From his autobiography, ‘Wings On My Sleeve‘, by the remarkable Captain Eric Brown RN (retired). He’s a world-famous service and test pilot who’s flown no less than 487 different types of aircraft, including almost every type captured from Nazi Germany and Japan during and after World War II. He also holds the world record for the highest number of carrier landings (2,407). I highly recommend his autobiography to all aviation enthusiasts. The man’s a living legend.
Absence of propellers in a jet has enabled tighter flying in formation to be done, and has also improved the safety factor slightly – I have been nudged in my elevator by my line-astern man without any drastic effects. That such a thing has more serious results with piston-engined planes was demonstrated in a naval air display at RNAS Eglinton in Northern Ireland when, during a vertical climb, the box man in his Sea Fury chewed his leader’s tail off with his propeller. The formation disappeared into cloud still going vertically upwards, with debris showering off the stricken plane. The leader then reappeared on the end of a parachute and the box man made a spectacular wheels-up crash landing on the runway. The Irish cheered this magnificent stunt to the echo, and there were several requests to repeat it on next year’s show.
Trust the Irish . . .