View Full Version : Classic British Aircraft on Quest today

26th Oct 2014, 11:26
Just noticed a whole day of half hour programmes on classic British aircraft on Quest today. Each programme covers two types. Refreshingly its not just the usual stuff; one is about the Twin Pioneer.

Allan Lupton
26th Oct 2014, 13:52
Happened by chance to see the one dealing with the de Havilland Vampire, with three former DH colleagues, David Newman, John Wilson and John Wimpenny telling us how it happened. Filmed not long ago, I think, and all three were still lucid and proud of being part of the team. Sadly the first two died in their 90s earlier this year, but I was still happy to see 'em.

joy ride
26th Oct 2014, 13:57
Many thanks; I never watch TV in the day time but I am now! Avro Anson on now, beaut!

26th Oct 2014, 14:07
Thanks, I rarely watch TV during the day but this is on now. (167/195 on Sky).

joy ride
26th Oct 2014, 14:25
Blenheim now. As a fan of unusual cars I was delighted to see that they mentioned the odd Bubble Car made with a Mk1 nose by an engineer at Bristol, no doubt inspired by the efforts of 4 German aircraft companies; they even showed a photo of it. It is sad that a unique car has been broken up to donate its nose, but it's great to have a "Mk1" Blenheim being built!

26th Oct 2014, 16:45
I've watched those programmes quite a few times. Very nice, but that dreary music is so depressing it's almost hilarious :)

joy ride
26th Oct 2014, 19:57
I had not seen any of the programmes before, and although they did disrupt my work somewhat I must say that, for TV programes, they are superb. So many fascinating people, planes and engines, plenty of real talk from people who made, serviced and flew the planes and no need for a presenter!

Another thing that I noticed and liked was that most TV programmes about virtually anything concerning Britain feel that it is necessary to have American experts telling us about our heritage and history; it seems we have a serious inferiority complex and facts only "count" if we are told them by an American "Talking Head". I am not anti-American or excessively patriotic, but just for once it was so refreshing to see British people talking about their creations and experiences. In fact the only American I saw was an enthusiastic pilot of a British aircraft !

The only real shame to me is that the VC10 programme mainly focused on its military career; I think they should have done another on its civilian career.

Allan Lupton
26th Oct 2014, 23:20
Yes the Trident/VC10 programme was poor in that we saw nobody from the makers of either and, as said above, not much of the VC10 as an airliner.
Autoland was touched on but you'd have thought they'd have used the famous Jimmy Phillips sequence in "Clear to Land"

Also, I agree about the unnecessary "music" that every programme seems to have these days.

joy ride
27th Oct 2014, 07:29
The music certainly was pretty, er, basic!

27th Oct 2014, 07:58
My main interest in watching was the VC10 and I too was disappointed to see the focus on its military career, important and significant as that was, and so little on its impressive performance as a civilian aircraft, even if it was not huge commercial success.

As for the 'music' which blights so many films and documentaries, it really is one of the horrors of our times. Not just inappropriate but overloud and overwhelming, and particularly irritating is the way it 'surges' at times, and I have often wondered if there is some way of using the graphic equaliser to reduce its effect.

Background music is a scourge of our times, in shops and restaurants. I have no shame about asking for it to be turned down, usually with success as the staff often don't like it either. Once I was in a bookshop and the staff member said head office insisted they had it on so loud. I rang their head office customer relations from the shop, and started speaking very softly ...... the woman said : "I can't hear you properly ......". I explained why, where I was calling from, and was asked to hand the phone back to the staff member who was instructed to turn the racket down - permanently.

28th Oct 2014, 11:32
I managed to watch a few of the episodes before domestic duties called me away. I thoroughly enjoyed them, and particularly liked the lack of hyperbole which tends to dumb down a lot of modern programmes about aircraft. Seeing the 'old boys' refurbishing their Meteor was refreshing too, "Its our aircraft now".

Mechta Senior was a bit miffed that the Beverley programme didn't spend longer on General Aircraft's contribution to it. In his opinion, possibly slightly biased as an ex-General Aircraft apprentice, the finished Beverley design was handed to Blackburn on a plate after General Aircraft had done all the hard work.

From what other contributors have said, this was actually a fairly old series. One can only hope that it was considered a success by the producers and some more will be made.

Does anyone know if the Empire Test Pilots School still borrow the Twin Pioneer on occasions? I saw what appeared to be the BBMF Dakota flying circuits at Boscombe Down, when passing there last Monday, and know that the ETPS do arrange some weird and wonderful aircraft to give their course students a bit of variety.