The story of Pi­lot



From the first is­sue (left) ‘the mag­a­zine for gen­eral avi­a­tion’ proved it was just that, by cov­er­ing GA types from the then-new HS125 biz­jet to home­builts. While the fad­ing Bri­tish light air­craft in­dus­try was sup­ported, the in­com­ing tide of US aero­planes was re­flected in the ap­pear­ance of Amer­i­can types in­clud­ing Mooney and Cessna sin­gles (below)


Tak­ing over the ed­i­tor­ship in the early years of the decade and soon be­com­ing owner of the mag­a­zine, James Gil­bert brought to bear his ex­pe­ri­ence as an as­so­ciate ed­i­tor of Fly­ing mag­a­zine in the USA, turn­ing Pi­lot into a pro­fes­sion­alqual­ity pub­li­ca­tion. The cov­ers re­flected his own taste and abil­i­ties as a pho­tog­ra­pher, and the con­tent both re­flected his wide knowl­edge of avi­a­tion in all its forms and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of good writ­ing. If there was a bias, it was to­ward the aer­o­batic types the Ed­i­tor so en­joyed fly­ing. Nev­er­the­less In this era Pi­lot saw off all com­peti­tors


Dur­ing the 1980s the mag­a­zine’s cov­er­age ex­tended from the clas­sics through new ar­rivals − thanks in large part to Burt Ru­tan, ca­nard air­craft were in vogue − to fea­tures on fly­ing air­lin­ers. Pi­lot had the best writ­ers in the the busi­ness and read­ers were en­ter­tained to mem­o­rable ‘Let­ter from Amer­ica’ and ‘Let­ter from France’ fea­tures from Stephan Wilkin­son and Bernard Chab­bert. On the other hand, while the cov­ers were won­der­ful and var­ied, the mag­a­zine had still not gone full colour and the ‘for­mula’, although a good one, was un­chang­ing


In the early 1990s BAE was still op­er­at­ing a Mos­quito − lost, sadly in a fly­ing ac­ci­dent − while a whole range of new types were emerg­ing and fea­tur­ing in

Pi­lot. Hoff­man (later Di­a­mond) was bring­ing com­pos­ite con­struc­tion to the fore, Van’s was build­ing mo­men­tum with the RV and Ivan Shaw’s Europa was en­joy­ing its hey­day as the lead­ing Bri­tish-made light air­craft


In 2000 Pi­lot came un­der new own­er­ship when it was bought by Mar­ket Link, part of ECNG (now Ar­chant). New de­sign gave the mag­a­zine a more up-to-date, fresh look and the con­tent was di­rected more to­wards ‘core’ GA light aero­planes and mi­cro­lights. In re­cent years there has been a re­turn to the wide range of air­craft, from para­sails to space­planes, that Pi­lot used to fea­ture and the reg­u­lars have been joined by new tal­ent

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.