Supermarine. For aviation aficionados the name brings to mind sleek Spitfires knifing through the sky, and that’s precisely the imagery that spawned the name of the FBO at the recently renamed Bill and Hillary Clinton International Airport in Little Rock, Ark. Company founder David Price once owned a pair of the legendary World War II fighters, best known for their staunch defense against the Nazis during the Battle of Britain.
The FAA has proposed levying a $4 million penalty on Spitfire Aviation Services of Fayetteville, Ark., for allegedly conducting at least 798 illegal charter flights between November 2005 and October 2007. Spitfire, which operates a Citation II, King Air 200 and Bonanza, did not hold an air carrier certificate, the FAA said. The agency became aware of the violations through a complaint from a competitor.
The year 1939 saw not only the outbreak of World War II but also the first flight of a jet airplane –both events that were rapidly to change aviation beyond recognition. Just eight years later, man would fly faster than the speed of sound for the first time.
Pierre Clostermann, French World War II ace, aviation executive, author and politician, died on March 22 in France. He was 85. Clostermann joined UK-based French Free Forces in 1942 and flew Supermarine Spitfires and Hawker Tempests during the war. After the war, he wrote a book on his combat duty and served as a member of the French parliament from 1946 to 1969. He later served as CEO of Reims Aviation and a v-p of Cessna.