Hello and Welcome to TLG and to the second stage of our Full Flaps interview with Ian Whittle, son of Sir Frank, the man who invented the jet engine. Ian told us so much in part one, you’d hardly believe there’d be more – but there is – and we couldn’t let an opportunity like this pass us by. So here once again is Ian talking to James Cartner and me Rob Curling at his Surrey home, almost 85 years to the day since the first running of Sir Frank Whittle’s revolutionary invention.
Hello and welcome to Top Landing Gear Full Flaps, and to the full length interview with Ian Whittle, son of Sir Frank Whittle, the man credited with one of the greatest inventions of the modern age, something that changed the world forever – the jet engine. Ian is a pilot himself and flew the Gloster Meteor in RAF service, Britain’s first jet fighter, powered by the very engines his father had invented. James and I had the enormous pleasure of visiting Ian at his Surrey home almost 85 years to the day since the first successful test run of his father’s jet engine. Ian speaks with such passion and enthusiasm, not to mention incredibly detailed knowledge. You don’t get much closer to touching history than this. I hope you enjoy it.
As Ian was so generous with his time, we’ve split the interview into two parts, so here’s part one – keep an eye out on the socials for part two – or it may already be there now.
The nation came together over 4 days in June to mark the extraordinary milestone of HM The Queen's 70 year reign. One of the highlights of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations was the flypast over London of 70 aircraft from the Royal Navy, the Army and of course the Royal Air Force who flew 15 Typhoons in formation as the number '70'. Among them was Sqn Ldr Zane Sennett, who described to TLG in fascinating detail what it was like to fly
in this mass formation, and how the whole operation was devised, planned, rehearsed and eventually executed with the eyes of the world, and of The Queen, upon them.
This episode of Top Landing Gear might in itself not be worthy of going down in history, but it’s all about one of the greatest inventions of the modern age, something that changed the world forever – the jet engine. And our guest is no less a person than Ian Whittle, the son of the man credited with that invention - Sir Frank Whittle. You’ll hear a clip of our interview with Ian here, but not before you’ve heard a uniquely informative Quick Facts from Jez on what is a pretty colossal subject. And the quiz returns to Rob’s safe hands after James made a brave, almost successful stab at it on our previous pod. And by the way, that will never happen again! So I hope you are feeling reassured enough to enjoy this edition – and remember to look out for the Full Flaps edition for the full length interview with Ian Whittle. Enjoy!
Join Roy, Jim & Jez in the pub after watching a screening of the new Lancaster movie. It was produced by the same people who gave us 'Spitfire' in 2018 - The film that made Jez cry in the cinema - Would Lancaster have the same effect?
Jim also talks about how the airlines dealt with the increased Half-Term holiday demand. (Answer - not very well) and Jez gives us a quick review of Top Gun: Maverick.
Rob was supposed to be with us but Roy accidentally bought the tickets for the wrong day - Sorry Rob! Normal service will resume this Friday with our magazine episode dedicated to Frank Whittle and the Jet Engine.
Hello and welcome to TLG and our Full Flaps interview with Chris Parry, a RN Observer on HMS Antrim’s Wessex 3, known as Humphrey. Chris is a fascinating character, and some of the stories he tells us here about what went on down south during the Falklands Conflict 40 years ago, defy belief, not least the insertion and rescue of an SAS party on the Fortuna Glacier on South Georgia in the most unbelievably treacherous conditions. The fact that Chris also fired the first shots of the war to disable the Argentine submarine the Santa Fe is almost a footnote. The interview is full of the most incredible anecdotes, and it’s also fascinating to hear Chris’s thoughts on the current state of the British military 40 years on, and his views on the developing situation in Russia. We recorded Chris’s interview on April 20th 2022, 40 years to the day since he and the crew of Humphrey were briefed for that extraordinary operation involving the SAS which would take place just hours later. Hold onto your hats and settle in for an utterly riveting ride.
In this edition of Top Landing Gear we continue to mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands Conflict, focussing on one of the workhorses of the British Task Force’s airborne operation, the venerable Westland Wessex. Now of course our aviation ‘expert’ James Cartner was an RAF Wessex pilot, so we thought we’d let him compile the quiz, and be the quiz master. This is unlikely ever to happen again. Our guest was a Royal Navy observer on HMS Antrim’s Wessex 3, famously known as Humphrey. The man is Chris Parry, who regales us with some of the most extraordinary stories to have come out of the South Atlantic back in 1982. From firing the first shots of the war, to inserting and rescuing an SAS party in unimaginable conditions from the Fortuna Glacier in South Georgia, Chris’s stories are jaw-dropping. You’ll hear a clip of his interview in this podcast, the full interview will of course be in our Full Flaps edition.
'Down South : A Falklands War Diary by Chris Parry is available to buy and download HERE
In part two of our interview with Martin Withers, he relives the joy of displaying what was the last surviving Vulcan, XH558. It was an unexpected and hugely welcome chapter to his flying career after he had flown two of the historic Black Buck Raids during the Falklands Conflict in 1982. That was the only time the Vulcan had been used in anger as a bomber, and came right at the end of its RAF career. But the RAF kept two Vulcans for public displays, XL426 and XH558, known as the Vulcan Display Flight, which lasted until 1992. 558 then had a new lease of life with the Vulcan To The Sky Trust, giving countless enthusiasts many more years of breathtaking displays, many of them flown by our guest, the legendary Martin Withers.
In this 40th anniversary year of the Falklands Conflict we devote two Full Flaps editions to Martin Withers who flew Avro Vulcan XM607 on the historic Black Buck Raids on Stanley Airfield. Martin and his crew were actually the reserve crew for the mission, but when the primary aircraft went u/s, Withers and XM607 immediately stepped up to carry out one of the most extraordinary, not to mention longest bombing raids of all time. In part one Martin talks to us in detail about the build-up to the mission, training for in-flight refuelling which was to be an integral part of the mission, the mission itself and the aftermath. It is a story of legend told by a legendary figure who made aviation history.