RR were present for the King’s Cup Air Races on 05/07/67.


Falke Crash at Milfield - Mark Williams and Steve Barnes

Long term resident of the North East, Scheibe SF-25B Falke G-AXEO crashed on takeoff at Milfield on 09/07/2005. The AAIB is quoted and photographs taken at the scene depict the uninjured pilot accessing the damage.


Evolution Not Revolution 2005 - Peter Ure

Yearly review of the development of Air North as a society and magazine highlights with statistical analysis.



The Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland and Caithness Aviation Trail Part 4 - Graeme Rendall

Concluding part of Graeme’s venture into Scotland, picking up on the remnants of old RN U-Boat radar station at Dunnet Head, the Gee transmitter site at Burifa Hill, RAF Castletown and RAF Dounreay, which became the site of the Uks first fast-breeder reactor.


Antique Pleasure Trippers - Glen Auld

Trips to Florida produced some good photographs of elderly sightseeing aircraft for Glen. Stinson Junior NC11168, Stinson SM.8A N205W and Ford Trimotor N414H of Scenic Airlines were all airworthy and snapped by Glen on his travels.


Floatplane at Teesside - Richard Bowater

Cessna 206 C-GBIW visited Teesside but the author wishes to know the date and purpose of the journey.


Low Level Lynx - Peter Nicholson

Close up shot of Lynx ZG885 as it transports Forward Air Controllers around the range complex at RAF Spadeadam


Tragedy at Twizel - Graeme Rendall

Twizel near Belford in Northumberland was the sight of a believed unauthorised low flying crash of Miles Master N7558. Sgt. Alan Joseph Dodd RAFVR aged 20 was attached to 55 OTU at RAF Usworth and died in the incident on 28/03/42.


Stranded Sea King - Graeme Rendall

Details of a temporally abandoned Sea King HAR.3 of ’D’ Flt 202 Sqdn in the Cairngorms on 27/02/2006. Attempting to rescue an injured climber the aircraft encountered severe weather and landed in the snow to await better conditions the following day.


Air North Annual General Report 2006

Brief outline of the constitutional and personnel changes to the society and committee.



The Highland Aviation Museum - Graeme Rendall

Situated on the adjoining industrial unit of Inverness Airport, the museum covers the aviation history of the area, while Buccaneer XV867 provides a loose link with our area - ’no brakes’ landing at RAF Leeming and the cockpit was once resident at Chop Gate.


Thoughts on Frankfurt - David Ferrari

Viewing the airport from the Intercity Hotel provided our reporter with the opportunity to increase his coverage over the weekend of his visit. David details the cost of his visit and the buses taken to get to the other vantage spots.


Western Run-up at Newcastle - Peter Ure

A particular piece of tarmac at Newcastle Airport has over the years served as a refuse area for military aircraft calling an emergency. Upper Heyford based F-111E 680077 and Marineflieger Atlantic 61+20 are both featured and pictured during their enforced stay.


A Wet Afternoon in South Yorkshire - Richard Athey

Doncaster Robin Hood Airport, former RAF Finningley was the subject of a brief visit from Richard. The modern terminal kept the elements out and along with Ryanair and Thomson 737’s, the long runway is popular for military overshoot - an RAF VC-10 doing the rounds on this occasion.


Aeroplanes, Aeroplanes, Where For Art You - David Webster

The area around Verona in Northern Italy is explored by David as he takes in the delights of ValerioCatuillodi Villafranca and Boscomantico Airport to saviour the Latin aviation scene.


AA Postscript - Glen Auld

Follow on article to Glen’s Dec 2003 Automobile Association offering. further research has uncovered use of Morton Air Service Consul G-AIAH/PK252 within the association during early 1956.


Newcastle’s Pre-war British Aircraft Swallow - Glen Auld

BA Swallow G-AELG was purchased by the Newcastle upon Tyne Aero Club and delivered on 28/07/1936. Glen traces the history of the aircraft through its time at Sywell, Shoreham, Panshanger and Christchurch. It also took part in the Folkestone Trophy Races and ultimately became EI-AMU.


Base Tour Los Llanos Albacete - Richard Bowater

Our reporter applied and was given access to the Spanish AF base housing THE LAST 2 Spanish AF Mirage F.1 Sqdn’s in 2005. His visit took in the hardened aircraft shelters and Richard went on to photographed F.1s C.14-31, C.14-36, C.14-37, C14-56 and C.14-76.


Schonhagen - Graeme Rendall

The Brandenburg region of Germany is the home of Schonhagen airfield 40 miles south of Berlin. Graeme visited just after the re-unification of Germany, the field looking rather dilapidated although newly established aviation related companies provided hope for the future.



The Aviation Legacy of the Ferguson Family - Peter Ure

Established road haulage firm Ferguson‘s, have run their business from Blyth since 1920. Operating Hughes 369 G-FRGY from their own heliport, the family relinquished the site after the loss of Alan Ferguson and Stuart Ferguson when the Hughes crashed. The Great North Air Ambulance Squirrel G-NAAS carried on the aviation link at the heliport.


RAF Linton on Ouse Military/Civil Air Safety Day - Alex Cunningham

Flying into Linton onboard PA28 G-GBRB, our author details the seminar and the complexity of the airspace around North Yorkshire.


“The Great Scottish Gathering” the PFA 60th Anniversary Joint Scottish Strut Fly-in - Graeme Rendall and Ron Richardson

A healthy turnout of aircraft was enjoyed by our reporters at Glenrothes in May - aircraft highlights being: Starduster Too G-JIII, Cessna 170 N170AZ and De Havilland Moth G-AANL.



Northumberland County Show Corbridge - Danny Bowie, Graeme Rendall and Ron Richardson

Two aircraft provided the aviation delights of this years show, Hercules ZH885 and Tucano ZF143 both running in low for our reporting team to ’snap’ from their vantage point to the south of the display area.


Mildenhall Air Fete - Peter Nicholson

Memories of the past American Air Fete’s held at the Suffolk airfield and photographs showing Lockheed Viking S-3A 159751 and a Rockwell Bronco OV-10A.


The Fisburn PFA Fly-in

Excellent weather increased the aviation turnout for this event, some as far away as Cambridge as confirmed by the arrival of Vans RV-6 G-BZRV. Other participants were Nipper G-AWDA, Robinson R.44 G-PIXX and Mudry CAP 21 G-BPPS.


Britannia Airways - David Webster

Short history of two Boeing 737s which appeared at Newcastle Aiport in the late 80’s sporting hybrid colour schemes. G-BAZI with obvious Airways International Cymru livery and G-BONM carrying toned down PLUNA colours.


Obituary Lt/Cdr JWG Wellham DSC - Peter Ure

Forever linked to Fariey Swordfish P3999 ‘E5H’ which he piloted in the Battle of Taranto during 1940, John sadly past away on the 15th May 2006. John had been a good ’friend’ of Air NORTH and conducted a Meetings Night for us in 2000, regaling us about his time in the air in that historic battle and his views that the Japanese learnt from the episode, using it as a blueprint for their Pearl Harbour attack.



Defunct Airlines, People Express - David Webster

Newcastle hosted a few People Express diversions in the mid 1980’s, Boeing 747 N604PE was captured on one such occasion on 08/03/85.


A Tale of Two Little-known Airfields, Attlebridge and Swannington - Graeme Rendall

An in-depth look at two disused WWII Norfolk airfields. The former housed Dutch 320 Sqdn with Hudsons and Mitchells and USAAF Marauders and Liberators. The latter saw Mosquito’s of 85 Sqdn and 157 Sqdn.


Le 24 Heures Du Mans, the Alternative Machines - David Webster

The sleepy airport of Le Mans-Arnage comes alive over the weekend of the famous event. David looks at the influx which included Sun Air Do328s, Skyways Fokker 50 and visiting biz-jets.


Marineflieger 2 Star fighters - Peter Nicholson

Peter looks with affection to the days MFG-1 and MFG-2 flew the Lockheed F-104G Starfighter and in particular 23+22 which he pictured at Lossiemouth on 16/07/82.


Fishburn PFA Fly-in - Keith Bradley, Raymond Rayner and Graeme Rendall

More photos from the fly-in featured in the July issue. Aeronca Champion G-BTNO, Jodel D119 G-ATJN and Isaacs Fury G-BNZW/K2048 all feature.



The Tyneside Grand Prix Air Display - Graeme Rendall

The Honda Power Boat event at South Shields attracted 25,000 spectators and an aviation element. Will Curtis in the Team Road Angel Sukhoi SU-26 G-SIID dislayed, while TV coverage came from EC.135 G-BZRS and pleasure flights from Jet Ranger G-FANY.


The 2006 Sunderland International Airshow - Peter Ure

RFA Wave Ruler provided the backdrop for the display to this year’s event attracting new type debutants in Typhoon ZJ920 and Sea Vixen G-CIVX. Sadly this was probably the last display from a Harrier as ZD403 performed while other attractions came from Sea Fury VR930 and B-17 G-BEDF.


The Morebattle Games Air Display - Graeme Rendall

A single Hawk from 208(R) Sqdn displayed over the games and provided interesting angles for our reporter in the hilly surroundings. XX345 however was piloted superbly and the aircraft was captured turning into the display by Graeme’s camera lens.


The 2006 Windermere Airshow - Graeme Rendall

A larger participation by aircraft in the flying display enhanced the fantastic back-drop that Lake Windermere provides for such an aviation event. Graeme, positioned on the overlooking hillside reported on and provided great shots of aircraft from the Red Arrows and included Huey G-UHIH, Merlin ZJ137, Harrier ZD403, Tornado ZD810, whilst the Red Devils used Lynx ZF539 as their 'jump ship'.


The PFA North West Strut Fly-in - Ron Richardson

Kirkbride was the location for the event and attracted a fair amount of visitors on 30/07/06. Providing jet excitement was Jet Provost G-BVEZ/XM479 while on the ground could be found Bulldog G-BZON, Gazelles G-BZDV and G-DMSS, Chipmunk G-BZDU, Squirrel G-PASH and Bensen G-YROS to name but a few.


The 2006 East Fortune Airshow - Ron Richardson

A varied and interesting turnout from visiting aircraft paved the way for an enjoyable visit by Ron to the show on a cloudy day. Although the flying was a rather truncated affair, displays were given by Do328 G-BYHG, Lynx XZ228, Merlin ZJ137, B-17 G-BDEF, P-51 G-HAEC and Sea Fury VR930. Raised eyebrows highlighted the extra charge for car parking on top of the reasonable £15 for the show, a necessity for most at the show.


Obituary: Ronald Douglas Edward Peel - Glen Auld

With the passing of Ron Peel, Glen focused upon the sad loss by highlighting the exceptional talent Ron possessed. Glen observed that from 1,840 aviation negatives, Ron produced 1.600 fantastic photographs - a fantastic 'strike rate' in the pre-digital photograph world.


Supermarine Queries - Glen Auld

Further information was sort by Glen in his pursuit of Seafire LA546 and LA564 languishing at Clarkes' Foundry in Carlisle on 16/04/60 as well as Spitfire SL721 sitting pretty when photographed at Beaulieu Abbey on 22/05/60. Glen also wanted to find more information about Spitfire LA255 and Supermarine 510, both 'snapped' at Cardington on 26/06/61.


The Rise and Fall of Two Propliners - Glen Auld

Spartan Air Services DC-3 CF-ITH ex VP-KLJ visited Prestwick on 15/03/61 was an avid visited to the UK and can still be seen at the Malta Aviation Museum. North American B-25 N86411 owned by Lloyd Beck Masonry visited Prestwick on 03/03/62 with engine trouble and subsequently was lost whilst transiting the Mediterranean Sea 6 days later.


Royal International Air Tattoo 2006 - Nick Hoenich

In the heat of weekend 15-16/07/06 Fairford played host to a multitude of aircraft from many nations. Nick highlighted a few of his favourites, which included VC1- XV104, Osprey 166391, Eurofighter C.16-26. The Pakistani C-130 Hercules won two of the trophies on offer after the tanks they express from the humanitarian relief they received during the earthquake they suffered in 2005.



Fokker F-28 PH-MOL - Dave Webster

Steeped in Newcastle Airport history, PH-MOL was an foreign registered aircraft operation for Air Anglia and Air UK during the late 1970s and early 1980s.


The 2006 Berwick upon Tweed Lifeboat Fete - Graeme Rendall

Sea King HAR.3 ZA105/Q was the centre of attention as she performed air lifting duties at the fete on 20/08/06. Working with the Berwick RNLI crews, 'A' Flight 202 Squadron extolled the virtues of and demonstrated the skills needed to provide a this type of rescue service.


The Amble and Seahouses Lifeboat Fetes - Ron Richardson

Sea King HAR.3 ZA105/Q 'A' Flight 202 Squadron was once again out on display during 27/08/06, this time working with the Mersey Class ALB 12-19 named The Four Boys and the 'D' Class ILB D-589 named Rosemary Palmer. Several runs were made by the Sea King crew of W/Cmd Warren James and S/Ldr Dave Williams.


Three of the Best from Silloth - Glen Auld

Before its closure in December 1960, 22 MU at Silloth played host to three interesting types of aircraft. Photographs from that era were Twin Pioneers XM959 and XM963, Neptune WX506 and De Havilland Mosquito VP197.


Tebay Tornado - Graham Farish

A great topside shot of a RAF Panavia Tornado GR.4 streaking through the Dunmail Raise just south of Thirlmere near Tebay in Cumbria was provided by Graham. Low-level traffic is common place in this area and is well worth a visit for if the individual is prepared to indulge in a spot of hill walking.


Storm in a Brew Cup - Peter Ure

A light-hearted look back at some aviation related experiences when the author was a member of the TA. The imminent arrival of a VIP in a Gazelle was the focus of attention, however a steaming hot cup of tea, brewed just before the event became a test of endurance for one individual.


Scottish Air Ambulance Air Wing - Graeme Rendall

Bond Air Services operates fleet of Europcopter EC.135 helicopters on behalf of the Scottish Ambulance service. The author visited Glasgow heliport to witness G-BZRS in its vital role. The company also operates similar machines G-SASA and G-SASB.


Engine Failure at Cramlington - Graeme Rendall

The Newcastle upon Tyne Aero Club began life at the aerodrome at Cramlington in 1925. Operating De Havilland DH60 Moth G-EBLY successfully for a couple of years, however its demise came on 22/02/1927 when flown by John Irving on a local flight. Water in the fuel system was found to be a contributory factor to the engine stopping culminating in a stall and the aircraft was written off. Thankfully the pilot survived and the Club carried on operating sister aircraft G-EBLX.


Bachem's Viper - Graeme Rendall

The replica Bachen Ba349B Natter poinr defence interceptor, situated at the Planes of Fame Museum at Chino California USA provided the emphasis for Graeme to relate the history of this strange looking German WWII aircraft.



Aviation In The Orkney Islands, Past And Present (Part 1) - Graeme Rendall

The author begins a series of articles based upon his travels to the remote islands, focusing upon the aviation history of the area and the remnants of what remains to be viewed as well as the current aerial activities. Loganair's inter island service was his vehicle to explore airfields at Stronsay, Papa Westray and Kirkwall. Graeme also expands upon the aviation in the 1930s mentioning Ernest Edmund Fresson the pioneer of air travel in the islands.


The History and development of the Executive Jet - Andy Hutchings

Charting the various developments and different designs in this genre of aviation, Andy explores Cessna's popular executive jet, the Citation. Detailed analysis of the individual types of Citation range is given of the Citation I, Citation II, Citation II, Citation III, Citation V, Citation VI, Citation VII, Citation 510, Citation 525, Citation 560, Citation 680 and Citation X.


North East aircraft Museum Re-visited - Peter Ure

Updating the latest changes at the museum, Peter gives details as to Vampire VV217, Sea Balliol WN516, Firefly VT409 and Lightning ZF594. The latter currently being fitted with the tail of sistership ZF577.


RAF Leuchars Airshow 2006 - Ron Richardson

One of the highlights for Ron during the show was the Tactical demonstration conducted over the airfield by Tornado GR.4s and F.3s and involving a Chinook with pyrotechnics. The extension of the crowd line past the old control tower was also noted as this gave the public a greater view of the many aircraft later to appear in the flying display. East European participation was in evidence with the Czech and Polish air forces.



Airshow Down Under: Defence Force Airshow RAAF Base Richmond - Nick Hoenich

Nick reported from the show, a showcase for the Australian military and was delighted to experience the fuel venting and ignition from a 6 Squadron F-111as well as displays from FA-18 Hornets and BAe Hawk Mk.127s. Combined with the modern Seahawk SH-60s and Lockheed Orion P-3, there was a vibrant 'warbird' participation. A Spitfire, Canberra, Meteor, DC-3 and Lockheed Neptune also took pride of place.


Flight Precision - Matt Falcus

Our author gives us an insight into the activities of Flight Precision at Durham/Tees Valley airport, with its fleet of 4 King Air's based on calibration services for the aviation industry. The company undertakes work on Microwave Landing Systems, NDBs, Secondary Surveillance Radars, doppler VHF Omni range as well as the VOR, ILS and DME equipment.


Santa's Yearly Flight Test - Graeme Rendall

A seasonal tongue-in-cheek narrative on the exploits of a certain character thrown headlong once a year into the lower reaches of the world’s airspace in the pursuit of fulfilment for all those that inhabit our planet.


A Room with a View - Andrew Murray

Would E M Forester have enjoyed the view as much as Andrew? We will never know, however others with an aviation slant may like to follow in the footsteps of Andrew as he booked into the Renaissance Hotel at Heathrow before flying to Miami. Making his way to Atlanta, the view over the apron from the 9th floor of the hotel enabled Andrew to enjoy some spectacular views of the aircraft at this extremely busy airport.


A 'Secret' VC10 - Peter Ure

Having taken an uncomplimentary photo of VC10 XV109 at the Wyton Airshow on 16/07/83 with its nose poking through specially designed hanger doors that fitted around the fuselage, some research was needed. It ascertains that during that time the VC10 fleet were going through a secure communications upgrade and Wyton was the site chosen to conduct the necessary work, VC10s were flown in one at a time to have the doors clamped around them, as height was a restriction and also hiding the work the was to take place.


Errol's Gannet - Ron Richardson

Composite Fairey Gannet XG882 could be found at the airfield near Dundee. Ron snapped the portly airframe on site and delved into its history when she was an active airframe. During its restoration, parts from Gannet's XA463 and XG889 were used.


Yorkshire Autogyros - Graeme Rendall

The old Yorkshire wartime airfield at Melbourne, a few miles from the airfield at Breighton was the farm location of eight elusive autogyros back in the early 1990s. Graeme visited the the site in May 1993 and photographed Bensen B.8MR G-BTJS and WHE Airbuggy G-AXZA.


Orion Airways - Dave Webster

Dave takes a quick look back at defunct airline Orion Airways, a common sight at Newcastle Airport during the 1980s. Owned by Horizon Travel the airline was acquired by Thomson's and its fleet absorbed into that concern.


Pearson International Airport Toronto - Richard Athey

Reporting from this Canadian airport, Richard details the airlines flying into this location. Jazz ERJs and DHC-8s, Westair 737s, DC-9s from DHL and UPS, Air Jamaica A321s and A320s from TACA were just some of the airlines and aircraft seen from this busy hub.


NESU Airlines at Newcastle Airport - Dave Webster

A brief look at the interesting Boeing 727 9K-AFC of defunct Turkisk Airline Nesu Air. Painted in basic Kuwait Airlines colours this particular aircraft visited Newcastle on 16/05/88. 


The December 2013 issue contained a fully illustrated report from a visit to Conair, 'the Tanker People' at Abbotsford, British Columbia.

The November 2013 issue included a short 'Photo Feature' concerning the Adria Douglas DC-6 preserved at Ljubljana Airport.

In the August 2013 edition our Editor began a short series of articles looking at some interesting DC-9s photographed during his first, 'life-changing' visit to the USA in the fall of 1986.