chrisgaffey.com
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I'm a Director.
I tell stories on screens.

Here's the stuff I find fascinating.

24th April 2014

Photoset with 33 notes

WAR PAINT

WWII USAAF Type A-2 leather flight jacket artwork 

Tagged: ww2wwIIAviationbomberaircraftleather jacketflying jacketvintage1940sIllustrationUSAAF

21st April 2014

Photoset with 6 notes

The Supermarine S.6B was a British racing seaplane developed by RJ Mitchell of Supermarine Aviation works to take part in the Schneider Trophy competition of 1931. It represented the cutting edge of aerodynamic technology and led to the development of the WWII Supermarine Spitfire and the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine.
Despite the British government’s pledge of support for the next race entrant after the 1929 victory, official funding was withdrawn two months later following the Wall Street Crash.  This caused enormous public disappointment and after Lord Rothermere’s Daily Mail newspaper launched an appeal and Lady Houston publicly pledged £100,000 the Government changed its position.  
The RAF High Speed Flight was reformed and Mitchell, Supermarine and Rolls-Royce set to work with less than nine months to prepare a race entrant.
S1595 made the winning Schneider flight reaching a speed of 340 mph, flying seven perfect laps of the triangular course over the Solent, between the Isle of Wight and the British mainland. Seventeen days later, S1596 broke the world air speed record reaching 407.5 mph.

Tagged: Aviationspeedstreamlined designart deco1930sspitfire

21st April 2014

Photoset with 7 notes

German WWII Pilot’s watch by A. Lange & Söhne.  A massive 55mm case, made of special non-magnetic nickel silver alloy, fitted with a wide band which allowed it to be worn over the flight suit. Manual wind movement. Pilots often had to time events based on minutes and seconds, so the hours register is a secondary feature.

The A. Lange & Söhne factory in Glashütte was destroyed during Second World War bombing raid. The post- war Soviet adminstration expropriated the company’s property and the brand ceased to exist until 1990 with German reunification, Walter Lange the founder’s great-grandson, restored the company with the assistance of several Swiss watch manufacturers.

Tagged: ww2AviationpilotwristwatchluftwaffewwIItimepiece

20th April 2014

Photoset with 1 note

Omega WWII Royal Air Force Mk.VII Pilot’s/Navigator’s Watch c 1940.

Tagged: ww2timepiecewristwatchRAFAviationbattle of britain

20th April 2014

Photo with 6 notes

87 Squadron scramble to their RAF Hurricanes, Autumn 1940. 

The Battle of Britain (10 July - 31 October 1940) was the first campaign to be fought entirely by air forces. 

The Luftwaffe objective was to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force, especially Fighter Command, in preparation for Operation Sea Lion - the planned amphibious and airborne invasion of Britain.

British coastal shipping convoys and ports were the initial targets. One month later, the Luftwaffe shifted its attacks to RAF airfields and infrastructure; then targeted aircraft factories. Eventually they resorted to a terror bombing strategy.

As the summer progressed RAF fighter command became critically short of trained men. The Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm assisted, but there were simply not enough pilots, not enough ground crew, never enough sleep and too many enemy aircraft.
British aircrew represented 80% of the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain. They were joined by pilots from New Zealand, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Belgium with smaller numbers from France, Ireland and USA.
From 2,926 involved, 1,495 British and Allied airmen gave their lives - 449 fighter pilots, 718 aircrew from Bomber Command, 280 from Coastal Command.
The RAF victory over the Luftwaffe, achieved at a heavy cost and against the odds, stiffened the resolve of those determined to resist what seemed like inevitable Nazi occupation and was a pivotal turning point in the Second World War.  Britain was able to rebuild its military forces, establishing itself as an Allied stronghold and a base for the liberation of Western Europe.

"Never in the field of human conflict, was so much owed by so many to so few”  Winston Churchill, August 20 1940
 

87 Squadron scramble to their RAF Hurricanes, Autumn 1940.

The Battle of Britain (10 July - 31 October 1940) was the first campaign to be fought entirely by air forces. 

The Luftwaffe objective was to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force, especially Fighter Command, in preparation for Operation Sea Lion - the planned amphibious and airborne invasion of Britain.

British coastal shipping convoys and ports were the initial targets. One month later, the Luftwaffe shifted its attacks to RAF airfields and infrastructure; then targeted aircraft factories. Eventually they resorted to a terror bombing strategy.

As the summer progressed RAF fighter command became critically short of trained men. The Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm assisted, but there were simply not enough pilots, not enough ground crew, never enough sleep and too many enemy aircraft.

British aircrew represented 80% of the Royal Air Force during the Battle of BritainThey were joined by pilots from New Zealand, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Belgium with smaller numbers from France, Ireland and USA.

From 2,926 involved, 1,495 British and Allied airmen gave their lives - 449 fighter pilots, 718 aircrew from Bomber Command, 280 from Coastal Command.

The RAF victory over the Luftwaffe, achieved at a heavy cost and against the odds, stiffened the resolve of those determined to resist what seemed like inevitable Nazi occupation and was a pivotal turning point in the Second World War.  Britain was able to rebuild its military forces, establishing itself as an Allied stronghold and a base for the liberation of Western Europe.

"Never in the field of human conflict, was so much owed by so many to so few”  Winston Churchill, August 20 1940

 

Tagged: the fewRAFbattle of britainww2luftwaffe

19th April 2014

Photoset with 6 notes

Supermarine Spitfire Mk I. 1/5th scale. Scratchbuilt by David Glen over 11 years of dedicated craftsmanship.

Tagged: Aviationaircraftww2wwIIspitfireRAFcraftsmanship

19th April 2014

Photoset with 11 notes

Aviator TOMCAT chair in Aluminium and leather http://www.timothyoulton.com

Tagged: Aviationstreamlined designdesignww2aircraftfurnitureart deco

19th April 2014

Photoset with 20 notes

Raleigh Spitfire Hardcase in Aluminium http://www.timothyoulton.com

Tagged: Aviationstreamlined designww2aircraftdesign

19th April 2014

Photo with 3 notes

Aluminium Aviator Wing Desk and Devon Spitfire Leather Chair, with die-cast pedestal base and antiqued whisky leather upholstery www.restorationhardware.com

Aluminium Aviator Wing Desk and Devon Spitfire Leather Chair, with die-cast pedestal base and antiqued whisky leather upholstery www.restorationhardware.com

Tagged: designAviationww2furniturestreamlined designaircraftart deco

19th April 2014

Photo

Love the brutal simplicity of this poster for 'Battle of Britain' 1969
In September 1965 producer Harry Saltzman contacted former RAF Bomber Command Group Capatin Hamish Mahaddie to help find the period aircraft required for the epic feature. 109 Spitfires were sourced in the UK, although only 12 could be made flyable.
After filming began, the English weather proved too unreliable and production was moved to Spain and Malta to achieve the clear blue skies of late summer 1940.
A North American B-25 Mitchell bomber was the primary camera platform used for the aerial sequences. Cameras were fixed in the nose, tail and waist gun positions with an additional camera mounted on an arm in the aircraft’s bomb bay and suspended below the aircraft to provide 360 degree shots. The top gun turret was replaced with a clear dome for the aerial director, who would co-ordinate the combatants by radio. The huge B-25 was painted garishly to make it easier for pilots to line up shots and determine its movements and was dubbed the Psychedelic Monster.
A pair of two-seat trainer Spitfires were also used as camera platforms to achieve realistic aerial footage inside the battle scenes.

Love the brutal simplicity of this poster for 'Battle of Britain' 1969

In September 1965 producer Harry Saltzman contacted former RAF Bomber Command Group Capatin Hamish Mahaddie to help find the period aircraft required for the epic feature. 109 Spitfires were sourced in the UK, although only 12 could be made flyable.

After filming began, the English weather proved too unreliable and production was moved to Spain and Malta to achieve the clear blue skies of late summer 1940.

A North American B-25 Mitchell bomber was the primary camera platform used for the aerial sequences. Cameras were fixed in the nose, tail and waist gun positions with an additional camera mounted on an arm in the aircraft’s bomb bay and suspended below the aircraft to provide 360 degree shots. The top gun turret was replaced with a clear dome for the aerial director, who would co-ordinate the combatants by radio. The huge B-25 was painted garishly to make it easier for pilots to line up shots and determine its movements and was dubbed the Psychedelic Monster.

A pair of two-seat trainer Spitfires were also used as camera platforms to achieve realistic aerial footage inside the battle scenes.

Tagged: battle of britaincinemafimmakingaircraftspitfireRAFww2B-25

17th April 2014

Photoset with 2 notes

Supermarine Spitfire. Designed by RJ Mitchell. 

Born 1895 in Staffordshire, Reginald Joseph Mitchell joined the Supermarine Aviation Works at Southampton in 1917. Advancing quickly he was appointed Chief Designer 1919, Chief Engineer 1920 and Technical Director 1927. He was so highly regarded that, when Vickers took over Supermarine in 1928, one of the conditions was that Mitchell stay for the next five years.
Between 1920 and 1936, RJ Mitchell designed 24 aircraft including fighters, bombers and flying boats. His quest to design the perfect racing seaplane culminated in the Supermarine S.6B which won the Schneider Trophy in 1931 and later broke the world air speed record.
In 1933 Mitchell began work on a new design, the Type 300, an all-metal monoplane that would become the Supermarine Spitfire. The RAF quickly became interested in the single-seat, short-range, high-performance interceptor and the Air Ministry financed a prototype. 
The combination of thin elliptical wings, under-wing radiator and Monocoque construction were a work of high-speed brilliance. The prototype K5054 made its maiden flight 5 March 1936 from Eastleigh Aerodrome. A Rolls-Royce V12 Merlin engine and an improved wooden propeller helped it reach 349 mph in level flight and before it had completed its trials the RAF ordered 310 Spitfires.  
The first production MkI Spitfires could achieve 364mph and had excellent manoeuvrability, rate of climb and turning circle. The four Browning guns tended to freeze up at high altitude until engineers added hot air ducts from the wing mounted radiators. By 1945 the aircraft had significantly increased it’s firepower, nearly doubled it’s rate of climb and improved its top speed to 450mph. 
Over 20,000 Spitfire were built, but Mitchell was not to see his superb design into production.
Whilst working on the Spitfire in 1933, Mitchell underwent a colostomy to treat rectal cancer. Something many of his staff were unaware of. In 1936 cancer was diagnosed again and in early 1937 he had to give up work. He died on 11 June 1937, aged 42.

Tagged: RAFbattle of britainww2wwIIspitfireaircraftheroesbritishAviationdesignstreamlined design1930s

17th April 2014

Photo with 1 note

"ACE"
Flight Lieutenant Eric Stanley Lock, DSO, DFC, Royal Air Force fighter pilot in the cockpit of his Spitfire.  The 26 swastika emblems denote his aerial victories.
During the Battle of Britain 188 RAF Allied pilots achieved the distinction of “ace” (five confirmed victories).  Lock was the RAF’s most successful, shooting down 21 German aircraft, most of which were Messerschmitt fighters, over the summer of 1940.
Born in Shewsbury, Lock had joined the RAF in 1939 and was posted to no.41 squadron RAF Catterick, North Yorks, before redeployment to RAF Hornchurch, Essex.
On 17 November 1940 his Squadron attacked a formation of 70 Bf 109s that were top cover for a bomber raid on London. After shooting down one Bf 109, and setting another on fire, Lock’s Spitfire was hit by a volley of cannon shells, which severely injured his right arm and both legs. The rounds also knocked the throttle permanently open by severing the control lever, enabling the Spitfire to accelerate swiftly to 400 mph, leaving the Bf 109s in his wake. Badly injured and with little control and no means of slowing the fighter down, Lock couldn’t execute a landing or parachute to safety. He was in a perilous situation. After losing height to 2,000 feet, Lock switched the engine off and searched for a suitable crash site near RAF Martlesham Heath Suffolk, where he glided the stricken Spitfire down.
Lying in the aircraft for two hours, he was found by two patrolling British soldiers who carried him two miles on an improvised stretcher made from their Enfield rifles and Army issue winter coats—made after instruction from Lock.  By this point, Lock had lost so much blood that he was unconscious, and so unable to feel the additional pain of being dropped three times, once into a dyke of water. 

His final kill was recorded on 14 July 1941.  Shortly after this photo was taken, he crashed into the English Channel having been hit by ground fire near Calais, France and was posted as missing in action.
He was never seen again.
 

"ACE"

Flight Lieutenant Eric Stanley Lock, DSO, DFC, Royal Air Force fighter pilot in the cockpit of his Spitfire.  The 26 swastika emblems denote his aerial victories.

During the Battle of Britain 188 RAF Allied pilots achieved the distinction of “ace” (five confirmed victories).  Lock was the RAF’s most successful, shooting down 21 German aircraft, most of which were Messerschmitt fighters, over the summer of 1940.

Born in Shewsbury, Lock had joined the RAF in 1939 and was posted to no.41 squadron RAF Catterick, North Yorks, before redeployment to RAF Hornchurch, Essex.

On 17 November 1940 his Squadron attacked a formation of 70 Bf 109s that were top cover for a bomber raid on London. After shooting down one Bf 109, and setting another on fire, Lock’s Spitfire was hit by a volley of cannon shells, which severely injured his right arm and both legs. The rounds also knocked the throttle permanently open by severing the control lever, enabling the Spitfire to accelerate swiftly to 400 mph, leaving the Bf 109s in his wake. Badly injured and with little control and no means of slowing the fighter down, Lock couldn’t execute a landing or parachute to safety. He was in a perilous situation. After losing height to 2,000 feet, Lock switched the engine off and searched for a suitable crash site near RAF Martlesham Heath Suffolk, where he glided the stricken Spitfire down.

Lying in the aircraft for two hours, he was found by two patrolling British soldiers who carried him two miles on an improvised stretcher made from their Enfield rifles and Army issue winter coats—made after instruction from Lock.  By this point, Lock had lost so much blood that he was unconscious, and so unable to feel the additional pain of being dropped three times, once into a dyke of water. 

His final kill was recorded on 14 July 1941.  Shortly after this photo was taken, he crashed into the English Channel having been hit by ground fire near Calais, France and was posted as missing in action.

He was never seen again.

 

Tagged: RAFbattle of britainluftwaffeACEpilotaviatorbritishww2wwIIspitfireheroes

17th April 2014

Photo with 2 notes

RAF Hurricane Pilot. One of The Few.

RAF Hurricane Pilot. One of The Few.

Tagged: RAFluftwaffebattle of britain1940ww2wwIIpilotaviatorheroes

17th April 2014

Photoset with 46 notes

German Heinkel He 111 bombers over the English Channel, 1940

Tagged: battle of britainrafluftwaffe

13th April 2014

Photo with 3 notes

Spitfire Spits Fire
No.222 Squadron, England. June 1940. 

Spitfire Spits Fire

No.222 Squadron, England. June 1940. 

Tagged: Battle of BritainRAFspitfireAviationWW2 in colour