Category Archives: Aircraft

Modern WWII Era Movie: “Mission of Honor”

 

(See my other WWII related posts) – I recently watched the movie “Mission of Honor” (originally named Hurricane) on Netflix. This is a modern WWII era film that gives a fictionalized version of the RAF 303 squadron in the Battle of Brittain. The 01:47:00 film was released in March of 2019. The synopsis from IMDB:

The exploits of 303 Squadron RAF during the Battle of Britain. The squadron consisted of Polish pilots, many of whom were veterans of the air battles involved in Germany’s invasion of Poland.

This is more romance set against the backdrop of WWII than it is a war movie. It was enjoyable enough, but not what I would consider an outstanding film. That also seems the consensus on IMDB as there it is only rated 5.9/10. It did receive and 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. While most of the dialog was in English, there was a substantial portion in Polish and some in German. Those were supplemented with English subtitles.


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The”World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 330 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Boeing’s Autonomous Air Taxi Completes First Flight

Robots – Flying cars have been around in science fiction for many years. Now though we are on the verge of having them become part of our everyday lives. That said, don’t expect your next call for Lyft or Uber to be answered by a flying autonomous taxi.

The Boeing autonomous passenger air vehicle (PAV) shown above is just a prototype and so far it has only demonstrated the ability to take off, hover, and land. This is a 30-foot model is all electric and is designed to have a 50-mile range. Boeing NeXt is also working on a larger fully autonomous, electric cargo plane that will be able to carry up to 500 pounds.

Beyond the technical hurdles of building a flying car are the many regulatory issues that stand in their way. Needless to say, it will be a few years before we see these in our sky.

Boeing is not the only company working on flying cars. Among those interested in this market are Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce, Uber, and Toyota. These flying cars are intended to offer a transportation solution that will be able to carry passengers across urban centers where ground transportation would be slow or impractical.

Review of “The Rising Sun”

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Book ReviewsWWII – “The Rising Sun” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper version published in 1999) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson published more than 50 books.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the South Pacific during early (1941-42) World War II. Japan has attacked the US at Pearl Harbor and is rapidly growing its control over East Asia. The primary character is RAF Wing Commander Ken Armstrong.

Armstrong has led his flight of 20 Hurricane fighters from Cairo to near Rangoon, Burma (now known at Yangon, Myanmar) as reinforcements. He, and his command, struggle against overwhelming odds to slow the Japanese advance. As hard as they fight, the Japanese forces continue to spread. As usual in Jackson novels, there is plenty of daring flying and dramatic situations.

I enjoyed the 3.5 hours I spent reading this World War II novel. For some reason, most of the novels of this era I have read lately are set in Europe. Reading something about the Pacific Theatre was a welcome change. I do like the way that Jackson mixes history into his novels. I have read, and enjoyed, several other books by Jackson and two others with Armstrong as the main character. The cover art is OK, showing battle at sea. I think it should have been a Hurricane and Zero in a dog fight. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Malta Victory”

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Book Reviews – “Malta Victory” eBook was published in 2016 (the original paper edition was published in 1980) and was written by Robert Jackson. Mr. Jackson published more than 50 books. This is the fourth in his “Yeoman” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set on the island of Malta in the Eastern Mediterranean during 1942, The primary character is Sergeant Pilot George Yeoman.

Yeoman is assigned to an RAF Spitfire squadron on the island of Malta. The British are resisting heavy bombardment and attack by both German and Italian aircraft. Yeoman and the other RAF pilots struggle to survive as they are severely out numbered by enemy aircraft. He adds to his count of aircraft shot down, but suffers from the loss of friends and poor living conditions.

The only thing holding off a German invasion is the lack of total air superiority over the island. The question is will the British be able to hold on long enough to keep the Axis powers from invading.

I enjoyed the 5+ hours I spent reading this 160 page World War II novel. I have read several Jackson novels now and this is much like the others – a little history mixed with fictional tales of his characters. The cover art is reasonable, showing Spitfires ready for takeoff. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Target Tobruk”

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Book reviewsWWII – “Target Tobruk” eBook was published in 2016 (the original paper version was first published in 1979) and was written by Robert Jackson. Mr. Jackson has published over 50 books. This is the third novel in his “Yeoman “ series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in North Africa and on Crete during 1941. The primary character is Sergeant Pilot George Yeoman.

The British are desperately fighting the German and Italian forces in North Africa. Yeoman gets assigned to Tobruk, which is essentially under siege by the Germans. He witnesses a lot of combat, though not all in the skies. He is also sent to Crete to help defend against invading Germans. The British are forced out of Crete and hundreds flee on a variety of Royal Navy vessels. Not all of which make it to the relatively safety of Egypt.Yeoman does his extraordinary flying, but finds himself having to bail out of his faltering aircraft yet again.

I enjoyed the not quite 4 hours I spent reading this 160 page WWII novel. I have read a handful of books by Jackson and found them all to be interesting. In this case you get an image of the war as seen by those fighting in North Africa. The cover art is OK, but since this is a book about Hurricanes, I think a combat photo of a fighter would have been better. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Hurricane Squadron”

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Book ReviewsWWII – “Hurricane Squadron” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition was published in 1984) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson has published over 50 books. This is the first novel in his “Yeoman “ series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in France during 1940 as the German Army invades the country at the outbreak of World War II. The primary character is Sergeant Pilot George Yeoman.

Yeoman is sent to France as a replacement to a Hurricane fighter unit stationed in norther France. The story tells of his exploits on air missions against the Germans. It also tells of his adventures after being shot down twice. The novel gives a historical view of this tumultuous and dangerous time in our history.

I enjoyed the 3.5 hours I spent reading this 144 page WWII Fiction novel. I already have read a few of the later novels in the series and enjoyed them as well. I liked the character of Yeoman as well as the look into the history of the period that the novel provides. The cover art is a reasonable choice for this novel. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 280 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other sources with information on the World War II era in history.

The “World War II Timeline” page shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.