The cover story features test pilot Wg Cdr James Addams – a Brit who was posted to California in 1938 and played a major role in evaluating American aircraft for possible adoption by the RAF. Matt Bearman describes how he was instrumental in rejecting the Lockheed P-38 Lightning for British use. More rarities are explored in Dassault’s X-files, by Tony Buttler, who reveals how in the 1950s the French manufacturer modified production aircraft to create an exotic variety of new prototypes; and in the second part of Matthew Willis’s review of the US Navy’s post-war concept of using waterborne aircraft to create a self-contained nuclear-capable strike force. Also included are rare photographs of RFC/RAF flying training at Montrose in 1917–18 and an account of the 1920–23 attempts by Sidney Cotton. Flight journalist Mike Hirst recounts how his “scoop” back-seat ride in the RAF’s first Panavia Tornado didn’t quite go to plan; and, on the civil side, how the USA’s Northeast Airlines adopted the Vickers Viscount, and how politics intervened in the battle for supremacy between “DC-3 replacements” the Avro 748 and the Handley Page Dart Herald. Ray Flude concludes his three-part series on the World War Two Axis powers’ attempts to create air links between their respective capital cities, and Amaru Tincopa examines the career of the Curtiss Hawk 75 in Peruvian service.