While the rest of the self-loading cargo on a recent flight to Heathrow was oblivious, our very own eagle-eyed Monty Orangeball couldn't help but notice he was going around in circles. The trouble is this wasn't in the air.
Monty takes up the story: "We have Biggin Hill, Lambourne, Ockham and Bovingdon....now there's one on the ground north-east of Terminal 1. After landing we taxied around this little roundabout (with a Birdseed Mircobus following - just like a real hold - but with one engine shut down) until a stand was available."
We asked His Airship at the Ministry of Things for an explanation. He couldn't come up with one, but a man selling newspapers outside revealed the concept was a new twist on the British obsession with roundabouts and was inspired by the Hanger Lane gyratory system (a complex roundabout in west London).
Now, your Uncle wants suggestions of five-letter codenames for this new reporting point. How about "TDIUS" "AARGH" "STRESS" or "BORED"?
Loyal nephew David Lye writes that although he was entertained by the recent Raven v Crow story (Flight International, 14-20 November), he was "very puzzled by the phrase the development of a counter-small UAV capability based on trained eagles". Puzzled of Ontario goes on to say that "I am of course familiar with many hyphenations in wide-spread use, such as extra-large, medium-small, counter-measures, and wide-spread, but I would like some clarification from Bluey Strewth, or from your good self as editor of the page, on what exactly is meant by 'counter-small'. I mean, are we taking about the 25ft-long solid oak bar counter of the famous Flying Ferret at Little Snoring? Or is this more along the lines of the little hand-held ball-counter that Billy Doctrove keeps in the pocket of his snow-white umpire's coat?"
Bluey Strewth replies: "G'day mate. To be honest, the only other option was 'anti-small UAV', but I figured my Aunty Small would be a bit brassed off!"
Nephew Erik Reed Mohn, high up in the pointy end en-route to Washington Dulles on 16 November, was somewhere near 55N 60W when he says the following radio transmissions were overheard on Gander control.
"Delta 43, Gander."
This was repeated several times without any reply from Delta 43. Then an anonymous voice came on the radio.
"He can't speak, he's being swallowed by US Airways."
Read Flight from 1956 or read Uncle Roger's web log.
Source: Flight International