Confession time: I am prone to irrational, unjustifiable dislikes when it comes to aeroplanes. More often than not it is an aircraft about which more fuss was made than the aircraft was worth – in my opinion, I hasten to add. Usually that fuss was being made in the pages of Flight and getting in the way of what I wanted to write (3,000-word features on ring laser gyros, that sort of thing).
Top of the list has to be the BAe 146, which must have appeared in the pages of Flight more frequently than any other aircraft over my 30 years. Why? Because it’s British and because a former Flight editor had an obsession with the 146 and the Royal Family….
Rule Britannia! (Crown Copyright)Actually, I quite like the chunky look of the 146, although with all those engines, flaps and gear hanging down it seems more suited to landing on a carrier deck than at a regional airport. Thankfully, my colleague Max Kingsley Jones has made sure my disdain has not prevented the 146 making many more appearances in Flight.
Other irrational dislikes? Concorde, because it was a momumental waste of money and because the Labour government chose to keep it and cancel the TSR2. But I did come to have a grudging respect for the beast when I realised the extent to which it kept British technology alive till the Tornado came along.
And, just to upset everyone – remember, I did say irrational and unjustifiable – the Airbus A380. What is all the fuss about? It’s just a big bus. Although I do rather like that wing…