Straight & Level 26 August

Pilatus’s very Swiss roll-out
Sometimes in the life of a globetrotting Flight International scribbler you can forget what country you are in.
Not so for our colleague who attended the roll-out of Pilatus’s first jet, the PC-24. The firm’s Stans location, in an Alpine valley, is as chocolate-box Swiss as you can get. For the ceremony itself, guests were treated to yodelling and alpenhorns as the aircraft was pulled in by horses, before chairman Oscar Schwenk appeared in traditional costume – complete with edelweiss-decorated traditional shirt.
The only thing missing was a giant cowbell round the nose of the jet.

Flight Safety Information’s bulletin reports an incident where a “Boeing 737” of Russian airline S7 could not take off from Domodedovo airport after its rear landing gear got stuck in melting asphalt on a taxiway, caused by soaring temperatures in Moscow. Trouble is, the stricken aircraft in the picture does not look like a 737. “Has Boeing finally conceded that Airbus has a superior design and – since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – is now producing 737s that look exactly like their French cousins?” asks Erik Reed Mohn in Norway, who spotted the error.


Swift retribution
Not that we are innocent in the silly mistakes department. Thanks to the many of you who pointed out that our cutaway of the Supermarine Swift in Straight & Level 5-11 August was its predecessor, the 510.
“Note the R-R Nene engine and tailwheel undercarriage,” says Julian Bennett. Richard Lambert, who signs off “yours pedantically”, adds: “The 510’s claim to fame is that it was the first swept wing jet fighter to land on a carrier, Illustrious, in 1950. This 510, VV106, still exists in the Fleet Air Arm Museum’s Cobham Hall Reserve Collection at Yeovilton.” We stand corrected.

Wizz we hadn’t
The most unlikely new route? Pyongyang to Las Vegas or Tel Aviv-Tehran perhaps? How about Moscow to Kiev?
Low-low cost airline Wizz Air applied for rights between the Russian and Ukrainian capitals two years ago – when it must have seemed a great idea – and will launch flights on 30 September. Somewhat optimistically, the airline hopes the conflict between the nations “will be resolved” by then.
Catalina dreamer
Want to be part of a project to keep the great Catalina seaplane airborne and performing at shows throughout Europe?
Plane Sailing Air Displays, which operates the Duxford, UK-based Consolidated Aircraft Catalina G-PBYA, is holding a “future shareholder” event for those interested in purchasing one of 20 shares available when a member retires. Share ownership allows you to fly the aircraft – if qualified – or be flown in the aircraft. The event will be held at Duxford on 5 October and attendance is by prior booking only, via email at:



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