The Model is the world's first pressurized commercial transport and it flies higher, farther, and faster than any other airliner, but this mishap, along with World War II, dooms its future. A 10th was built for industrialist Howard Hughes. The Stratoliner was designed with the wings, tail assembly, and engines of the B Flying Fortress, making it the largest land based airplane in the world at that time. The most attractive feature was a pressurized cabin, allowing the plane to fly at 26, feet at the comfort of sea level, and over weather systems.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowdingcommanding officer of RAF Fighter Command, had put a huge amount of effort into developing the world's first complete air defence system incorporating the Chain Home radar stations, Royal Observer Corps ground observation posts, telecommunications, and information processing.
He used hit and run tacticswith an enemy raid potentially being engaged by several squadrons in turn. The tactic had been questioned by many of Park's subordinates, who were appalled by the high loss rates amongst the squadrons of 11 Gp.
In this battle of attrition they wanted to employ larger formations to provide mutual protection and reduce casualties. By contrast, Leigh-Mallory, the commander of the neighbouring No.
One of Leigh-Mallory's subordinates was the acting leader of No. Experience covering the French beaches against air attack had convinced Bader that large formations were essential and with Leigh-Mallory's blessing a special wing was formed at RAF Duxford to try to prove the Big Wing theory.
Supported by Duxford station commander Group Captain "Woody" Woodhall, Bader's "wing" theory was developed over the next few days, and initially involved three squadrons; Sqn, No. On 7 Septemberthe "Big Wing" was scrambled operationally for the first time, to patrol North Wealdbut the formation arrived late.
Bader acknowledged the fact that they were too slow forming up and for the flight to the patrol area the formation was too disjointed.
Nevertheless, the "Big Wing" claimed 11 enemy aircraft destroyed for the loss of one fighter. Over a number of days in Septemberthe wing was sent up to try to disrupt the Luftwaffe raiders.
The Duxford Big Wing was not an organised and rehearsed military unit, merely an ad-hoc collection of squadrons led by one of Fighter Command's less experienced squadron leaders. Between Leigh-Mallory and Bader there was no planning on how to use a Big Wing nor an assessment of its achievements.
On 9 September two more squadrons, the Hurricanes of No. The result was practically a carbon copy of 7 September. Park himself had experimented with large wings covering the earlier Dunkirk evacuation and insisted that they were unwieldy, difficult to manoeuvre into position, and rarely in the right place when needed.
Bader countered by pointing out that his wing could be used as a reserve for 11 Group. Positioned well away from the Luftwaffe bases in France he could be in place at altitude when the wing was needed, providing adequate early warning was given.
The best early warning possible was provided to 12 Gp. Bader further delayed deployment of 12 Gp fighters by insisting he lead the Big Wing; in order to do this he had to fly Sqn to Duxford from RAF Coltishall every day.
Bader wanted time in order to fly to Duxford, land, take-off again, then form a Big Wing; the amount of early warning required for this was extremely unrealistic. The Duxford Big Wing was also a mix of Hurricane and Spitfire squadrons—the Spitfires were thus delayed as they had to fly and climb at the same speed as the slower Hurricanes.
Bader did not always follow ground control instructions GCI and often flew into 11 Gp's area on his own initiative. In order for such a large formation to be successful, not only did it need to be well planned and rehearsed, but its leadership had to be disciplined within Fighter Command's overall battle plan.
That was blatantly disregarded. If Leigh-Mallory had a vested interest in the Big Wing, then he had a responsibility to make sure that at least it was organised properly.
This clash of opinions between the 11 Gp and 12 Gp commanders was left unresolved by Leigh-Mallory and Park's commander, Dowding. Subsequent events, in which Dowding retired from his post at Fighter Command and Leigh-Mallory was promoted to command Keith Park's group, show that Leigh-Mallory's arguments had the sympathies of the senior echelons of the RAF.
Portrait of a Legend, Leo McKinstry cites sources saying that Dowding was widely criticised after the Battle in RAF reviews of his strategy for keeping the control of 11 Gp and 12 Gp resources separate under Park and Leigh-Mallory, instead of uniting them under one command or at least coordinating them as one Group.
The effect of this decision was a lack of coordination between 11 Gp and 12 Gp, which often meant the aircraft of 11 Gp were fully committed, while those of 12 Gp sat idle.
A letter by Park inquoted by McKinstry, illustrates the problem: Throughout August and Septemberon occasion when all my squadrons had been dispatched to engage the many German bomber forces, I called on No 10 Gp to cover some vital targets on my right with one or two squadrons.
Brand always responded at once and on many occasions effectively intercepted the enemy, preventing them from bombing their target unmolested.If only I could fly for a day If I were given wings for a day, I would most certainly use this gift to fly.
My opportunities and boundaries would be endless. Welcome to WINGS. If you’re an old hand, we hope our program is of interest. If you’re new to birding tours, you might find our essay “Choosing a Birding Tour” helpful.
Brother I Never Had. The Brother I Never Had Everyone has that special someone in their life that has influenced them greatly. Whether it’s a relative or a friend. One of the biggest influences in my life is one of my uncles named James, in a way he’s like my brother.
In the foyer of the Washington Navy Yard Chiefs Club hang the portraits of the seven Master Chief Petty Officers of the Navy. On the evening of May 7, , the light over the second MCPON, John “Jack” D. Whittet, flickered briefly, then went out.
The next day, club employees gathered around the darkened portrait, talking in hushed voices. Bemused visitors from foreign countries who had no idea what was going on were dragged in front of the cameras to give the “tourist” opinion.
THE FALSE ALLURE OF GROUP SELECTION. Human beings live in groups, are affected by the fortunes of their groups, and sometimes make sacrifices that benefit their groups.