Issue 18 – Messerschmitt BF 109

Now this one really is a problem. I have had difficulties with this page before, as anyone who reads it knows, but nothing quite like this. Not only is this aircraft an icon, an astounding piece of engineering that is matched in longevity only by the Supermarine Spitfire, it is also a symbol for the […]

Issue 17 – Mirage

Noun 1• An optical illusion caused by atmospheric conditions. 2• Something that appears real or possible but is not. So says the dictionary regarding the word chosen by Dassault as the name for the first European aircraft capable of sustained Mach 2 flight. The prototype was a response to a French Air Force requirement for […]

Issue 16 – Saab

Welcome to the first of what I hope will be a succession of different Aviation Classics, one where we are not covering a single type of aircraft or an event, but instead studying the entire history of one of the great aircraft manufacturers. The choice of Saab for this first issue came about due to […]

Issue 15 – Hurricane

How do you tell the story of a legend, a national icon and one of the most amazing flying machines ever built in a single page? Well, it’s difficult. Like the Mosquito issue, this introduction has seen a few drafts to get to this stage. To understand the Hurricane, you have to understand the urgency […]

Issue 14 – P-38 Lightning

Well, this turned out to be a fascinating aircraft to research, since it tied together so many famous people in a single design. One of the greatest aircraft designers of all time, Clarence L “Kelly” Johnson was responsible for the layout of the aircraft, famous test pilots such as Milo Burcham and Tony LeVier were […]

Issue 13 – F-14 Tomcat

Well, producing this magazine has been a real learning curve again, and this time one for which I am deeply grateful, as it has cleared up many questions I had often pondered regarding the programmes that led to the F-14. It also posed a particular problem. Let me try to explain… There are some aircraft […]

Issue 12 – F4U Corsair

Well, the magazine is officially two years old with this issue, No. 12, the Chance Vought, or Vought, or Goodyear or Brewster, F4U or FG-1 or F-3A, Corsair. Almost as many manufacturers and designations as the Harrier in the last issue, but also like that aircraft, one immortal name. It is a very fitting aircraft […]

Issue 11 – Harrier

I find this page hard to write, espcially when I am angry. One day my best friend counselled me thus: “If you feel anger, write about it, it will give you perspective and calm the emotion.” Okay, it’s worth a try, thought I. That said, you are looking at the 24th draft of this introduction. […]

Issue 10 – de Havilland Mosquito

Legend understood – Just so you know, and I make no excuses for this, I have found that this is the hardest page to write in the whole magazine. Summing up an entire edition in a few paragraphs, particularly when you are dealing with such a large subject as this, is difficult without leaving out […]