February 23, 2021

Lockdown Three Special!

We’re now well in to 2021 so we thought it was high time we produced our first podcast of the year. And how timely, just as Boris announces the roadmap out of Lockdown, we’ve recorded a Lockdown Special with our favourite aviation-themed films, books, TV programmes, websites and podcasts which we hope will inspire you as you look to fill some of those dreary lockdown hours, days, nights, weeks. I know. It’s almost over. We should have done this ages ago. But we didn’t. Sorry.

This edition has all the usual nonsense, including a really uplifting Ask James about how the pandemic is affecting aviation now and going forward. Even Jez’s Quick Facts struggle to raise much of a smile. But they are good. And quick … ish. But as ever, the real joy explodes with The Quiz! Fun, laughter, high quality competition are just three of the things we really wish we could have achieved. But we tried. We hope you’ll try equally hard to enjoy the podcast. Go on. Make an effort. We’ll also be posting additional recommendations for aviation-themed entertainment on the socials.

Top Landing Gear Series 3 proper will start airing in April. Although it might be May. It all depends on our road / route map.

 

Happy Christmas! And we're ending 2020 and Series 2 with a real highlight. A Full Flaps interview with the brand new Red 1 - Team leader for the mighty Red Arrows -  Squadron Leader Tom Bould. 

As Team Leader, Tom is primarily responsible for all aspects of the display, from running the training programme to choreographing the show. He leads the nine-aircraft aerobatic display.

After being streamed to fly fast-jets in the Royal Air Force, Tom was selected to be a ‘Creamie' qualified flying instructor’ - a term given to pilots who are traditionally selected to become flying instructors due to being above average through their advanced flying training. He was subsequently chosen to be the Tucano display pilot in 2010.

Tom completed tactical weapons training and was chosen to fly the Typhoon. During his frontline tour, Tom had several deployments to the Falkland Islands as well as flying in exercises in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.

Tom was selected for the Red Arrows for the 2015-2017 seasons and became a member of the Synchro Pair for 2016-17. Highlights include a tour to China and Pacific region in 2016 and a Middle East visit in 2017.

Promoted to Squadron Leader, Tom became a Flight Commander on IV(AC) Squadron at RAF Valley teaching the next generation of fast-jet pilots in the Hawk T2.

Re-joining the Red Arrows, the 2021 season will be his first year as Red 1 and Team Leader.

Huge thanks to Tom and mighty Red Arrows for this interview. We can't wait to see them in 2021 when things get back to normal. Thanks for listening. we'll be back with a brand new series in the spring. 

 

 

 

Welcome to part two of our ‘Ask James’ Christmas Special, where our aviation expert James Cartner endeavours to answer at least some of the wonderful questions our listeners have sent in. (You’ve sent in so many great questions we’ll do some more in the New Year.) And if you did send one in, stay tuned as we’ll announce who’s won the prize for the best question as judged by us.

We hit a spectacularly low point with our aviation themed Christmas cracker ‘jokes’, and presents are handed out to one and all… well to everyone apart from Rob who did the handing out. But to be honest he does look more like Father Christmas than any of the others. And of course the pod comes to a scintillating climax with the Top Landing Gear Christmas Quiz! The guys love it!

Do make sure you’ve got enough of your favourite tipple or some kind of sedative to help get you through this episode. And just to let you know, there will be one more podcast before Christmas with a man in a red suit. All is revealed in this festive frolic. Wishing you a very Happy Christmas from all of us at Top Landing Gear! 

 

 

 

#avgeek #aviation #chinook #RAF #Spitfire #Hawker #askjames #boeing777 #Toplandinggear #malaya #twoGs 

On Saturday 5th December 2020, retired BA Boeing 747-400 G-BNLY made its final flight from Cardiff to Dunsfold aerodrome in Surrey. This aircraft was destined for the scrapheap, but because it is one of BA’s ‘retro jets’, Lima Yankee is painted in the iconic Landor livery, there was an enthusiastic campaign, which Top Landing Gear signed up to, to save it. Then the excellent news reached us that Mike Woodley of Aviation Filming at Dunsfold, had taken ownership. Mike kindly invited Top Landing Gear to be present on this auspicious occasion, where we caught up with BA 747 pilot Mags Sefari who was on the crew that delivered her that day, and a couple for whom Lima Yankee holds a particularly special place in their hearts. So we hope you’ll enjoy listening to what we think is the perfect good news story for Christmas. Speaking of which, to all our listeners and subscribers, have a great Christmas and a very Happy New Year.   

Seasons Greetings, and welcome to the first of our Top Landing Gear Christmas Specials!

Our next two episodes are devoted to our aviation expert and pilot James Cartner. By ‘devoted’, what we really mean is James will be taking centre stage answering the many excellent questions our listeners have sent in, as well as some of our own. And of course we are all extremely devoted to Jimbo. What James doesn’t know about aviation could be written on a piece of paper stretching from the earth to the moon and back, and back again. But he sounds convincing and we believe everything he says. Jez’s Quick Facts about James sound more like a wedding speech, but nevertheless, James’s life has been so very nearly almost interesting. As always the undoubted highlight of the podcast is our Christmas themed quiz, which you would think would give Roy and Jez a decent chance of at least being competitive with our expert James. You would think. Anyway, pour yourself several really strong sherries before listening, and with luck you’ll sleep through the whole thing.

Part two follows next week, when we’ll be announcing the winner of the best question to have been submitted. I mean, it’s like Christmas has come early. Enjoy!    

This edition of the Top Landing Gear podcast has an appropriately seasonal feel as we approach winter, its theme being the Cold War, which lasted from 1947 until 1991. The Cold War saw the rapid development of aviation beginning with concepts such as new wing designs and powerplants and ending with digitalised avionics and stealth technology. All this to gain the upper hand in the event of a hot war.

Our guest was an RAF fast jet pilot during the height of the Cold War, and was also a test pilot, as a result of which he has flown almost every western cold war jet imaginable. He is Air Vice Marshal (retired) Graham Williamson, the most senior person by rank that we’ve ever had on the pod.

His is a fascinating story, which he reflects on with great humour here and in his wonderfully entertaining and enlightening book ‘Rhapsody In Blue, An RAF Fighter Pilot’s Life During The Cold War’. Graham tells us the aircraft for which he has most affection is the Harrier, which he was one of the first RAF pilots to fly. In fact along with Sqn Ldr Tom Lecky, he flew the brand new Harrier in the 1969 Daily Mail Air Race, linking us to our previous most recent episodes. Again his story of that adventure needs to be heard to be believed. Another legend of aviation to whom we are enormously grateful for gracing our podcast. 

His Autobiography is simply brilliant and available HERE

 

#aviation #avgeek #coldwar #hawkerharrier #hawkerhunter #aviationpodcast #grahamwilliams #dailymailairrace 

This edition of the Top Landing Gear podcast has an appropriately seasonal feel as we approach winter, its theme being the Cold War, which lasted from 1947 until 1991. The Cold War saw the rapid development of aviation beginning with concepts such as new wing designs and powerplants and ending with digitalised avionics and stealth technology. All this to gain the upper hand in the event of a hot war.

Our guest was an RAF fast jet pilot during the height of the Cold War, and was also a test pilot, as a result of which he has flown almost every western cold war jet imaginable. He is Air Vice Marshal (retired) Graham Williamson, the most senior person by rank that we’ve ever had on the pod. His is a fascinating story, which he reflects on with great humour here and in his wonderfully entertaining and enlightening book Rhapsody In Blue, An RAF Fighter Pilot’s Life During The Cold War’. Graham tells us the aircraft for which he has most affection is the Harrier, which he was one of the first RAF pilots to fly. In fact along with Sqn Ldr Tom Lecky-Thompson, he flew the brand new Harrier in the 1969 Daily Mail Air Race, linking us to our previous most recent episodes. Again his story of that adventure needs to be heard to be believed. Another legend of aviation to whom we are enormously grateful for gracing our podcast.  

 

You can buy his book HERE! And we heartily, heartily recommend you do so... Perfect Xmas gift for any aviation fan. 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01EYSQFIE/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

A bonus episode to accompany our podcast about the 1969 Daily Mail Great Transatlantic Air Race.

Rolf Richardson flew one of the winning civilian entries in the air race in a BOAC Super VC10. Here he tells us what was involved, and how, although he was operating a scheduled commercial flight from New York to London, they really pushed the limits, and even got special treatment from air traffic control. Some of the most amazing stories are what happened on the ground, but it’s all scarcely believable in this day and age.

Rolf also talks about his time on some of the earlier airliners such as the Argonaut, and completely shatters our illusions about the Bristol Britannia which he says ‘must have been designed by a team of mad professors’. He also flew Britain’s first ever jet fighter, the Gloster Meteor, at a time when it had a disturbingly high attrition rate.  

Since leaving aviation Rolf has been a noted photographer and is a successful thriller writer, always with a bit of aviation in the storyline, much of it based on his experiences in the early years, but entirely fictional, and with a good dollop of sex and murder. Look out for his books on Amazon, available both on Kindle and in paperback.

Books by Rolf Richardson: 

'THE LAST WEISS', set during the final stages of WW2 in two of his favourite countries, Germany and Norway.

In COFFIN CORNER we move to a fictional airline in 1960s Singapore, with excursions to Australia.

With BEAR BUGGER CRUISE it's off to the Caribbean and the mystery disappearance of a cruise ship passenger.

In NIGHT WATCHMAN we stay in Britain, where disaster strikes the political establishment.

ROAD TO MANDALAY starts in the French Alps, but finishes on the Road to Mandalay. Reason: the strange new world of cyber power.

In STASILAND we're again in Germany, now united but with echoes of the past when death stalks the River Elbe.

LETTER FROM GALAPAGOS is a mystery set in the South Seas with the disappearance of a yacht.

TEA WITH RASPUTIN starts in Alaska, but ends in the mafia world of St.Petersburg

 

This week on Top Landing Gear we're turning the clock back to 1969 with our FULL FLAPS unedited interview with the WINNER of the 1969 Daily Mail Air Race - Lieutenant Commander Peter Goddard. 

He tells us about his career in the Royal Navy and how he managed to get from the top of the Empire State Building to the top of the Post Office Tower in London (now the BT Tower) in 5hrs and 11 mins. 

Once you have listened to the Podcast search 'The First and the Fastest' on Youtube for a wonderful 20 minute documentary of the race from 1969. You will not be disappointed! 

And if you've enjoyed what you've heard please subscribe, leaves us a review and tell your friends about Top Landing Gear. 

This week on Top Landing Gear we’re turning the clock back to 1969, a hugely significant year for aviation and aerospace, with the first flights of Concorde and the 747 Jumbo Jet, and of course the first man on the moon. But it was also the year of the Daily Mail Transatlantic Air Race, probably one of the last great aviation adventures. 

 

The race was between the top of the Post Office Tower in London (now the BT Tower), and the top of the Empire State building in New York, in either direction. The fastest crossing of all was achieved by an Observer in a Royal Navy Phantom, and he is our very special guest. Lieutenant Commander Peter Goddard’s story of the race and the preparations that went into it are something to behold. Peter will be coming up later after our usual features: Ask James, Jez’s Quick Facts - all about the Air Race, and of course the highlight of every episode – The Top Landing Gear Quiz.

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