Britannia Production

Although the period from design to first production delivery of Britannias looks like being creditably short, some concern has been felt about the rate at which these large aircraft could be produced and delivered by Bristols to meet the substantial orders expected. The important announcement made last week that a second assembly line at the Belfast factory of Short Bros. and Harland, Ltd., sets such fears at rest. The parent company has issued a brief official statement to the effect that an agreement has been made with Shorts to prepare capacity for production of the Britannia at Belfast, and it is learned that the plan will eventually provide for a duplication of Bristol production at Short's factory.

Unfair to Redheads?

"Ample storage space for books, blankets, etc., has been incorporated into the bulkhead and in the beautifully finished blonde cabinets..." - from a brochure describing a luxurious Douglas B-23 converted for use as an executive transport.

Sparrowjet Takes Off

Air-racing enthusiasts constantly deplore - and with reason - the lack of variety in the aircraft which regularly compete in events in this country. Next season, however, they are likely to see at least one machine differing very widely from the usual run, for the Miles Sparrowjet - Mr. Fred Dunkerley's Sparrowhawk G-ADNL in new guise, rebuilt with two Turbomeca Palas turbojets - has at long last taken the air.

The Sparrowjet's first flight was made at Shoreham Airport on December 14th with Mr George Miles as pilot. He is chief designer to F. G. Miles, Ltd., who carried out the conversion. When first registered in 1935, G-ADNL was powered with a high-compression Gipsy Major engine and, though built as a two-seater, had the front cockpit faired in for racing purposes.

Unhonoured Pioneer?

Holder of a pilot's licence until the ago of 72, 74-year-old Mr. James Y. Watson, of Blairgowrie, Perthshire, claims that he built and flew an aeroplane six months before the Wrights Brothers did so. He says that the flights were made at Belmont, Dundee with a 10 h.p. engine from a Santos-Dumont dirigible. Last week he was planning a journey to London in order to lay his evidence - photographs, and letters from a number of people who assisted in the work - before the Royal Aero Club.

Source: Flight International