I’ve written about this before, and nothing has changed— so why have I returned to this subject? Vain hope maybe, definitely a need to vent before I strafe YouTube headquarters in a stolen Westland Wyvern.
There are many aviation enthusiasts who cannot take a word of criticism against an aeroplane made in his (yes, his) home country. The tiniest whiff of negativity about the Short Bannotoe, MiG Kartoshka, Martin Bullfinch, Dassault Mangouste — or whatever his national darling is — and he shits out swear words and conspiracy theories on his oversized gamer’s keyboard in a fevered sweat of rank Red Bull and celibate regret. He’ll drown the comments section in condescending bile, shaking his desk with the force of his paranoid indignagasm (an orgasm of indignation, a word coined by my friend). He’ll accuse you of being a Russian bot, a Communist or even… an American. I’ve read too much of this nonsense. Your country (whatever it is, even Switzerland) has made some crap stuff, bought some crap stuff and done some bad things. You know this in your heart. I know that most of you are too intelligent to commit this kind of offence so I say this in sympathy for what you have had to endure.
Blind faith in our national products is dangerous, the US got burnt this way when their inferior aeroplanes first faced Japanese aircraft that should have been, based on contemporary national stereotypes, worse.
We’re all raised with childish history books telling us our nation (whichever that is) is the greatest in the world but most of us, by the time we’re adults, take it no more seriously than believing our beloved mother’s ‘World’s greatest mum‘ mug makes her the supreme matriarch.
Having said that, there are certain prejudices in the aviation press — an anti-French bias in some quarters, a seriously pro-Swedish (or rather pro-Saab) in others. In the non-specialist media — Sputnik, Fox and the Daily Mail are as accurate on aviation subjects as they are on any and should be taken with a large pinch of ‘I need to wash my hands and talk to my priest after clicking on this’.
Every observer has a bias, but they are probably not trying to destroy your national self-esteem (unless it is Sputnik and you’re American). Rant over, as you were.