Retro TV – Skywatch with Raymond Baxter. 1974


A purely self indulgent post here. If, like me, you were an aviation mad kid growing up in the 1970’s you’ll recall seeing what are now museum exhibits being used as modern front line aircraft. This 1974 Skywatch programme, presented by the legendary Raymond Baxter, gives an amazing overview of the full range of RAF front line aircraft of the time, including Phantom, Vulcan, Lightning, Harrier, Buccaneer and the then-new Jaguar.

It’s a wonderfully atmospheric programme, reminding me what a great presenter Raymond Baxter was and, in the midst of the current defence cutting culture, what a strong Royal Air Force we had back then to face the perceived threat from the Eastern Bloc aircraft such as the Tulopev TU95 Bear.

The final tbing I considered – Vulcan, Jaguar and Harrier are now cut from our forces in the UK. Yet the TU 95 continues in service…

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Author: Neill Watson

If you love the sound of the Cosworth V8 as much as the V12 Merlin, the smell of Jet A1 as much as Castrol R and admire the late Ray Hanna as much as Sir Stirling, you’ll find you’re both on the same page. Neill's love of art deco buildings means that his ideal home would be a brilliant white, 1930′s control tower in Southern France, with crisply mown grass, biplane parked on the driveway and a Ferrari 288GTO in the garage. This is something that those around him tolerate, though it does concern them from time to time.

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