Among the gems in the Aeroplane archive is a manuscript written by Eric ‘Jock’ Bonar, a remarkable aviator. An NCO pilot in the RAF of the 1920s, he left and took up civilian flying, in 1932 being awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal — later the George Cross — for his part in the rescue of a friend from a burning Armstrong Whitworth Siskin following a crash at Manchester’s Barton aerodrome. During World War Two he was a test pilot for Rolls-Royce on Merlin development and then for Napier on the Sabre engine programme. But perhaps Bonar is best-known for his involvement with an aircraft that, during his association with it, failed to meet expectations. First published in the June 1982 issue but, we felt, worthy of another airing, this is his story of Bellanca 28-70 air racer EI-AAZ, named The Irish Swoop — a 1934 Mac Robertson Air Race entrant that didn’t quite make the grade


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