A day of triumph and disaster for United States aircraft at Britain's Farnborough International Air Show today (September 1).
A day of triumph and disaster for United States aircraft at Britain's Farnborough International Air Show today (September 1). During the flying display, an experimental U.S. helicopter crashed in flames killing one crewman and seriously injuring the other. The accident marred a record-breaking trans-Atlantic flight to Farnborough by the Lockheed SR 71 spy plane.
The crash happened in front of thousands of spectators. An experimental Sikorsky Blackhawk helicopter hit the ground during manoeuvres and immediately burst into flames. One crewman died on the spot, the other was trapped in the wreckage. He was rescued and rushed to a nearby military hospital.
The Blackhawk is a high-speed attack helicopter, which has made headlines because of its potential versatility as a gunship and its remarkable manoeuvrability. During today's demonstration, the Blackhawk was attempting a second roll close to the ground when it crashed.
Earlier, the focus of attention at Farnborough had been the needle-nosed SR 71, which had touched down after flying from New York to London at three times the speed of sound. The flight time of one hour 56 minutes shattered the five-year-old trans-Atlantic record of four hours 46 minutes.
SYNOPSIS: Triumph and tragedy for American aircraft at England's Farnborough International Air Show on Sunday. United States prestige soared on the wings of this aircraft, the SR 71, which arrived over Farnborough after slashing the trans-Atlantic record by more than half.
This remarkable spyclane flew from New York to London in one hour fifty six minutes. The old record, set five years ago, stood at four hours forty six minutes. The SR 71 flew at more than three times the speed of sound.
Disaster centred on one of these U.S. high-speed helicopters the experimental Sikorsky Blackhawk. Thousands watched as the highly manoeuvrable machine crashed during a series of high speed rolls. The Blackhawk immediately caught fire. One crewman died, the other was rescued alive after being trapped in the wreckage and was taken seriously hurt to hospital.
But the tragedy didn't stop the arms sales. This is the highly successful Anglo-French Jaguar strike trainer, already subject of an order worth eighty million pounds from Kuwait and Ecuador.
Another trainer -- all British -- the Hawker Siddeley Hawk.
Here the limelight's on the VFW 614, a German-Dutch feeder liner with British engines. Farnborough's an excellent shop window for the British air industry, which has just announced sales worth nearly two-hundred and fifty million pounds for the first five months of this year.
The British have co-operated with the West Germans in building the A 300, a new airbus making its debut at the British show. It will seat three-hundred passengers.
Here's the best known example of Anglo-French co-operation, the Concorde. It's the only supersonic jetliner in the show. The Soviet TU 144, which crashed at the Paris airshow last year, is not represented.
The Franco-German Alpha jet trainer goes through its paces. Other aircraft at this year's show vary from a Polish sailplane to the very latest jet fighters. And for those countries unable to afford the fighters, there's a full range of missiles on show designed to shoot them down.
One of the greatest triumphs of British aircraft technology is the vertical-take-off Harrier, still the only fighter capable of this kind of performance.