Andy Jones recalls a frightening moment….
This was a very, very brief incident in a Harrier which had just come back to Dunsfold after a period at Boscombe. I was minding my own business just sitting calmly in the hover at the usual sixty feet or so when the engine abruptly cut. And it was extremely abrupt - but before I had time to react the power returned. At a very rough guess the rpm wound down only by perhaps four or five percent. I put the aircraft down quite quickly! The Chief Flight Development Engineer, Fred Sutton, told me that he had been watching and had heard the sudden drop in engine noise. There was quite a lot of debate as to what on earth might have happened but I can’t remember if we ever really had an answer. The same thing was reputed to have happened while the aircraft was at Boscombe.
Looking for something to read during lock-down your Editor recalled
the first non-reference aviation book he ever bought, at the age of
thirteen: “The Big Show” by Pierre Closterman, an Armee de l’Air
officer serving with the RAF flying Spitfires and Tempests prior to the
invasion and during the advance towards the defeat of Germany. I
remembered the vivid descriptions of air combat and ground attack
through dense flack. On rereading this now classic book after literally
blowing the dust off it, I was not disappointed. It is still widely
available; you are guaranteed an illuminating, exciting and moving read.
The Aviation Historian Issue 36 has the recently declassified story of the Swiss ‘Hunter 80’ update programme by Peter Lewis. Prof Keith Hayward examines the ’Westland Affair’ of 1985 and its effect on the subsequent history of the British aerospace industry and there is more about amazing French concepts from the 1930s incorporating rotary wings…but not as we know them.