The US Marine Corps’ AV-8B prototype, piloted by McDonnell Douglas test pilot William W. Lowe, lifts off from the Naval Air Test Center runway at Maryland after a roll of only 588ft, carrying seven 500lb bombs, two 1,000lb bombs, a 30mm cannon pod and full internal fuel - a gross weight of over 28,000lb.
The second McDonnell Douglas F-18 Hornet has now flown. The total number of Hornets ordered has been increased from 811 to 1,377. Eleven examples are to be built for the flight test programme alone.
Deliveries of the 12 Pilatus PC-7 Turbo-Trainers to Mexico have now begun. The type is also on order for Bolivia (nearest), Burma (centre), Jordan and Malaysia.
The UK's sole remaining Miles Whitney Straight, G-AEUJ, left Midlands Airport on March 26, 1979 to be refurbished by Speedwell Sailplanes of Manchester. The aircraft has been stored in a hangar at Castle Donnington, and has not flown for about seven years. New owner Bob Mitchell plans to have it flying again in a year. The type was designed and built at the instigation of Whitney Straight (later Air Cdre), who died on April 5.
The remains of a Miles Martinet were still to be seen on a small airfield at Kopasker, Northern Iceland, in June 1978. The aircraft crashed during take-off in 1951.
The first Cessna Conquest on the British register has been delivered to the Automobile Association. Appropriately registered G-AUTO, it will be used for business flights and medical evacuations from the European continent.
John Fairey's full-size, Warner-engined Fairey Flycatcher reproduction is well on the way to completion and should fly before too long. It was registered G-BEYB on July 11, 1977, and its c/n is WA/3.
The first of two Evans VP.2s built by the pupils and teaching staff of Truro School, Cornwall, should be flying soon.