I was reading a Tom Clancy book, and he mentions a Grumman Tiger. One thing that struck me as odd was that he said, ‘The pilot slid open his door.’ Now, the Tiger is the airplane in which I logged my first hours. It doesn’t have a sliding door; it has a sliding canopy. That is, there is no ‘pilot’s door’ and ‘passenger door’; the whole canopy slides back.
He also mentions the ‘high-rev Lycoming’. RPM in airplane engines are limited by the prop. You want the blade tips to remain below the speed of sound. Typically, the engines will turn at around 2,300 to 2,500 RPM depending upon the application. If you have a ‘high-rev’ engine such as some automotive engines powering homebuilts, you need a gear reduction unit to keep the prop within RPM limits. The Tiger was powered by a 180 hp Lycoming, but I don’t think it turned any faster than other engines.
Then there was Patriot Games, in which he describes Jack Ryan’s wife’s Porsche. He said something about the sun glinting off of the chrome (bumper?). But the year-model he specifies didn’t have a chrome bumper. My 911 didn’t have any chrome on it at all (although the Fuchs wheels were polished).
Clancy’s stories seem to have a lot of detail in them that is believable. He seems to ‘do his homework’. So why does he make errors about things that are easily researched or observed?