This is the thirty-fourth annual edition of the Air-Britain United Kingdom and Ireland Registers. This edition is also the last one under the supervision of the editor Malcolm P. Fillmore.
I am pleased to present the thirty-fourth annual edition of the Air-Britain United Kingdom and Ireland Registers. Having established the fact that I have now compiled and edited 50% of the total number of editions that A-B has published, this edition marks the last under my control. As Harold Wilson allegedly said, I have decided to retire in order to make way for an older man.
The new editor from 1999 onwards will be Barrie Womersley, who was actually responsible for four editions in the early 70s [and worked with the redoubtable Bernard Martin on others]. Barrie - it's got a bit larger than since you last did it! However, such is the multi-dimensional scope of The Book that I will still be active behind the scenes helping Barrie to put it all together for a while. In A-B, one is not allowed to retire without a proper hand-over of the reins.
This edition has been put through the editorial magnifying glass and it is, of course, larger than last year's edition and there seems to be no end to that trend. The constraints of size means that this year a decision was taken by the Monographs Committee to produce just a hardback edition. Spiral-binding is not successful for such a size of book and the hardbacks have been designed so as to lie flat in use.
There have been no major changes in the style or contents this year it's just got bigger again but for next year onwards, of course, the new editor can exercise his prerogative. So if any reader has ideas for changes, let Barrie know.
Once again, it remains for me to thank the various contributors over the years that I have been involved. The regular stalwarts ensure that the minutiae is scrutinised and updated and it is due to them that we can boast of being by far and away the most accurate and complete Register in the market.
For this edition, I would like to thank the following correspondents [as always in alphabetic order]: David C Buck, Peter Budden, BJ Burt, Mike Cain, Ian Callier, Peter Campbell/Cirrus Associates, Gavin Carr, Richard Cawsey, Noel Collier, Paul Crellin, Paul Cunniffe, Phil Dunnington, Wal Gandy, John Hamlin, Paul T Hewins, Ed Hicks, Mike Hooks, Geoff Hooper, Tony Morris, Ken Parfitt, Stephen Reglar, Martyn Steggalls, Mike Stroud, Barry V Taylor, Bill Teasdale, R Webber and Keith Wilson. In addition, thanks are due to those who send in reports and material direct to A-B editors. The deadline for the 1999 edition is end January 1999 and for the time being updates should be sent to me for forwarding to the new editor. Fax and e-mail numbers are included below.
Thanks are as always also due to Alan Johnson for liaising with the CAA in London and to Paul Cunniffe and Colman Corcoran for similar in Ireland. The BGA material comes from the BGA itself through the continued efforts of Phil Butler and Wal Gandy with, at last, some official Irish Glider Association material obtained by Tony Morris. I cannot leave my mantle without considerable thanks to Michael and Wendy Austen who actually put the whole thing together and have done so for a number of years. Gordon Bain has, yet again, provided the front cover photo in his inimitable style and finally I have to give deep credit to my other half, Ranjit who manages to put up with the lengthy periods of editorial purdah, interspersed by demands for yet more coffee. She unfortunately thinks its all going to be easy from now on - but all I'm really doing is switching over to produce my long-overdue Air-Britain De Havilland Monographs!
MALCOLM P FILLMORE