This year, the 'angel' on our tree is a Finnair Airbus A340, painted in the popular Unikko (Poppy) design, created by Maija Isola.

The registration is OH-LQD, Leslie Quagraine Designer. 'Not many people know that.' – About 20 seconds in!


Making gingerbread with family and friends, in the buildup to Christmas. This Harrier-ish aeroplane was made with my two and a half year old grandson, who thinks aeroplanes are amazing!


Down with the flu, but I have a device to help me with the negative effects. Go well, Leslie.


A pencil drawing of a Hawker Hunter, based on a photo, drawn, oh, more than 20 years ago, perhaps 30. I have so much undated work and a normal memory can't remember everything.


A very nice video review of Old Aeroplanes No.1 by Allan Udy of the Historical Aviation Film Unit in New Zealand. HAFU have aviation DVDs, books and other items on their website and is well worth a visit. Most recently I spent four and a half minutes watching the cockpit video of a BAC Strikemaster zooming around an Ardmore Aerodrome display.


While driving to TVAL's workshop in Wellington, I would drive through a tunnel decorated with remembrance poppies. Today is 11 November, exactly 99 years since the 'War To End All Wars' -- humankind is still working towards that objective... sort of.

Edwin Starr's 1969 hit 'WAR' says it all.   Play it LOUD!


A 'FOLLOW ME' bicycle at the Jämi Fly-In and Air Show a couple of years ago.


BLAST! Reloaded my blog to the server and all the text has gone funny. Not funny Ha! Ha! but funny peculiar. Fonts, spacing and size have skidded off in different directions. I will have to fix it all, but later. Ho hum…

Photo shows a target drone in the Anti-Aircraft Museum in Tuusula, Finland.


Albatros DVa, close, closer, closest.

Once in Masterton, I could photograph aeroplanes up close and personal – here is the pilot's cockpit of an FE.2B.

Driving from Wellington to Masterton over the Rimutaka Range – I thought they were mountains, but Kiwis see them as hills. Zig-zagging up and down in darkness and rain or wreathed in cloud is mildly alarming, but the locals just whizz along.


The authorities in Paris have declared that Charles Nungesser and François Coli flew across the Atlantic non-stop in May of 1927, almost two weeks before Charles Lindberg. New street signs have been installed in Paris, in the French pair’s hour. Research shows that the wings of a white biplane were found by the US Coastguard at the time. If they were from L'Oiseau Blanc – The White Bird, we may never know.


Until night falls, the view from the window is unbeatable.

As well as the view ahead of the plane, there were many tens of films to choose from, but I prefer looking out of the window.

In a Finnair Airbus A350-900 I flew the first leg of my journey to New Zealand. Throughout the flight, it was possible to view a live video feed straight ahead or down.


Hawker Hurricane.  Snow is disappearing, spring is on its way and the air display season will start again. No need to dive into an aviation book when faces can be turned up to the real thing.


Dornier Do-17. An illustration of mine for a limited edition book about the history of Finnish Air Force bombers. It sold like 'hot cakes' despite a very high price.

I bought this book during the winter, Aeronautics in the Backyard,  by artist Xiaoxia Xu showing that the urge to fly, will not be, can not be denied.

She has photographed Chinese amateur builders of various kinds of aeroplanes, gyrocopters and helicopters. Documenting both failure and remarkable success. The BBC have discovered this book and you can read about it and see sample images here.

Some build with scrap metal, a 75 year old trying to make progress despite his illiteracy, the death of contemporaries, paralysis after crashes, nothing seems to daunt these 'aeomaniacs'. At the other end of the spectrum are do-it-yourself builders who have had commercial success.


I may be here in the frosty northern hemisphere, but I still get to fly. Here I am perfecting my mountain-flying technique above snowy crags.

A very good friend of mine was in Australia a while ago and toured all the aviation points of interest. Just a few weeks ago a cousin was in New Zealand with her family, but they are not aviation minded. Lord of the Rings movie sets are popular, but the place to visit first should be The Vintage Aviator Limited - TVAL, run by Gene DeMarco.

More DVDs of aviation action in New Zealand. HAFU have lots of videos on Youtube. This Youtube clip shows a really rare and exotic creature, an Australian CAC Boomerang.

Gosh! How time does fly… oh yes, pun intended. Only 303 days until Christmas and still so much to do. A good way to track time is with a 'Ghosts' calendar by Philip Makanna. Here are some of mine spread out on my studio floor.


Flying Tigers.

Fantasy airbrush paintings.

A Sharkmouthed P-40 with tiger striped shark squadron mates. Our grandson is only just learning to talk, but when he sees this painting he reacts with a great big 'Oooh WOW!'

Banzai Boogie.

A Samurai spirit, copied from a print by Kuniyoshi, a Mitsubishi A5M 'Claude' and the tail of a Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu 'Nick'.

Arrow Break.

Sea Harriers as the Red Arrows. I did say these are fantasy paintings.


Two Soviet era Polikarpov I-135 fighters lost in the fog.

The idea for this painting came when 18 year old Matias Rust made an illegal flight to Moscow and landed a Cessna in Red Square.

Storm Warning.

Hurricane, Lightning and Tornado, fighters from three generations.

Hornets over Finland.

Painted before the F-18 entered service with the Finnish Air Force, so the code is wrong, 'HT' instead of 'HN'. The two-seater camouflage harks back to the MiG-21 and Saab Draken, all F-18s are a dull gre as are most military aircraft these days.

Go Marines.

Harrier, Corsair, Phantom, Skyhawk, Hornet.

Big Red.

Top Gun instructors teaching combat techniques. F-16, F-5 MiG-23 and MiG-29s.

Gray on Grey.

P-51D and MiG-29 mix it up.

Fantasy airbrush paintings.