Straight & level: 20 March 2007

This story is sourced from Flight International
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Acronyms aren't us?

Shrewd whiz-bang and bullets expert Stewart Sidewinder reports from a recent conference where he encountered a classic example of RAGS (random acronym generating system) failure.

While admittedly a class below the Bush administration's disappointly brief use of "The War Against Terror" for acronym potential, those kind chaps at Korea Aerospace Industries and Lockheed Martin have created an - errrrr - swell system for the T-50 Golden Eagle jet trainer. Brians everywhere, may we show you our 'Total Integrated Training System'. You've got to hand it to them: they've certainly got some front

One-Eleven myths and legends

The Budgie News postbag was so overflowing with correspondence about the One-Eleven that most of it spilled out over your Uncle's desk.

Nephew Peter Whittle, for instance, wants to know if it is true that BEA had to retrim its aircraft with extra ballast, having previously insisted BAC remove the forward air stairs as a weight-saving measure. Anyone know if a "Blue Circle One-Eleven" really existed?

Nephew Ian Cotcher, meanwhile, praises the awesome structural strength of the design and decries the apparent Fokker conspiracy that torpedoed the plan to fit Rolls-Royce Tays to new-built Rombac airframes. "As far as I am aware, the 1-11 (sic) jigs are still in Romania. Perhaps some enterprising chap can get them!" he adds.

Nephew Stephen Skinner says it is a pity, in hindsight, that American Airlines never selected the Pratt & Whitney JT8D as an alternative powerplant to the Spey. "This would have revolutionised the programme allowing the development of a much better 500 series and further developments equivalent to the DC-9-80 and Boeing 737-300. Alternatively, a much earlier Rolls-Royce Tay could have saved the day but, in any event, BAC should have introduced a different, more powerful engine as an alternative when the project still had many years to run."

Uncle Roger's spring bookshelf

Take-off To Touchdown - The Invicta Airlines Story

By Malcolm Finnis

It is a scary thought that there is an entire generation of young Brians out there who not only never saw an Invicta aircraft, but who may not even know of this famous little airline's very existence. Author Malcolm Finnis has put this right by producing the definitive story of Invicta Airlines from its inception in the early 1960s to its final liquidation in 1982. Packed with detail, much of it taken from direct contributions from former directors and staff, the book includes a wealth of anecdotes, month-by-month movements details and specific histories of the 26 aircraft in the fleet ranging from Vickers Vanguards, Vikings and Viscounts to Boeing 720Bs and Bristol Britannias. Nostalgic photos, including a spectacular image of a "Brit" flying at wave-top height past Broadstairs on the south coast of the UK, enliven the package. A chapter on the tragic Vanguard crash at Basle, Switzerland, in 1973 is also included.

Price: £29.95 ($58) , ISBN: 0-9517295-2-7

Contact: or visit

 Read Flight from 1957 /em>or read Uncle Roger's web log.