Rise and Fall
The Nimrod was developed as a search and patrol jet for the RAF in the late 1960s and remained operational in various modified and updated forms into the 21st century. This appreciation of the aircraft, written by one of the original test pilots, describes how it was designed and built and its operational history, contending that it became perhaps the finest reconnaissance plane in the world and lamenting the decision to withdraw it from service in 2011.
The Hawker Hurricane was designed and built to counteract the growing aerial power of the Axis nations in the 1930s. With its stable firing platform and robust construction, it played a vital role in the RAF’s success. This illustrated guide details the technical history and combat performance of the aircraft, which chalked up more kills than the better-known Spitfire in the battles over Britain and France.
From War to Peace
A Photographer's View of British Aviation During the 1940s
As an aircraft inspector during the Second World War, Richard Riding's father, Eddie, could only take pictures of the planes surreptitiously, but from 1946 to his death in 1950 he amassed many more images and his collection showcases the British aviation scene of the period. Accompanied by detailed captions, the photographs include air-to-air shots of light aircraft, the new generation of passenger craft operating from Croydon and Heathrow and innovations on display at the Farnborough Airshow.
One of the mainstays of the Luftwaffe during the Second World War, the Focke-Wulf Fw190 was less effective at high altitude and its designer Kurt Tank worked on numerous developments that used turbojets, turboprops, ramjets and rocket engines to increase power. This analysis of these prototype aircraft contains detailed technical information and the author’s hand-drawn diagrams and sketches of each design.
Britain's Cold War Fighters
British aviation technology was at the cutting edge after the Second World War, the Gloster Meteor the first of many home-grown jets to be engineered before American and internationally developed aircraft took over from the 1970s. This study of the rapid improvement in fighters up to the 1990s examines all the designs deployed by the RAF and Royal Navy during the period including the Hunter, Javelin, Lightning, Phantom and Tornado.
Britain's Cold War Bombers
The introduction of jet propulsion was the first priority for the RAF after the Second World War, followed by aircraft that could deliver nuclear bombs. This history of British bomber development tells the story of the Canberra and the V class bombers (Valiant, Vulcan and Victor) as well as the doomed TSR2 project, cancelled by the government on the grounds of cost in 1965.
Blenheims Over Greece and Crete
To help Greece respond to Italian attacks from October 1940, the RAF sent three squadrons of Bristol Blenheims (30, 84 and 211 Squadron) to reinforce the Greek Air Force’s own complement of 12 Mark IV Blenheims. Drawing on first-hand accounts, this study describes the efforts of British and Greek airmen against superior forces (particularly after Germany invaded) up to the fall of Crete in May 1941.
Fascinating Accounts from the Operators of an English Electric Classic
A jet-powered medium bomber, the Canberra was developed by English Electric in response to a 1944 Air Ministry request for a successor to the de Havilland Mosquito. This illustrated book tells its story, using anecdotes from the many pilots and operators who participated in its first test flights and in missions such as the Suez campaign, the Indonesian Confrontation and early British nuclear tests. Slightly off-mint.
The Illustrated Guide to Manned Reconnaissance and Surveillance Aircraft from World War I to Today
After a history of aerial spying, from the American Civil War to the recent Afghanistan conflict, this volume presents an illustrated guide to the manned reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft of Germany, Britain, USSR/Russia and the USA, with discussion of each plane’s design and operations, technical specifications, photographs and artworks.
Fairey Swordfish Owners' Workshop Manual
1934–45 (All Marks)
Designed in the early 1930s, the Swordfish torpedo bomber was considered obsolete in 1939 but remained in service throughout the Second World War, proving itself versatile and durable. Focusing on the Royal Navy Historic Flight's preserved Swordfish Mark II, LS326, one of only two still flying, this guide explores the aircraft's construction and operation and tells the story of its design and active service.
Douglas DC-3 Dakota Owners' Workshop Manual
1935 Onwards (All Marks)
The Douglas DC-3 Dakota revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and played a crucial role in the Second World War, transporting men and equipment in every major theatre. With technical diagrams, photographs and contributions from the pilot and engineer of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Dakota, ZA947, the Haynes ‘Owners’ Workshop Manual’ gives an insight into owning, flying and maintaining this revolutionary aircraft.
Hurricane Manual 1940
Less elegant than the Spitfire, the Hawker Hurricane was nevertheless a highly capable fighter throughout the Second World War, valued for its strength, manoeuvrability and stability when firing. This volume reproduces the advice to pilots and maintenance instructions from the Mk 1 Manual, issued in March 1939, with additional sections giving an insight into the Hurricane in action with excerpts from a squadron Operational Record Book and reproductions of official combat reports.
German Luftwaffe Prototypes 1930–1945
Aviation technology advanced rapidly as Germany prepared for war and research continued throughout the conflict despite the chronic lack of fuel and raw materials by 1945. This analysis of the myriad projects undertaken by manufacturers such as Junkers, Messerschmitt, Dornier and Heinkel lists over 200 experimental aircraft from the period, including jet fighters, supersonic planes and helicopters, and includes over 300 contemporary photographs from the test sites of Nazi Germany.
True Stories from the Operators of the UK's First Four-Jet Bomber
The Vickers Valiant was the first of the RAF 'V bombers' to be developed to carry Britain's nuclear deterrent, and was used to drop both atomic and hydrogen bombs in tests in the late 1950s. Drawing on the personal memories of pilots and crew, this record of the aircraft’s service history includes descriptions of its work as a strike bomber, its engagement during the Suez Crisis, and its reconnaissance and in-flight refuelling duties in the early 1960s.
True Tales from the Operators of Britain's First Jet Fighter – From 1944 to Date
‘I saw a V1 coming in south of Dover and caught up with it about three miles south of Canterbury. I was flying at 400mph and had no difficulty overtaking …’ This book features long-form interviews with over 40 veteran pilots of the beloved Gloster Meteor, the RAF’s first jet-powered aeroplane, which came into service in 1944 and played a significant role in the early stages of the Cold War, despite being alarmingly accident-prone.
From Jet Provost to Strikemaster
A Definitive History of the Basic and Counter-Insurgent Aircraft at Home and Overseas
Over 700 Jet Provost and Strikemaster aircraft were produced in Britain between 1954 and 1983, the former responsible for training generations of RAF jet pilots, the latter an armed version of the Provost which saw action during the Dhofar War in Oman. This well-illustrated history of both aircraft charts their evolution, from initial production in 1954 to the final sales of three aircraft to Ecuador in 1988. A comprehensive appendix lists the complete production and technical histories of both jets.
McDonnell Douglas's F4 Phantom entered service with the US Navy in 1960 as an interceptor but its versatility saw it take on a host of other duties, from fighter-bomber to reconnaissance plane, and it also proved a highly successful international export. This book tells the story of its design, construction and active service for air forces around the world, up to the 1990s, and is illustrated with hundreds of photographs, diagrams and illustrations detailing different liveries and variants.
Imperial Russian Air Force 1898–1917
In Photographs at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century
Compared with the US and France, Russian colonization of the skies was almost a decade behind, but by 1910 a nascent aviation industry, with its flying schools, festivals and maiden flights, began capturing the nation’s imagination. This collection of over 400 photographs documents the flying machines of pre-revolutionary Russia, from turn of the century balloons and dirigibles to First World War bombers, and portrays the enthusiasts and aviators that made the Russian skies come alive.
Combat Aircraft of the United States Air Force
Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives
The United States relied on British and French aircraft designs during the First World War, but during and after the Second World War developed a pre-eminence in military aircraft design and manufacture that has continued up to today's cutting-edge models, such as the bat-winged B-2 stealth bomber. This volume is a succinct and highly illustrated guide to the most notable aircraft deployed, including classics such as the P-51 Mustang and B-52 Stratofortress.
Aircraft Since 1939
The Russian MiG aircraft company was set up in 1939 and produced some of the world's most advanced and capable military planes during its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, including the long-serving and widely exported MiG-21. This concise handbook provides descriptions of all MiG aircraft, including prototypes, up to the MiG-35 of 2011, with tables of key data and additional information about model variants.
Having revolutionized air travel in the 1930s, the Douglas DC-3 was adapted so successfully for military use that General Eisenhower identified it as one of the four most important pieces of equipment of the Second World War (along with the Jeep, the bulldozer and the 2½ ton truck). This large-format volume tells the story of the groundbreaking airliner and is extensively illustrated with archive photographs, memorabilia and promotional materials from the DC-3's civil and military career.
The Spitfire Manual
Before being let loose in a Supermarine Spitfire, fighter pilots would have to familiarize themselves with the 'Pilot's Notes' which comprehensively detailed the aircraft's equipment, controls and operation. These instructions are reproduced in this book together with examples of log books, combat reports and other contemporary training booklets advising on such skills as identifying enemy aircraft, estimating range and combat flying.
German Night Fighter Force
Concentration on the offensive capabilities of the Luftwaffe in the late 1930s meant that German night defence fighters were not employed until the success of British bombing raids made it a necessity in 1940. Organizational problems and the Allies' superior radar technology continued to make air defence problematic thereafter. Originally published in German, this book assesses the development of the Luftwaffe's night fighter force and its considerable operational and technical achievements during the war.
Bomber Command 1939-1940
The War Before the War
The period from the declaration of war in September 1939 to the beginning of the Battle of France in May 1940 is usually known as the 'Phoney War' or even the 'Bore War'. RAF Bomber Command, however, was far from inactive, losing 68 aircraft and crews in the four months of 1939 alone. This book describes the struggles of Bomber Command to become an effective offensive force in 1939 and 1940, flying missions in Scandinavia, France, Belgium and Germany.
Heroes and Landmarks of British Military Aviation
From Airships to the Jet Age
In a relatively short period of time, between the late 19th century and the middle of the 20th, the British aviation industry produced a profusion of groundbreaking and history-making inventions, establishing the names of aircraft designers and manufacturers such as de Havilland, Sopwith, Hawker and Handley Page. Each chapter in this review of the era looks at one of these key innovators, from airship pioneer Ernest Willows to Spitfire designer RJ Mitchell and the inventor of the jet engine, Frank Whittle.