Last Monday Marshal Bulganin and Mr. Nikita Kruschev, accompanied by Mr. A. N. Tupolev, the distinguished aircraft designer, flew from Birmingham to R.A.F. Station Marham in a B.E.A. Viscount to see an impressive flying show by Service aircraft. Hunters, Canberras and Valiants were lined up on the tarmac as the Viscount taxied in, and the visitors watched from the control tower balcony as Marshal Bulganin gave the signal for a mass take-off of 12 Valiants and 16 Canberra B.6s. Highlight of the display was a formation aerobatic demonstration by four Hunters of No. 43 Sqn. – the Fighter Command aerobatic team. They went through the full range of manoeuvres. The Soviet visitors seemed deeply impressed and Mr. Tupolev commented enthusiastically on the standard of flying and asked many searching questions about the aircraft. Earlier that day at an after-luncheon speech at the British Industries Fair, Birmingham, Mr. Kruschev claimed that the Russians would have a guided missile that could deliver a hydrogen-bomb warhead anywhere in the world.
Hollywood ballyhoo is frequently employed to give an artificial build-up to something which does not usually merit the “stupendous-colossal-spectacular” adjectives applied to it; yet this was certainly not the case on April 17th, when the U.S.A.F., Lockheed and General Electric shared in the unveiling of the world’s fastest combat aircraft, the Lockheed F-104A Starfighter. As we described in some detail last week, this remarkable aircraft is designed for speeds approximately twice that of sound, and, with some compromise in performance, can be adapted for a multitude of military tasks.
The last airfield to be operated by the R.A.F. in the Suez Canal Zone, Abu Sueir, was evacuated on April 14th. This completed the R.A.F.’s withdrawal from all airfields and their supporting installations, but a very small party was left at Port Said to supervise the last transit movements.
Cine films of the Rainier-Kelly wedding were flown from Monaco to Nice by helicopter and thence in a Mistral fighter to Paris, where they were processed and put aboard a T.W.A. airliner for New York.