Export Record

Aircraft took second place in Britain's engineering exports last year, their value being exceeded, in the broad category styled "engineering products", only by motor vehicles.

Final 1953 figures, released last week, show that the aircraft industry brought no less than £65,004,891 to this country. This is an increase of £20 million over the total for the previous year, when, for the first time, the aircraft figures exceeded the value of British shipbuilders' exports and came into a third place among all classes of engineering exports. The new aircraft total represents 6.4 per cent of the overall figure for engineering exports. The S.B.A.C. remarks the result is accounted for partly by the easing of restrictions on the exports of military aircraft made possible by changes in the defence programme.

Long-Range CF-100

During a routine long-distance flight to practise the climbing cruise technique in an Avro Canada CF-100, F/Ls. M. Kobierski and D. Turner of No. 445 Squadron, R.C.A.F., flew 2,100 miles from Vancouver to North Bay in 3 hr 50 min non-stop. They claimed that they had enough fuel left to continue to Uplands, Ontario, but did not attempt it since they were not seeking a record. Their flight is, however, an unofficial distance record for jet fighters without flight refuelling.

Italian-built Bells

The Italian firm of Giovanni Agusta, of Cascina Costa, Gallarate (Varese), is now well advanced with preparations for the production of Bell helicopters under licence; the type chosen is the 47D.1 and it will be known in Italy as the Agusta-Bell. It is understood, however, that the size of the government order leaves the factory with plenty of capacity for any other work that comes along - a situation too familiar to Italy's aircraft industry.

Sea Search

Among aircraft which took part in the search for the R.A.F. Washington which was lost in a snow storm over the Irish Sea on the night of January 25th-26th, while on a flight from Prestwick to the Azores with a crew of seven, were two Austers of the Blackpool and Fylde Aero Club. Though without V.H.F. or blind-flying equipment, the two aircraft were given special clearance and took off at 10.45 a.m., in very bad visibility, to search the sea from ten miles west of Fleetwood to south of the Ribble.

Source: Flight International