Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, contests and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Going Direct: Aviation Claims—Truth, Spin and Deception (And How to Tell The Difference)

Anyone can make a claim about anything, but when it's about airplanes, lives and livelihoods are at risk. So here are some of the filters we use to separate the truth from the spin.

Going Direct Snake Oil
Wikipedia Commons

Here’s a fact. Companies working on new aircraft will make claims about their planes that defy common sense, at least aviation common sense. Sadly, even aviation types are taken in by those claims. 

You can measure that gullibility in deposits, which are the bread and butter of aviation entrepreneurs (apply whatever interpretation of “entrepreneur” there that you see fit), because they allow a company to stay in business, or at least keep the scheme going for another month or two. Take the case of the Bede BD-10, pitchman Jim Bede’s supposedly supersonic homebuilt jet. How many deposits for this should there have been? Let me help you: The answer is zero. I mean, come on. A garage-built supersonic anything spells disaster. And that’s precisely what happened with the BD-10. Out of three flying examples, all three broke up in flight, killing the three solo pilots in the process. And by the way, it never came anywhere near being supersonic. 

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a Plane & Pilot Member to explore our complete range of flight reports, technique articles, gear reviews and aviation buyer’s guides written by our experts.

Save Your Favorites

Save This Article