Top Landing Gear

The UK's number 1 aviation podcast on iTunes -
with a pilot, a pop star, a presenter and a fencer

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Series 3 Episiode 7 - Full Flaps
Flt Lt Neil 'Faz' Farrell - BBMF Bomber Lead


In our final interview from our trip to Lincoln the TLG team talk to Flight Lieutenant Neil 'Faz' Farrell inside the iconic BBMF hangar at RAF Coningsby.

As we walk around Lancaster PA474 Neil tells us about his experiences as Bomber Leader, what it's like flying the Lancaster and about his other roles in the RAF such as flying the E-3 Sentry and instructing others to fly the E-3, Lancaster and Dakota.

We would like to thank Neil and everybody at RAF Coningsby and BBMF for all their time and help in allowing us such incredible access. We heartily recommend a trip to the BBMF visitor centre - access by guided tour only

Series 3 Episiode 7 
The Battle of Britian Memorial Flight

The team are finally back together as a foursome in the studio - well, not quite the studio but backstage at GLive in Guildford just before Roy takes to the stage on the Surrey leg of his SFG 2021 tour.In this episode we discuss all things BBMF and Lancaster after our 2020 tour to Lincolnshire. James was asked about bang seats, Jez's quick facts had to be quick - as the support band were just about to start kicking out some beats; and the quiz made a triumpant* return. Plus we hear a snippet from our interview with ex Wessex pilot and current BBMF Bomber Lead Flt Lt Neil 'Faz' Farrell.

*Triumphant in Rob's view - no one else was impressed - nor will you be!

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2021 Bournemouth Air Festival Specials
RAF Chinook Display Team - Flt Lt Matt Smyth


Regular listeners to TLG will know that our aviation expert James Cartner is a former RAF Puma pilot. As such he has some kind of weird chip on his shoulder about the mighty Chinook, alleging that all any Chinook crew will talk about is how much it can lift. For the rest of us, and I suspect for James as well although he’d hate to admit it, the Chinook is an incredible aircraft, and its impressive display has long been a crowd favourite. We managed to persuade Chinook Display Captain Matt Smyth, or Smitty, to talk to us, despite James’s grudging hostility. I jest of course, and in fact during our 4 days in Bournemouth we became great friends with the whole Chinook display team .. well, we like to think we did…

2021 Bournemouth Air Festival Specials
Air Vice Marshall Simon Edwards - Assistant Chief of The Air Staff


We were extremely honoured to be invited to the Festival’s opening ceremony which was attended not only by some of the show’s participants but also some top brass, among whom was Air Vice Marshal Simon Edwards, Assistant Chief of The Air Staff. A former Hercules and C17 pilot, he’s now responsible for ASTRA, the RAF’s future strategy. Yet despite being such an incredibly important and impressive figure, he was happy to talk to Top Landing Gear. We’d had a rather early start that morning having set off from our homes at the crack of dawn and so may not have been at our sharpest. Still, we hoped that having a former RAF pilot in our ranks in the impressive shape of James Cartner, might have stood us in good stead in such elevated and illustrious company. You be the judge.

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2021 Bournemouth Air Festival Specials
The Tigers Army Parachute Display Team -
Pte Will Simms


Both the RAF and the Royal Navy took part in the flying display at Bournemouth, as did the Army, who were superbly represented by the Tigers Free-fall Parachute Display Team. These guys from the Princess of Wales’s Regiment and Queens Division do this in their spare time as parachuting isn’t part of their normal army life – that tends to be left to the Parachute Regiment. But they’re all highly qualified, as to be a display jumper you need to have an A-Licence which you can only get after a minimum 200 jumps. Private Will Simms from the team was kind enough to drop in on us the morning after a particularly Top Landing himself on Bournemouth Beach the previous day.

2021 Bournemouth Air Festival Specials
RAF Typhoon Display Team - Flt Lt Sainty

There are those whose sole reason for attending an airshow is to watch and hear the old piston-engined fighters and bombers from WWII, and indeed few could argue with their reasoning. But for others, and I suspect the majority of airshow-goers, one of the greatest thrills is seeing the Typhoon being put through its paces, accompanied by the crackling roar of its twin jets rasping through the air. RIAT aside, there’s not a lot of heavy metal at British airshows these days, so long may the Typhoon continue to thrill us.


We caught up with 2021 Display pilot Flt Lt James Sainty, whose spectacular exhibition of speed, power and agility creates a sensory overload.

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2021 Bournemouth Air Festival Specials
Interview with Festival Director Jon Weaver


Since its launch in 2008, the Bournemouth Air Festival has established itself as one of the UK’s leading public aviation events, and is estimated to generate in the region of £30 million pounds annually to the local economy. It’s certainly highly regarded by aviation fans and display teams alike as it attracts top acts in the air, at sea, on the ground, including most years music acts, not least Roy Stride & Scouting For Girls who’ve been regular headliners on the main festival stage. Sadly Roy was unable to join us in Bournemouth this year, but the three of us went without him anyway, much to the disappointment of the organisers in particular who’d only invited us in the first place because of Roy’s long association with the festival. But we were made to feel incredibly welcome and were hugely impressed by the scale of the event.

We spoke to Bournemouth Air Festival Director Jon Weaver about the challenges involved in getting an event of this scale up and running, especially with all the uncertainty during the pandemic. And just how do you go about booking the acts, not least ensuring that the Red Arrows are available? We also spoke to the wonderful Michelle Roberts, Senior Press & PR Officer who was instrumental in getting us along, and who did such an amazing job looking after us, but for whom this sadly was to be her last year in the role.

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2021 Bournemouth Air Festival Specials
Interview with Dave Walton, Display Director 


Putting on an airshow requires an immense amount of organisation, and safety is of course paramount. But when a display takes place over the sea, and away from an airfield, who controls the display area and calls the aircraft in to begin their display? What if they need to hold, or if there needs to be a last minute change due to unforeseen circumstances? Dave Walton is Display Director for the UK’s Coastal airshows, including Bournemouth, so who better to talk to us about everything that’s involved in the smooth and safe operation of an airshow over the sea?

2021 Bournemouth Air Festival Specials
Rich Goodwin and the Pitts Special

One of the most eye-catching solo displays at UK airshows is the ultra high-energy performance by Rich Goodwin in his Pitts Special. A former RAF Tornado pilot, Rich has been performing aerobatics for over 30 years, and his phenomenal display has spectators gasping in disbelief as he hurls his tiny Pitts Special Muscle Biplane around the sky. Rich is also passionate about building and modifying these biplanes, and as well as talking to us about his display, he told TLG about some very exciting, and unusual plans for the future.

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2021 Bournemouth Air Festival Specials
The Red Arrows


With the 2021 airshow season in the UK drawing to a close, what better time to speak to Red 6, Squadron Leader Jon Bond, as he brings the curtain down on his 4 year stint with the Red Arrows. As Red 6 ‘Bondie’ is Synchro Leader, and also choreographed a brand new manoeuvre for the Reds this year called Boomerang. We also spoke to former Red 1, now OC the Red Arrows, Wing Commander David Montenegro, and Red 10, Squadron Leader Adam Collins.

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Series 3 Episode 6 - Gliding


After several hi-octane podcasts celebrating the magic of the Merlin-powered Avro Lancaster, and the roar of the mighty Eurofighter Typhoon, we’re back with, not so much a bang, but definitely not a whimper either, in fact more of a whoosh. This week the TLG team goes gliding.

None of us knew quite what to expect ahead of our gliding debuts, but, as you’ll hear in our Full Flaps episode, we loved it! We hope this episode will open your eyes, as it did ours, to the glory of gliding, and the thrills it brings. It’s about far more than just genteelly floating through the air enjoying the view, although if that’s what you want it is one of life’s great airborne experiences. But it provides drama and excitement too, and as we discovered courtesy of our exuberant and generous hosts at Trent Valley Gliding Club at Kirton-in-Lindsey (www.tvgc.org.uk), there are things you can do in a glider you might never have thought possible.

Series 3 Episode 5 Full Flaps Parts 1 & 2 -
Flt Lt Nick Callinswood and the Typhoon at RAF Coningsby

During our trip to RAF Coningsby the TLG team was given unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the Typhoon operation. Coningsby is one of two RAF stations in the UK which operates the Typhoon in the QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) role, safeguarding UK airspace. We toured the hangars, sat in cockpit of an operational Typhoon, and were given a highly detailed explanation of everything that makes this spectacular aircraft such a potent weapon. We were also each allowed to fly the Typhoon sim under the expert instruction of our host Flt Lt Nick Callinswood who went above and beyond in making sure we got more from our visit than we could ever have hoped for.

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Series 3 Episode 5 - The Eurofighter Typhoon - The world’s most advanced fighter jet.


In this episode we move right up to date with our visit to RAF Coningsby, one of the RAF’s Typhoon bases where our host for the day, Flt Lt Nick Callinswood, gave us incredible access as we explored and sat in an operational Typhoon, and gave all four of us instruction in the Typhoon flight simulator.   In the studio, James is interesting again when we ask him a question, and tells us that a Typhoon is faster than a Puma. We also talk about personalised aircraft registrations; and Ron Goodwin’s estate benefits nicely from Jez’s Typhoon Quick Facts which were so long, the entire Battle of Britain them tune had to be played twice.

The ever popular, ever brilliant but testing quiz turns typically niggly, with more needle than you’d find in your grandmother’s sewing kit, as Jez and James continue to try and stitch each other up. But we think the clip in the Typhoon hangar at RAF Coningsby will make the pain of listening to all that other nonsense worth your while.

Series 3 Episode 4 Full Flaps - RAF Scampton Heritage Centre Tour with Colin Clitheroe

On our recent visit to Bomber County, Lincolnshire, the TLG team visited RAF Scampton, home to 617 Squadron and from where, in May 1943, 19 specially converted Lancasters set out on that historic raid.

This is our FULL FLAPS tour around the Scampton Heritage Centre, which included sitting at the desk of Wing Cdr Guy Gibson in the very office from where he planned and ran Operation Chastise, and touring the original hangars where those Lancaster's were prepared.

Huge thanks to our wonderful guide Colin Clitheroe, a volunteer whose incredible knowledge, passion and warm humour made this an unforgettable experience.

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Series 3 Episode 4 - The Dam Busters Raid and RAF Scampton


After Roy and James tried to go it alone in the previous pod, Top Landing Gear is back at full strength for this one. Throughout this series we’ve been focussing on the Avro Lancaster which this year celebrates its 80th anniversary. And this episode features the Lanc’s most famous mission of all, Operation Chastise, ‘The Dam Busters Raid’.

On our recent visit to Bomber County, Lincolnshire, the TLG team visited RAF Scampton, home to 617 Squadron and from where, in May 1943, 19 specially converted Lancasters set out on that historic raid. Jez outlines exactly what was involved in one of his best ‘Quick Facts’ to date, yet despite his extensive research he bombed somewhat in the TLG ‘Dam Busters’ Quiz.

Series 3 Episode 3 - Supermarine Spitfire prototype K5054 and Spitfire Pilot 'Jim Schofield'

With the Curling Brothers unavailable, Roy And James got together to mark the 85th anniversary of the first public display of the Supermarine Spitfire prototype K5054.   We catch up on the latest aviation news, answer a superb 'Ask James' question and conduct arguably the best Top Landing Gear quiz ever!  
It is also the perfect excuse to repeat our interview with the Spitfire pilot Jim Schofield. Chief pilot at the Boultbee Academy Where YOU can fly in a Spitfire!

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Series 3 Episiode 2 Full Flaps
The Petwood Hotel and Emma Brealey


In this edition we have a delightful meal in the "Squadron Bar" at the Petwood Hotel in Woodhall Spa and chat to the hotel's owner Emma Brealey. The hotel was requisitioned as an Officers' Mess during the was and served as the base for 617 "The Dambusters" Sqn subsequent to their raid on the Dams. Emma explains the role that the hotel played during the war and talks us through the amazing memorabilia that is all over this historic building.

Series 3 Episode 2 - Lincoln ‘Bomber County’ and the Petwood Hotel

Lincolnshire was the base for our incredible T.L.G trip last year. This episode focuses on 'Bomber County' and an establishment we regard as the spiritual home of Top Landing Gear - the wonderful Petwood Hotel. A enchanting timeless place to visit and stay with enormous links to the RAF dating back to the WW2 when it was requisitioned as an officer's mess and became home to 617 squadron - The Dambusters l

Our special guest is the hotel's director and TLG friend Emma Brealey. 

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Series 3 Episode 1 FULL FLAPS Pt 2 - Andrew Panton & Lancaster NX611 ‘Just Jane’ 


In this second bonus episode the TLG team are allowed inside the Lancaster… James takes the captains seat and is put in charge of the brakes. While Just Jane’s owner and museum visionary Andrew Panton gives us an interior tour of the aircraft and talks us through the engine start up. (whilst looking nervously at James)

The episode ends with a 5 minute uninterrupted sound recording of the four Merlin engines being fired up and Just Jane taxying off. Spine tingling.

The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre. is re-open now and after 2020 needs your support. Visit the museum or book your once in a lifetime, bucket list, Taxi ride experience today! Let's get Just Jane in the air once again!!! 

Series 3 Episode 1 FULL FLAPS Pt 1 - Andrew Panton & Lancaster NX611 ‘Just Jane’ 

NX611 ‘Just Jane’, is being restored to flight at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby. It is already providing taxy runs for the public, and the hope is that one day it will carry passengers aloft in what would be the experience of a lifetime. The man behind this thrilling project is Andrew Panton, and he is our guest in this Full Flaps edition. He tells us the very personal story of how the whole thing started and just what is involved in getting a World War II heavy bomber back into the skies.  There’s lots more going on at East Kirkby too, and over the course of this two-parter Andrew fills us in on everything that they’re striving to achieve.

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Series 3 Episode 1 - The Avro Lancaster


We’re delighted to be back with a brand new series of podcasts. This series is built around our recent trip to Lincolnshire, Bomber County.  our first episode is all about the Avro Lancaster, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year, and about one Lancaster in particular, NX611 ‘Just Jane’, which is being restored to flight at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby. Our special guest is Andrew Panton, the man behind this exciting project.

We also have all our usual features, including Ask James and Jez’s Quick Facts, and there’s quite a turn up for the books in the outcome of the hugely popular and always highly anticipated Top Landing Gear Quiz

Series Three Trailer (plus a FULL FLAPS classic!)

In this trailer Rob gives you a brief glimpse into some of the many aviation audio treats we have planned for the coming months... And to really whet the appetite we then re-run one of our favourite interviews from 2020.

Our Full Flaps extended conversation is with David Williams. A captain with Virgin Atlantic, who in 2014 was involved in a major incident when the 747-400 he was flying developed an unprecedented systems failure resulting in only part of the landing gear locking down for landing.

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Lockdown 'Three' Special‬

We’re now well in to 2021 so we thought it was high time we produced our first podcast of the year. And how timely, just as Boris announces the roadmap out of Lockdown, we’ve recorded a Lockdown Special with our favourite aviation-themed films, books, TV programmes, websites and podcasts which we hope will inspire you as you look to fill some of those dreary lockdown hours, days, nights, weeks. I know. It’s almost over. We should have done this ages ago. But we didn’t. Sorry. This edition has all the usual nonsense, including a really uplifting Ask James about how the pandemic is affecting aviation now and going forward. Even Jez’s Quick Facts struggle to raise much of a smile. But they are good. And quick … ish. But as ever, the real joy explodes with The Quiz! Fun, laughter, high quality competition are just three of the things we really wish we could have achieved

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Series 2 Episode 6 Full Flaps
Red 1 - Squadron Leader Tom Bould - The new Team Leader for the Red Arrows‪.


We're ending 2020 and Series 2 with a real highlight. A Full Flaps interview with the brand new Red 1 - Team leader for the mighty Red Arrows - Squadron Leader Tom Bould. As Team Leader, Tom is primarily responsible for all aspects of the display, from running the training programme to choreographing the show. He leads the nine-aircraft aerobatic display. Re-joining the Red Arrows, the 2021 season will be his first year as Red 1 and Team Leader. Huge thanks to Tom and mighty Red Arrows for this interview. We can't wait to see them in 2021 when things get back to normal.

Series 2 Episode 6b - Ask James Christmas Special PART TWO!

Welcome to part two of our ‘Ask James’ Christmas Special, where our aviation expert James Cartner endeavours to answer at least some of the wonderful questions our listeners have sent in. (You’ve sent in so many great questions we’ll do some more in the New Year.) And if you did send one in, stay tuned as we’ll announce who’s won the prize for the best question as judged by us.We hit a spectacularly low point with our aviation themed Christmas cracker ‘jokes’, and presents are handed out to one and all… well to everyone apart from Rob who did the handing out. But to be honest he does look more like Father Christmas than any of the others. And of course the pod comes to a scintillating climax with the Top Landing Gear Christmas Quiz!

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Top Landing Gear Special - BA LAndor 747-400 To Dunsfold



On Saturday 5th December 2020, retired BA Boeing 747-400 G-BNLY made its final flight from Cardiff to Dunsfold aerodrome in Surrey. This aircraft was destined for the scrapheap, but because it is one of BA’s ‘retro jets’, Lima Yankee is painted in the iconic Landor livery, there was an enthusiastic campaign, which Top Landing Gear signed up to, to save it. Then the excellent news reached us that Mike Woodley of Aviation Filming at Dunsfold, had taken ownership. Mike kindly invited Top Landing Gear to be present on this auspicious occasion, where we caught up with BA 747 pilot Mags Sefari who was on the crew that delivered her that day, and a couple for whom Lima Yankee holds a particularly special place in their hearts. 

Series 2 Episode 6a
Ask James Christmas Special 
PART ONE‪!

Seasons Greetings, and welcome to the first of our Top Landing Gear Christmas Specials! James will be taking centre stage answering the many excellent questions our listeners have sent in, as well as some of our own. What James doesn’t know about aviation could be written on a piece of paper stretching from the earth to the moon and back, and back again. But he sounds convincing and we believe everything he says. Jez’s Quick Facts about James sound more like a wedding speechand as always the undoubted highlight of the podcast is our Christmas themed quiz,

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Series 2 Episode 5 Full Flaps
AVM Graham Williams (Retd)


As an RAF fast jet pilot during the height of the Cold War, and also a test pilot (as a result of which he has flown almost every western cold war jet imaginable) this Full Flaps guest is our most senior member of themilitary that we have interviewed to date - Air Vice Marshal Graham Williams. He commanded a Harrier Sqn, an RAF Base and was heavily involved in selecting much of the RAF's current capability as Air Officer in charge of procurement in the late 1980s. His stories filled us all with admiration - this is another cracking interview!

Series 2 Episode 5
An RAF Fighter Pilots life during the Cold War

This edition of the Top Landing Gear podcast has an appropriately seasonal feel as we approach winter, its theme being the Cold War, which lasted from 1947 until 1991. The Cold War saw the rapid development of aviation beginning with concepts such as new wing designs and powerplants and ending with digitalised avionics and stealth technology. All this to gain the upper hand in the event of a hot war.Our guest was an RAF fast jet pilot during the height of the Cold War, and was also a test pilot, as a result of which he has flown almost every western cold war jet imaginable. He is Air Vice Marshal (retired) Graham Williamson, the most senior person by rank that we’ve ever had on the pod. His is a fascinating story, which he reflects on with great humour here and in his wonderfully entertaining and enlightening book ‘Rhapsody In Blue".

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Series 2 Episode 4 Full Flaps Special
Rolf Richardson - VC10 Pilot in the Daily Mail
Transatlantic Air Race


Pilot, writer, photographer and traveller, Rolf Richardson is our very special guest for this very special Full Flaps edition of Top Landing Gear. Rolf was a pilot in the Daily Mail Great Transatlantic Air Race, flying the mighty VC10 on the leg that took his brother-in-law - Peter Hammond towards a winning time in the sub-sonic category. In our podcast Rolf tells us how he came to be there, his impressive flying history and about what he's been doing since the amazing days of the air race!

Series 2 Episode 4 - Full Flaps
Lt Cdr Peter Goddard RN - Winner of the Daily Mail Transatlantic Air Race

This week's FULL FLAPS unedited interview is with the WINNER of the 1969 Daily Mail Air Race - Lieutenant Commander Peter Goddard. He tells us about his career in the Royal Navy and how he managed to get from the top of the Empire State Building to the top of the Post Office Tower in London (now the BT Tower) in 5hrs and 11 mins. Once you have listened to the Podcast search 'The First and the Fastest' on Youtube for a wonderful 20 minute documentary of the race from 1969. You will not be disappointed!

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Series 2 Episode 4
The Daily Mail Transatlantic Air Race


This week we’re turning the clock back to 1969, a hugely significant year for aviation and aerospace, but it was also the year of the Daily Mail Transatlantic Air Race, probably one of the last great aviation adventures. The race was between the top of the Post Office Tower in London (now the BT Tower), and the top of the Empire State building in New York, in either direction. The fastest crossing of all was achieved by an Observer in a Royal Navy Phantom, and he is our very special guest. Lieutenant Commander Peter Goddard’. Also all our usual features: Ask James, Jez’s Quick Facts - all about the Air Race, and of course the highlight of every episode – The Top Landing Gear Quiz.

Series 2 Episode 3 - Full Flaps
Rowland White - Author of "Harrier 809"

We talk to Aviation author and expert Rowland White.His fantastic new book ‘Harrier 809’ is out now, and tells the untold story of 809 Squadron and the Falklands War. Combining groundbreaking research with the pace of a thriller, Rowland White reveals the full story of the fleet's knife-edge fight for survival for the first time, and shows how the little jump jet went from airshow novelty to sealing its reputation as an icon of British aviation, alongside the Spitfire and the Hurricane. It is available in hardback, ebook and audiobook. www.rowlandwhite.com

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Series 2 Episode 3
The Sea Harrier


The British Aerospace Sea Harrier is one of the most iconic and most loved of all British aircraft. Entering service with the Royal Navy in 1980, the informally know ‘SHAR’ vertically took off into our hearts after its success in the Falklands conflict, where three squadrons of just 28 SHARS shot down 20 Argentine aircraft whilst defending the fleet and supporting the ground invasion.

In this episode we talk to Aviation author and expert Rowland White. His fantastic new book ‘Harrier 809’ is out now, tells the untold story of 809 Squadron and the Falklands War.

Series 2 Episode 2
FULL FLAPS - Interview with 747 pilot,
Captain David Williams

Here is our extended interview with David Williams, a Captain with Virgin Atlantic, who in 2014 was involved in a major incident when the 747-400 he was flying developed a systems failure resulting in only part of the landing gear locking down. David tells us in jaw-dropping detail how he fllew some extreme manoeuvres to rectify the problem and how he eventually nursed the aircraft back to Gatwick... what outcome awaited him, his crew and 447 passengers, one of whom was his own daughter. It’s a riveting account, never before told in such detail.

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Series 2 Episode 2
Boeing 747 - The Queen of The Skies - The Jumbo Jet


The Boeing 747 ‘Jumbo Jet’ changed the face of air travel forever. But after 50 years of impeccable service the ‘Queen of The Skies’ is being hastily retired in favour of more economical jets. The 747 won the hearts of those who flew it and of its passengers, and there is universal sadness at its passing. Top Landing Gear pays tribute to this magnificent aircraft.
Our guest is David Williams, a Captain with Virgin Atlantic, who in 2014 was involved in a major incident when the 747-400 he was flying developed an unprecedented systems failure.

Series 2 Episode 1 - Full Flaps
Interview with Dilip Sarkar MBE

Having been fascinated by the Second World War for a lifetime, Dilip Sarkar has been prolific in writing works focused on the Battle of Britain - particularly the human element of the stories. He has become one of the World's authorities on this moment of history.
Having written over 30 books on the subject and being honoured with an MBE for services to Aviation History it was said by Battle of Britain fighter ‘ace’ Wg Cdr George Unwin DSO DFM, ‘If you want to know anything about the Battle of Britain and the Few, don’t ask us, ask Dilip!

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Series 2 Episode 1 - The Battle of Britain


Top Landing Gear is back with series 2, kicking off with a momentous moment in history – The Battle of Britain. 2020 marks its 80th anniversary - the Battle of Britain not Top Landing Gear - and if there are any gaps in your BoB knowledge, then Jez’s ‘quick’ facts will fill in every detail. We’re delighted the aviation historian and Battle of Britain specialist Dilip Sarkar MBE has agreed to be our special guest; he’s written more about the Battle of Britain than any other person through first-hand accounts forged by his own friendships with ‘The Few’. We will also hear from some of those heroic pilots in person, including a Luftwaffe ME109 pilot.

Series 1

Series 1 Episode 6 - Summer Special

What can we say? We missed you... And just couldn't wait for the start of Series Two before we talked again. So we got together to discuss recent aviation events including Virgin Galactic's plans for a new Mach 3 supersonic aircraft, the horrific 737-800 crash in Kerala and what we have planned for the Autumn... AND... No quiz!

Huge thanks to everyone who has listened and supported us this year. We have been astonished at the numbers of downloads this summer. See you in September for our Battle of Britain special.

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Series 1 Episode 5 - Full Flaps - Interview with Flt Lt Alan Pollock


This week's special guest created his own legendary moment in April 1968, when he flew his Hawker Hunter fighter jet through Tower Bridge in London. Flt Lt Alan Pollock of No1 Sqn was incensed with defence cuts and that, the RAF was denied a flypast to mark its 50th anniversary. So Pollock decided to let the Government know how he, and many others felt, by buzzing Westminster before heading off down the Thames at about 400 mph. It’s an extraordinary story, and his various capers during his time with the RAF are the stuff of legend. Needless to say Alan is a most engaging character.

 Series 1 Episode 5 - Audacious Aviation & The Hawker Hunter

This episode sees us diususs some of history's most audatious aviation stunts. We will be looking at our own favourite daring flights and be concentrating on Flt Lt Alan Pollock's flight over London and through Tower Bridge in 1968. We wil also chat about the Hawker Hunter - the beautiful aircraft that Flt Lt Pollock was flying when he 'shot the bridge' - and we'll hear from the man himself in excerpts from our full interview - coming soon!

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Series 1 Episode 4 Full Flaps - Interview with Ex Red Arrow Sqn Ldr Dave Thomas -
Parts One and Deaux


We chat to Ex Red Arrow, Sqn Ldr Dave Thomas. Dave joined the Reds in 2001 as Red 2, he then progressed to Synchro Pair and then finally Synchro Lead in the 2004 Season Dave progressed through the RAF from Airman to Pilot and joined the Reds from the Harrier Force in 2001. In our interview he chats to the Top Landing Gear team about a tour with the Red Arrows - including selection, the work up, displays, World tours, what happens when things go off plan and finally leaving the team after his final display. The interview is so compelling we have split it into two parts.

Series 1 Episode 4 - The Red Arrows

In Episode Four of Top Landing Gear we feature the top national aerobatic team in the world (well we think so anyway...) The Red Arrows. We discus their history, what the Reds mean to us and what Red Arrows shows we particulary remember. We' are joined by former synchro pair leader Squadron Leader Dave Thomas who talks about his time with the Reds. - His full (flaps) interview features next week.

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Series 1 Episode 3 Full Flaps - Interview with Major George 'Smokey" Bacon MBE - Display pilot and Airshow organiser & commentator


We are delighted to have with us this week a man who certainly knows his way around an airshow. Not only is he a display pilot with the Army Air Corp Historic Flight and Chairman of the Historic Aircraft Flight he is also CEO of the British Airshow Display Association AND The Voice of numerous airshows up and down the county. With over 4000 hours on more than 20 different aircraft the Top Landing Team chat with airshow legend George 'Smokey' Bacon.

Series 1 Episode 3 - The Great British Airshow

Top Landing Gear discuss all things Airshows - despite current lockdown restrictions the team are really keen to visit an airshow - so we discuss all the aspects of putting a show together, the teams who participate and which airshow moments really stand-out! We will 'Ask James' if he has ever taken part in an airshow and the quiz is a cornucopia of airshow intrigue. We will also lookforward to our interview with historic flight team pilot and Chief Exec of the British Air Display Association - George 'Smokey' Bacon.

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S Series 1 Episode 2 Full Flaps -
Amanda J Harrison


Last year Amanda set out to retrace Amy’s epic journey in her De Havilland Tiger Moth. But Amanda’s story is about far more than taking on one of aviation’s greatest challenges. She has severe dyslexia, and a couple of years ago following the death of her father, Amanda was diagnosed with breast cancer; both life changing events occurring in a cruelly short space of time. She decided that life was there to be lived, and that’s when she planned her epic flight. Amanda’s story will delight, enthral and uplift you. Hear her interview in full on Top Landing Gear, and be truly inspired.

Series 1 Episode 2 - Amy Johnson

This week’s edition of TLG goes back in time 90 years to explore the story of one of the great aviation pioneers. Join Rob, Roy, James and Jez for a look at the incredible Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo, and we mean solo, to Australia. We find out about her aircraft the tiny Gipsy Moth, how she got into aviation and the remarkable tale of her journey from Croydon, South London to Darwin, Northern Australia. Discover the "Amy Wave" and why Roy has one, what Amy did during the war and the story of her mysterious demise.

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Series 1 Episode 1 Full Flaps - Jim Schofield


The TLG team chat to Ex RAF test pilot Jim Schofield who is now Chief Pilot at the Boultbee Flight Academy - providing Spitfire flights and training from their base Goodwood Aerodrome. Jim discusses what its like to operate the Spitfire, its advantages and its vices. He discusses which mark he considers the best and who would win in a fight between different variants. We also hear a little about some of the other 100 aircraft types Jim has flown.

Top Landing Gear :
Series 1 Episode 1 - Spitfire


Join the team as we discuss this icon of the air. We look at some fascinating Spitfire facts, there's an illuminating Spitfire quiz and our panellist Jez talks about his flight in one of these beautiful aircraft. We also discuss pilots sleeping - will James stay awake long enough to answer questions in the quiz? Listen and find out! 

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Top Landing Gear Full Flaps:
Pilot Episode - Concorde


We chat to ex-Concorde Captain John Hutchinson about life flying the supersonic airliner. Listen in as he discusses what it was like to fly, how it actually flew and some hilarious stories of his celebrity passengers. John also talks about landing a Boeing 707 on fire into Heathrow in 1968.

Top Landing Gear: The Pilot Edisode - Concorde

In our very first Episode we introduce our presenting team and then discuss the World's only supersonic passenger aircraft - Concorde. We look at how Rob turned down the chance to fly in it, how James knows very little about it and we listen as Jez recalls some completely incorrect facts before Roy tells us a flying related story about one of his worst ever dates with a young lady...

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Series Three Trailer (plus a FULL FLAPS classic!)

In this trailer Rob gives you a brief glimpse into some of the many aviation audio treats we have planned for the coming months... And to really whet the appetite we then re-run one of our favourite interviews from 2020.

Our Full Flaps extended conversation is with David Williams. A captain with Virgin Atlantic, who in 2014 was involved in a major incident when the 747-400 he was flying developed an unprecedented systems failure resulting in only part of the landing gear locking down for landing.

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Series 3 Episode 2 - Lincoln ‘Bomber County’ and the Petwood Hotel

Lincolnshire was the base for our incredible T.L.G trip last year. This episode focuses on 'Bomber County' and an establishment we regard as the spiritual home of Top Landing Gear - the wonderful Petwood Hotel. A enchanting timeless place to visit and stay with enormous links to the RAF dating back to the WW2 when it was requisitioned as an officer's mess and became home to 617 squadron - The Dambusters l

Our special guest is the hotel's director and TLG friend Emma Brealey. 

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