Ten years ago
As always, Airmail either introduced or challenged some controversial views. That month, regular Pilot contributor Bob Grimstead received both praise and complaint about a piece he had written on the Boeing 707, while editor Nick Bloom was lambasted for saying a Tiger Moth’s nose rose when the engine stopped. One complainant was Tiger Moth-master Henry Labouchere, shortly to be profiled in Pilot.
The Practical Aviation feature was entitled ‘Souls on board’ and covered how to make sure passengers not only have a good time when you take them flying but are also safe and perhaps more importantly, don’t do anything to damage the aircraft. Coincidentally – or not, hopefully, another article focussed on ditching an aircraft and how to survive it. It started cheerfully by advising that almost 90% of ditching incidents resulted in only minor initial injuries but then went on to confirm that 50% of ditching survivors die before help arrives.
Two very different flight tests featured: a Learjet 60XR and a Freelance. A what? Yes, a Cessna Skyhawk lookalike, British design, flying on a Permit and with folding wings. Six airframes were constructed but, at the time, only one had been completed and was flying. Pilot claimed a world exclusive for Nigel Lamb’s profile of his MXS-R. From a diehard Extra pilot, Nigel flew an MX-2 two-seater in Red Bull air races and then ordered the MXS-R, which he describes as ‘one of the ultimate, high performance handling machines on this planet’.