transportation in history


what’s in my bag!

my bag is a madewell transport tote. this is the first year I’ve had it, so I can’t say yet how well it’ll hold up, but so far I loooove it. 

in my bag, no matter what, is always my makeup bag, earbuds, a charger, and my keys. that, along with some cash and cards, will get thrown into the zip pocket of my bag. when I’m going to class, I’ll usually have my iPad and bluetooth keyboard and my clipboard. I’ll be going to one of my schools via public transportation, so it’ll be good to have something to write on. 

of course, I’ll need textbooks - the number will depend on the day. my writing utensils go into my cute sewing pattern pencil case I got from a friend for graduation. I have a binder for each class, but I haven’t decided if I’ll be taking that each day, or a file folder of just what I need for that class. my planner this year is a day designer (and I am in love).

then I have my water bottle, sometimes my travel tumbler, and SNACKS. my strategy in college was always have more snacks in your bag than textbooks, and let me tell you, I made many a friend that way. so if you take only one thing away from me, let it be that!

The Armstrong Whitworth AW.681, also designated the Whitworth Gloster 681 or Hawker Siddeley HS.681 - due to industry mergers - was a pretty unique transport design from Britain’s 1960s aviation industry. Fulfilling a similar short takeoff and landing specification as Lockheed’s C-130, Armstrong Whitworth produced a solid contender in the AW.681, featuring vectored thrust nozzles, boundary layer control, blown flaps, leading edges and ailerons.

Then they took things a little further, trading the four Rolls-Royce RB.142 Medway engines for four Bristol Siddeley Pegasus turbofans, to obtain VTOL capability. These were the engines which went on to power the Harrier. It would have been an interesting sight. Thanks to the swept shoulder-mounted wings and high T-tail, it would have also resembled today’s C-17 and A400M.

The entire project was scrapped in 1964 when the moment’s Labour Government announced a defence spending review, opting instead to buy the American Lockheed C-130. As a result the company closed it’s Coventry factory, making 5000 workers redundant.


     In 1953, Col. Scott Crossfield would don a flight suit, parachute and helmet, then be secured to an ejection seat inside the cramped cockpit of a Douglas D-558-II Skyrocket. After weeks of planning and preparation, a four chamber rocket engine would thrust Crossfield into the history books, making him the first human being to exceed twice the speed of sound. During that golden age of flight test, few could dream that we would one day sip Champagne and watch movies aboard a double sonic airliner. Concorde would make that dream a reality.

     The joint Aérospatiale / British Aircraft Corporation Concorde flew at Mach 2, allowing passengers to enjoy opulence and comfort as they traveled from New York to London in 3.5 hours, not the 8 hours of a conventional airliner. Concorde flew for more than three decades as the first supersonic transport. It truly made the world a smaller place.

     One of only 20 built, tail number F-BVFA was the first ship delivered to Air France. She would roll up 17,820 flight hours over the course of 6,966 flights, culminating in one last landing at Washington Dulles International Airport for permanent display at Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, as the first Concorde to be permanently displayed in the United States.