Captain Moonlight: A wing and a prayer

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The Independent Online
AS BEFITS a man of his rank, the Captain takes a close interest in defence matters. So it was, the other night, that I fixed my television screen keenly as the brand new pounds 32bn Eurofighter went through its paces over Lancashire. Frankly, I was impressed. A triumph for European co-operation (we're building the right wing, for example, while the Italians beaver away on the left). Couldn't see, myself, why the Germans were getting so huffy and hadn't turned up to watch. Then the commentator said that the test had nearly been called off because of high winds. Now, the Captain is not a flier, but I did think I had spotted a bit of a gap here. What would happen, I asked myself, if the enemy attacked when it was windy? So I telephoned British Aerospace, who are doing that wing and the front fuselage. They told me not to worry, early days, development aircraft, didn't want to take risks. So we would be all right if it was windy? 'Oh, good lord, yes, absolutely,' said the spokesman. Perhaps they should tell the Germans.

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