Douglas McWhirter

Travel: Plains and Simple

As the sun rises above the Mary River floodplain in Australia’s Northern Territory, water buffalo, wild horses, and flocks of magpie geese begin the daily trek from their nocturnal havens in the forest to the open swamp, where they will feed and cool themselves during the heat of day. At the forest’s edge, groggy travelers, […]

Island Wonder Down Under

By the third day of the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2009 off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the weather gods are clearly unhappy. A high-pressure system has settled over the island on this August morning, bringing the winds to a standstill and leaving a flotilla of roughly 200 becalmed sailing yachts to idle in the […]

Dining: Fresh from Oz

After studying in France to be a chef, Alla Wolf-Tasker returned to her native Australia in the 1970s determined to create a Michelin-quality country restaurant that embraced the bounty and flavors of the region around Daylesford, Victoria, the tiny community where she spent her summers as a child. “I wanted to serve tomatoes that were […]

Journeys: Bermuda Buy Angle

On the night of January 16, 1939, the captain of the Greek cargo steamer Pelinaion decided to make an unscheduled stop at the island of Bermuda in the Atlantic Ocean. He and his crew were ferrying a full load of iron and manganese ore from West Africa to Baltimore, Md., and they needed to refuel […]

Autos: Fantastic Four-Door

Admittedly, the Panamera’s looks are an acquired taste. But for a moment, banish from your thoughts the knowledge that, from the wrong angle, Porsche’s debut sedan vaguely resembles the aesthetically unfortunate 928 of the 1980s. Forget the troubling headlines emerging from Stuttgart about the company’s financial woes and its impending shotgun marriage to Volkswagen. For […]

Aircraft and Flight Services

Private flight has certainly seen better years. In addition to fighting a recessionary headwind that has slowed the entire manufacturing sector, this particular industry has served as the media’s preferred target for populist outrage in the wake of financial crisis and Wall Street scandal. In the minds of many, its products have become the ultimate […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Rise and Shine

1937 Spartan 7W Executive In 1937, the Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Co. of Duncan, Okla., paid roughly $23,500 for a startlingly overpowered, polished-aluminum monoplane to ferry its top management in high style. This aircraft, a Spartan Executive, cocooned passengers in the kind of stitched-leather comfort typically found in Packard limousines, while rocketing them across the […]

Aviation: Change Is in the Air

When the going gets tough, the tough invest in the future. Amid layoffs, restructurings, and rising jet-fuel costs, Flight Options, the Cleveland-based fractional aviation company, announced late last year that it would spend $1 billion for 150 Embraer Phenom 300 light jets. According to CEO S. Michael Scheeringa, the company is also moving beyond its […]

Best of the Best 2008: Personal Aircraft

The “S” in the name of the new Acclaim from Mooney Airplane refers to the craft’s most distinguishing attribute: speed. The Mooney Acclaim Type S (830.896.6000, www?.mooney?.com) reaches 278 mph, which is 6 mph faster than the previous Acclaim and unquestionably faster than any other piston-powered, single-engine airplane on the market. (By comparison, the Columbia […]