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100. It’s Official!

22/04/2014

On 10th April, Francis Donaldson came to see the project. This was an important day, because Francis is the Chief Engineer for the Light Aircraft Association and we’ll need his signature before we’re allowed to fly it.

Happily, Francis is an avowed enthusiast for historic aviation, particularly of the WWI period, so he brings added enthusiasm to the project. In the case of historic aircraft such as this, he’s not under any obligation to show that it meets any defined airworthiness standards, for the obvious reason that no standards had been written up to that time! But this only applies to aircraft built in exact accordance with an original design for a production aircraft.

Nevertheless, there are a few modern things that he insists on – four point seat belts, for example – and a couple of instances where we felt uncomfortable about flying the original design, and we wanted a chance to discuss these with him while he was there.

I had a list of at least seven different things I wanted to ask him, and we spent a pleasant, if rather cold, afternoon going through them.

At the end we felt we understood each other much better, and while there’s no guarantee he will sign the all-important piece of paper at the end, he hasn’t condemned it to the scrap bin just yet!

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