Sometimes, amidst all the self-imposed and real deadlines, the e-mails that buzz around like flies at a picnic, the passing of yet another cherished warrior, the technical hoohaw, the incessant rivet-counting, the posing and the puffery, you just need to slide yourself out from underneath that pile and do something so trivial, so without lasting merit, that it puts a smile on your face. I am at that point.
Nothing seems a bigger waste of time to me than trivial knowledge and nothing more satisfying than being better at it than the next guy. So grab your pens and test your knowledge.
Anybody (OK, not my mother.. but any aerogeek worth his fanny pack and a scanner) can identify a Spitfire when it thunders by or there is a sign on an easel in front of it that says "Spitfire". Below you will find 25 images with very narrow views of vintage aircraft. Very few of the telltale clues are there. Your task is to identify all 25 correctly in order 1 to 25. The answers can be found at the bottom of the page. But you don't need them... right?
If you scored under 5, you may be an Air Force pilot. Score 6-10: My mother can do better than that. Score 11-15: you cried at the end of Amelia. Score 16-20: You carry a little book to record aircraft registrations. Score 21-23: You're a member of the International Plastic Modellers Association. Score 24-25: Put away the airplane glue, put down your exacto and get some air.
The OBSERVANT OBSERVER TEST
The following four tests, if I have figured it out right, will drive you crazy. Your task at each level will be to spot the differences between the top photo (the actual one) and the bottom photo (the altered one).
Level One - The Bi-polar Bi-plane - the Tiger Moth Puzzler
Photo: Peter Handley
Level Two - The Spittin' Image - The Spitfire Puzzler
Rob Erdos flying the Spitfire Mk XVI en route to Geneseo, 2008. Photo: Marty Periard
Level Three - Bent wings, bent minds - The Corsair Puzzler
The Vintage Wings of Canada Corsair at Classic Air Rallye 2008. Photo Peter Handley
Level Four - Engine Breakdown - the Merlin Puzzler (had enough?)
Photo: Peter Handley
The SILVER SCREEN TEST
I have never seen a flying movie I didn't like (Except of course that accurate ducumentary Pearl Harbor). You couldn't squeeze a tear out of me in movies like Tears of Internment... no, wait, that was Terms of Endearment, but put on a hokey flying movie where the hero dies holding a perfumed letter from his gal, and I am sobbing like Jim Bakker at an onion festival. Though I have seen them dozens of times, I always cry at the end of The Bridges at Toko-Ri (on the other hand, I laughed during the Bridges of Madison County) when William Holden and Mickey Rooney go halves on buying the farm in Korea. Test your knowledge of cinema and aviation by matching the films in the left hand column with the Academy Award winning aircraft in the right hand column. Your answers should be in the form of a letter followed by a number (e.g. B-9). Your answers are at the bottom of this story.
Score less than 5 and your birth year probably starts with Two-Zero. Score 6-10 Never mind, go back to watching Sex in the City. Score 11-15: Call me and I will lend you my copy of Captains of the Clouds, Score 16-20: Couch Pilot. Score 21-25: Get off the couch, climb out of your hole and go for a walk for god's sake. Score 26: nice to meet you Lieutenant (jg) Leonard "Skynard" Maltin.
It's the Plane that Makes the Man TEST
You can't think of Stocky Edwards without thinking of a red-nosed Kittyhawk. And Charles Lindbergh is forever linked with his Spirit of St Louis, while you can't picture Bob Hoover without seeing a Shrike Commander. So, if you think you know your aviators as well as you know your airplanes, just match the airplanes in the left column with the correct aviator in the right column. Your answers should be in the form of a letter followed by a number (e.g. B-9). Your answers are at the bottom of this story. For a little extra test, name each pilot from the test with the images of pilots in the graphic. Answers at the bottom.
Score less than 5: "Wow, I never knew there were actually guys inside the airplanes! Go figure. Score 6-10: only source of information is FaceBook. Score 11-20: You read all 96 Biggles books. 21-25: We need you as a tour guide at Vintage Wings. Score 26: You must be Tim Dubé
A Plane By any Other Name Test
Every aircraft type has wings, a fuselage, control surfaces and a nickname - it's a fact. Some reflect the love and respect its pilots have for the ship that brings them back safe after every mission. Other nicknames reflect something less than love. The Fairchild Metroliner has been called the Baltimore Whore, the Fokker F-27 Friendship is known to some as the The Dutch Dog Whistle, the copycat design of the TU144 earned it the name of Concordski and the ear-splitting noise emitted from the engines of the Mitsubishi MU-2 won it the moniker of The Hiroshima Screamer. The just-flown composite construction Boeing 787 Deamliner is already being called the Tupperjet. One that always cracks me up is the nickname for the fat, boxy and lumbering Short 360 - The Irish Concorde. For this Quiz, all you have to do is match the airplanes in the left column with the correct nickname in the right column. Your answers should be in the form of a letter followed by a number (e.g. B-9). Your answers are at the bottom of this story.
The Legend of Hawkeye Hunter
The following story may be total nonsense, but embedded in it are the names of 105 aircraft types, aircraft manufacturers or aircraft nicknames. All you have to do in order to test your powers of observation and aviation history is to identify them in the correct order. Some names are spelled slightly differently, but phonetically they are the same, some names are hidden between two words, some are just plain obvious. Your answers areat the bottom of this story.
Born a Texan, Hawkeye Hunter was a bison farmer who moved to North Dakota and a one-time tracker at cougars and panthers. He was part Apache and part Cherokee. He was no clod either, earning the nickname "Phantom", for he could move through the forest with stealth. Every day he could be seen with his old bird dog Coot, a beagle who was once a great and noble foxhound but had grown old and a little stiff in the hind quarters. Coot had become much less agressive in his old age and wouldn't hunt - not even a sparrow. Hawkeye loved him though.
He had two daughters, May, who was pretty hip, and AIize who was a WASP and a crusader for prohibition. May lived down south in Trinidad, drank like a skipper and was careless with the almighty buck, I think.
Alize was totally the opposite, living in Devon, or Belfast, or something like that. She was married to Viscount Douglas Magister, Duke at Canberra, who was a stamp collector. The old boy was not a free spirit, but he was a good provider. He had gone to Princeton as a sophomore, and had finished up at Oxford.
Besides fawning over his two daughters, Hawkeye had a son named Brewster who was an albatross around his neck. He called him “Junior" and had hoped he would become a tracker of jaguars or pumas. But Junior didn't want to be one. Brewster (Tornado to his friends) was a hoodlum, a blackjack buff and was at the end of the day, a real zero. Alize was gentler on her sibling, labelling him a simply a firebrand. He was pretty candid about his friendship with vampires and demons. He might have been into voodoo but actually he was just a hustler and despite appearances, was fairly swift. He married a Mohawk named Beverly and they moved from Oka to live in Ventura, far away from the native warriors and army sentries.
He loved cars and had a collection that included a '59 Corvette, a '61 T-Bird, and a '62 Ford Galaxy. His souped up Kawasaki played havoc with his neighbours and he was asked to leave. He eventually settled in Maryland, outside Baltimore. He finished college at Johns Hopkins and received varsity letters and many citations from his mentors.
Now we mustn't forget Hawkeye's wife, a rather short woman from Cheyenne named Maya. She was considered a bit of a wacko, frankly, and would clobber poor Hawkeye over the head with her flashlight which she always carried. She constantly sniped at him savagely He simply blamed it all on her hormones. She would often hound him about the smell of his fishbeds behind his house. This badgering didn't bother him though, and he loved her 'til her whirlwind affair with a fresco painter from Boston. After they drove off in his Saab, old Hawkeye became cukoo and viewed the world through a haze. He died in 1989 and on his gravestone is the inscription" 'The Phantom' 1945-1989. He lived life with a fury and there was no battle that he did not win. He carried no venom towards any man, lived to the max and his time on earth was meteoric."
Answers to the Observer Test
Answers to the Observant Observer Test
Photo: Peter Handley
Photo: Marty Periard
Photo: Peter Handley
Photo: Peter Handley
Answers to The Silver Screen Test
1-W, 2-S, 3-G, 4-L, 5-A, 6-V, 7-N, 8-B, 9-E, 10H, 11-R, 12-C, 13J, 14-I, 15-Z, 16-F, 17-K, 18-M, 19-D, 20-Y, 21-O, 22-X, 23-P, 24-Q, 25-T, 26-U
Answers to The Plane Makes the Man Test
1-G, 2-K, 3-Y, 4-F, 5-L, 6-U, 7-O, 8-B, 9-E, 10-Q, 11-V, 12-T, 13-X, 14-C, 15-I, 16-M, 17-Z, 18-H, 19-R, 20-W, 21-N, 22-S, 23-A, 24-D, 25-J, 26-P
Answers to the second half of the quiz
Sullenberger, Rickenbacker, Bong, Tibbets, Earhart
Crossfield, Olds, Bush, Sakai, Potocki
Beurling, Boyington, Galland, Post Chennault
Bannock, Powers, Gibson, Bader, McCurdy
Kvotchur, Yeager, Gentile, Doolittle, Litvyak
Answers to A Plane By any Other Name Test
1-K, 2-T, 3-L, 4-A, 5-M, 6-R, 7-C, 8-P, 9-U, 10-Z, 11-N, 12-F, 13-D, 14-B, 15-W, 16-S, 17-Y, 18-E, 19-Q, 20-O, 21-G, 22-J, 23-X, 24-I, 25-H, 26-V
Answers to The Hawkeye Hunter Test
1. North American T-6 Texan 2. Grumman E-2 Hawkeye 3. Hawker Hunter 4. Myasischev M-4 “Bison” 5. Mig-19 “Farmer” 6. Douglas Dc-3 Dakota 7. Grumman S-2 Tracker 8. Grumman Cougar 9. Grumman Panther 10. Mcdonnell-Douglas AH-64 Apache 11. Piper Cherokee 12. Antonov An-14 “Clod” 13. Mcdonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom 14. Aerospatiale Gazelle 15. British Aerospace Hawk 16. B-2 “Stealth” 17. Cessna 0-1 Bird Dog 18. Ilyushin Il-14 “Coot” 19. Ilyushin Il-28 “Beagle” 20. MiG-31 “Foxhound” 21. Mil Mi-24 “Hind” 22. Curtiss Sparrowhawk 23. Ilyushin Il-38 “May” 24. Mil Mi-8 “Hip” 25. Breguet Br-1050 Alize 26. Westland Wasp 27. Vought F-8 Crusader 28. Socata TB-20 Trinidad 29. Beechcraft Skipper 30. Tupolev Tu-154 “Careless” 31. Rockwell T-2 Buckeye
32. Dehavilland Devon 33. Short Belfast 34. Vickers Viscount 35. Douglas Aircraft 36. Fouga Magister 37. Beechcraft Duke 38. BAE Canberra 39. SV4 Stampe 40. Sikorsky S-76 Spirit 41. Fairchild C-123 Provider 42. Fairchild Princeton 43. Airspeed Oxford
44. Fairey Fawn 45. Brewster Aircraft 46. Grumman Albatross 47. Bolkow Bo28 Junior 48. Sepecat Jaguar 49. Aerospatiale Puma 50. Rockwell International B-1 (be one) 51. Panavia Tornado 52. Kamov Ka-25 “Hoodlum” 53. Tupolev Tu-160 “Blackjack” 54. Boeing B-52 “Buff” 55. Mitubushi Zero 56. Hawker Nimrod 57. Blackburn Firebrand 58. Ilyushin Il-76 “Candid” 59. Fokker F-27 Friendship 60. de Havilland Vampire 61. Mcdonnell Demon 62. Mcdonnell Voodoo 63. Convair B54 Hustler 64. Supermarine Swift 65. Grumman OV-1 Mohawk 66. Blackburn Beverley 67. Yokosuka Okha 68. Lockheed Ventura 69. Piper Warrior 70. Boeing E-3 Sentries
71. Aerospatiale Corvette 72. Lockheed T-33 “T-bird” 73. Ford Tri-motor 74. Lockheed C-5 Galaxy 75. Kawasaki C-1A 76. Douglas A-20 Havoc 77. Martin Maryland 78. Martin Baltimore 79. Vickers Varsity 80. Cessna Citation 81. Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
82. Short Bros. Aircraft 83. Piper Cheyenne 84. L29 Delfin “Maya” 85. Waco Aircraft 86. Nakijima K1-84 “Frank” 87. Yakovlev Yak-42 "Clobber" 88. Yakovlev Yak-25 “Flashlight” 89. Sopwith Snipe 90. North American Savage 91. Kamov Ka-25 “Hormone” 92. Mil Mi-4 “Hound” 93. Mig-21 “Fishbed” 94. Tu-16 “Badger” 95. Westland Whirlwind 96. Mig-17 “Fresco” 97. Douglas Boston 98. Saab Aircraft 99. Sopwith Cuckoo 100. Mil M-4 “Haze” 101. North American FJ-3 Fury 102. Fairey Battle 103. deHavilland Venom 104. Yak-18 "Max" 105. Gloster Meteor