Suzuki’s GT550 confounded perceptions about two-stroke triples being classy and comfortable high-speed tourers. John Nutting tested three versions of the model in the 1970s.

While the top-of-the-range GT750 is rightly regarded these days as the epitome of the Hamamatsu factory’s stroker technology it wasn’t always that way.

Back when two-strokes ruled the roost at Suzuki a midrange model was snapping at the heels of the ‘Kettle’.

Suzuki’s range included three triples; the GT380, GT550 and the GT750, but the GT550 was my favourite. The two smaller models were air-cooled, and while the smallest was more nimble, the GT550 offered usefully


Middle Wallop

MIDDLE WALLOP’S INTERNATIONAL Helicopter Exhibition (May 12-15) was inevitably dominated by talk of the forthcoming contract for the Army Air Corps’ new attack helicopter. It is anticipated that about 91 of the new breed will partially replace the TOW-armed Lynx from around 2001.

The contenders are: Agusta A129 Mangusta, BAe/Eurocopter Tiger, Boeing/Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche, GEC-Marconi/Bell AH-1W Cobra Venom, Marshall/Atlas CSH-2 Rooivalk and Westland/MDH AH-64 Apache/Longbow Apache.

Of these, front-runners are likely to be the Apache, Cobra Venom and Tiger, all of which were at the Middle Wallop show, together with the Rooivalk. The latter was making its UK debut and

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Microfishes and invertebrates to go

Rachel O’Leary has had a lifelong passion for the aquarium hobby, including, especially, the invertebrates, which are sometimes overlooked—possibly due to the myths and misunderstandings that surround their maintenance. They are, she says, easy to keep and desirable when maintained in the proper conditions. Undemanding: it’s what every hobbyist likes in a crustacean.

Within the past 10 years, the hobby has blossomed into a full-time business for this mother of three from York, Pennsylvania. She calls her enterprise Invertebrates by Msjinkzd, a name that seems perfectly suited to a consummate aqua rest with a nonconformist streak. While tending to her

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Mianwali – The Cradle of Fighter Pilots

Alan Warnes visits Mianwali, where all PAF pilots go to learn to fly fast jets.

FOR THE Pakistan Air Force pilots arriving at Mianwali, situated in the desert scrub some 200 miles (320km) south of Islamabad, the next 20 months are destined to shape the rest of their lives. Becoming a fighter pilot in Pakistan is not just a great honour — it earns candidates a special place in the hearts of their countrymen. They become part of an elite group who put their country before their personal wealth, something which is becoming a rarity in today’s world.

The successful

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Mexican Navy Hawkeyes

Two E-2C Hawkeyes passed through RAF Brize Norton on June 21 and 22, bound for a new home in Mexico. But so far the journey has probably been more than they bargained for, as Alan Warnes reports.

AS YOU read these pages, the Mexican Navy should, hopefully, have taken delivery of two Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeyes. In doing so, it will have completed an undertaking that started two years ago when the Mexican Government, embarking upon a modernisation programme for the Navy acquired three E-2C Daya (Kites) from the Israel Defence Force/Air Force (IDF/AF).

As part of a government to

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