Ben Dunnell explores The Aeroplane’s outstanding archives to cast new light on past stories


The first Desoutter II, G-AAZI, experienced aileron flutter early in its flying career.

A war of words over aircraft design that reached the press

When it comes to flying a new type for the first time, Roger ‘Dodge’ Bailey, the Shuttleworth Collection’s chief pilot, is absolutely meticulous. His preparation takes in a huge variety of written sources, not just formal flight test reports — if they survive — and technical data, but also many other period accounts of flying and operating these machines. Such descriptions, not least those that appeared in publications like The Aeroplane, may be of great value in understanding the nuances of a particular aircraft. And they are an interesting read into the bargain.

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