This edition marks 100 years of the Royal Air Force. On April 1, 1918. Greg Baughen’S examination of why the RAF came into being – in the shadow of aerial bombing and “total war” – offers some thought-provoking insights into how a “new broom sweeping clean” led, in this case, to the wholesale dumping of some invaluable lessons learned during four hard years of World War One. The establishment of a very different sort of air force is detailed in João-Paulo Moralez and Vatche Mitilian’s article on the LebaneseAir Force’s DIY development of Bell “Huey-bombers”, in which parts from a 1950s jet fighter were grafted on to a combat helicopter emblematic of the 1960s to fight a war in 2007. Inventiveness was a hallmark of the work of Lockheed designer Clarence L. “Kelly” Johnson – the man who, according to his boss Hall Hibbard, could “actually see air”. But Johnson was not infallible, and apparently did not want to see that the uniquely elegant shape of the P-38 Lightning fighter concealed a performance-limiting aerodynamic problem. Matt Bearman explains what caused it, and how the solution was already available – but mysteriously was never taken up. Something else never taken up was the Fairey Rotodyne – Former Royal Aeronautical Society Head of Research Professor Keith Hayward examines the political purgatory that plagued its development. The cover story features Indonesia’s adoption of the fast but expensive-to-run Convair 990 as its entry-point into the international jet set. Other articles in the issue include the fascinating story of Ernle Clark, the first man to fly solo from the UK to New Zealand; the “inaction-packed” career of the Sepecat Jaguar in Nigerian Air Force service; early trimotor air services to the Channel Islands; a Hawker Siddeley 748 sales tour of Africa; the futuristic but hopeless SNCASO Narval shipborne fighter; and an unexpected but effective use for Armstrong Siddeley Viper jet engines.