Iconic Jet Aircraft display

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first commercial flight by Concorde from Heathrow to New York, I created a display celebrating iconic jet aircraft on the mezzanine level of the General Reading Room.

This focuses on Concorde, the Vulcan, Red Arrows, Tornado, Harrier and Typhoon jets. The first 3 being the most iconic. The beautiful models in the display were very kindly lent by a colleague with a great interest in, and knowledge of, planes.


Can you spot where the East Fortune Airfield is on this 1946 Air Photo Mosaic of East Lothian?

The Library material on display goes beyond the usual books. There were copies of 3 of the 1946 Air Photo Mosaics, a GSGS aerial route map, a photomap of Edinburgh and a flight simulator notebook. Excluding the flight simulator notebook, these can be viewed in the Map Library at our Causewayside building. The air photo mosaics can also be viewed on the maps website.


The air photo mosaics chosen were Aberdeen, East Fortune and Kelso. Aberdeen because the aerial view of the houses and streets was visually attractive, East Fortune because Concorde is now in display there at the Museum of Flight, and Kelso with the Tweed winding its way towards the towards the town as parts of the Borders is a low fly-practice zone for the RAF.

Air photo mosaic of Aberdeen, taken in 1944.

Now for a few plane facts!

*Commercial flights between 1976 and 2003
*100 passengers and 6 cabin crew
*2 pilots and 1 flight engineer
*Top speed of 1,350mph, Mach 2
*4 Rolls Royce/SNECMA Olympus 593 turbojet engines
*25.5 wingspan
*62.1m long when grounded, 62.5m long during flight

 Arpingstone [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

*In service 1957-1984
*2 pilots, 2 navigators, 1 air electronics office
*Top speed of 645mph, Mach .95
*4 Bristol-Siddeley Olympus 201 or 301 engines
*34m wingspan
*30.5m long
*During the Cold War RAF Vulcans stood on “Quick Reaction Alert” 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. Ready to take-off within 2 minutes in the event of a Soviet attack.
* The only time the Vulcan was used in anger was during the Falklands War, when they flew 7 missions from Ascension Island to the Falkland Islands.
*The Vulcan got a screenshot in the first programme of the BBC’s recent “Last Post” series.

The last flying Vulcan, XH558

By ozz13x (Vulcan – XH558) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Red Arrows
* BAE Systems dual control Hawk T1 aircraft
*Top speed 622mph
* 1 twin shaft turbofan Rolls Royce Adour engine
*9.4m wingspan
*11.9m long
*Smoke made by pumping diesel and coloured dye in to the jet exhaust
* The support team are known as “The Blues” due to their blue flying suits.

By Photo: Cpl Andy Benson/MOD, OGL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26924885

* All-weather, day/night attack and reconnaissance aircraft
* 2 aircrew
* Top speed of 1,452mph, Mach 2
* 2 Turbo-Union Rolls Royce RB199-34R Mk104 engines
* 13.91m wingspan
* 16.72m long
* Being replaced by the Typhoon

By Chris Lofting [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html) or GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

* First prototype flight in 1994
* Entertained operational service in 2003
* Single seat
* Top speed 1,550, Mach 2
* 2 Eurojet EJ200 afterburning turbofan engines
* 10.95m wingspan
* 15.96m long

Photo: SAC Graham Taylor/MOD [OGL (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/1/)], via Wikimedia Commons

* Vertical take-off and landing “jump-jet”
* Single seat
* Top speed 661mph
* 1 Rolls Royce 105 or 107 vectored-thrust turbofan engine
* 8m wingspan
*14.48m long

Photo: LA (PHOT) Billy Bunting/MOD [OGL (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/1/)], via Wikimedia Commons


The airphoto mosaics deliberately disguised features, such as airfields.  This is why East Fortune Airfield is not shown on the airphoto mosaic for East Fortune, the first image of this blog post.