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Flight 10.8.1956

50 years ago

Suez Emergency

Last weekend several squadrons of Canberras flew out to the Mediterranean area from their bases at Honington, Suffolk, and Marham, Norfolk, and Transport Command aircraft were due to follow with their ground crews, equipment and spares. These moves, together with new Naval dispositions affecting the aircraft carriers Theseus, Bulwark, and Ocean and a call up of certain classes of Army reservists, were immediate developments prompted by President Nasser's decision to nationalize the Suez Canal. Theseus sailed from Portsmouth last Sunday with the 16th Independent Parachute Brigade Group on board Bulwark left there for the Mediterranean the following day, and her aircraft - presumably Sea Hawks and Wyverns from R.N.A.S. Ford, though the Admiralty would not confirm this - flew on board shortly afterwards. Meanwhile, plans were being made by the War Office, in consultation with R.A.F. Transport Command, B.O.A.C. and the other charter companies, for a big airlift of troops to the Middle East.

Short on Sky

The United States is "running out of sky," said Mr. Stuart Tipton, president of the A.T.A., at Nashville, Tenn., recently. He was pointing out that nearly 100,000 aircraft, of which only 500 belong to the airlines, are using a 1938 traffic-control system. The C.A.A.'s new three-year improvement programme, he said, "comes late and is still not sufficiently comprehensive."

Everest Record

From New Orleans comes a report that a Bell X-2 rocket-powered research aircraft has flown at "about 1,900" m.p.h. This information was given at a recent U.S. Air Force Association convention. The aircraft, flown by Lt.-Col. Frank H. Everest, who is chief of flight-test operations at Edwards Air Force Base, California, reached this speed near there on July 25.

Freedom Birds

Four pilots of the Polish Air Force recently escaped to the West in a pair of Yak-18 trainers. Running out of petrol, they landed in Austria, one aircraft being wrecked.

Honourable Rockoons

Japan is to conduct her first experiments with supersonic rockets and rockoons (rockets fired from high-altitude balloons) in mid-September.


Source: Flight International