50 years ago: 16 Mar 1956

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Flight 16.3.1956

Speed Record

Flying the first Fairey F.D.2 delta-wing research aircraft over a 15 km course between Chichester and Ford, Sussex, Mr. Peter Twiss, D.S.C, set up a new world speed record of 1,132 m.p.h. (subject to F.A.I. conformation) on Saturday last, March 10th. This exceeds by the breath-taking margin of 310 m.p.h. – or 37 per cent – the previous record established by Colonel Horace A. Hanes, U.S.A.F., in a North American F-100C Super Sabre. The F.D.2 is powered by one Rolls-50 years tnRoyce Avon turbojet with reheat. At a Press conference in London following the record flight, Mr. G.W. Hall said that the record confirmed the company’s faith in the delta platform, the potential of the present Delta 2 and such new features as the tilting nose and the Fairey power controls with which it is fitted. “The new speed record,” Mr. Hall continued, “is not a stunt. The Delta 2 has been achieving speeds of well over 1,000 m.p.h. during routine development for some months.”

East German Build-up

The East German Air Force, according to a West German Intelligence appreciation, is likely to receive 1,200 Russian-made fighters of the Mig series by about the middle of 1957. The force is said to have about 600 trained pilots, but many have not yet received jet training; a number are expected to start this month.


Just Call Me Airimp

The English language, streamlined by our American friends both to its debasement and its enrichment, seems now to have reached compressibility limits. One I.A.T.A. airline may now say to another: “302/9 JONES BB510/10 NN OSL” – which means that Mr, Jones, passenger on flight 302 leaving New York for Paris on the ninth of the month, will want a connecting reservation the following day on flight 510 to Oslo. The new language, complete with its own syntax and vocabulary, condenses every conceivable reservations message into 99 abbreviations. Its own title – ATC/IATA Reservations Interline Message Procedure – is inevitably abbreviated to AIRIMP
 

Hermes Sabotage

The destruction of Skyways’ Hermes G-ALDW at Nicosia Airport on March 4th was later found to have been caused by a time-bomb placed in the luggage compartment. The explosion occurred 20 minutes before the aircraft was due to depart for the United Kingdom with 68 passengers.