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Flight 3.9.1956

50 years ago'

Protest Rejected

The Chinese Communist Government has disavowed responsibility for shooting down a U.S. Navy P4M-1 Mercator some 400 miles north of Formosa on August 23 and rejected the American government's claim for compensation. A joint statement by the U.S. State and Defence Departments had said they considered the attack was made without warning and was unjustified that the responsibility for loss of life and destruction of U.S. property lay with the Chinese Communist regime and that the U.S. would submit a demand for compensation, both for the loss of life and for the aircraft. In reply, a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement broadcast by Peking Radio is quoted as saying: "The Chinese Government considers that the charge made by the United States is unacceptable and its demand is groundless." The Chinese Government has already expressed regret, but said that the presence of the aircraft proved that the U.S. Seventh fleet manoeuvres off China were "a planned provocation."

S.B.A.C. Display

It was too much to hope, of course, that the spring-like early morning of Monday September 3, would bring forth one of those flawless dreamed-of Farnborough days. By eleven the clouds ganged up like Teddy boys, all set for no good and abetting them was a cold-blooded, loutish wind. The voice of Oliver Stewart cheered us measurably when it came on the air at 1410 hr to remind us that the flying then imminent was a full rehearsal for the next day's official opening. First machine away - the Beverley - got rolling on the second of 1430 hr and, except when low cloud supervened, as it did for much of the time, things went pretty much to plan. The two Britannias and the Shackleton M.R.3 left noticeable gaps in the programme and in the aircraft park alike, though the Britannia 301 came in to grace the scene at the end of the day's flying. As the first of the fighters took its cue the rain came down in dismal earnest, and the waterlogged air afforded the all-too-familiar study in combined aero- and hydro-dynamics. In the pattern and arrangement of this year's display, there are few significant changes compared with that of 1955.

Chocolate Cigar

According to a West German Radio report, the first airship to be built in Germany since the war is due to be completed in about two months' time. Seventy-five metres (246ft) long, it will be used by a chocolate firm for advertising.

Source: Flight International