BAE Systems Harrier II - the Harrier GR9 and T12 in the 21st Century.
The authors, Andy Donovan and Nick Greenall, have done a magnificent job in assembling this 225 page collection of some 900 colour photographs of the UK Harrier II with 15 pages of introductory text. No detail visible from the outside of the aircraft, in the cockpit, in the equipment bays or behind access panels is left unrecorded in close up detail. The volume is beautifully produced by DoubleUgly! Books at £39.99 and really deserves a hard cover but I suppose the cost would price the book beyond the reach of its target market - enthusiasts and modellers.
The first 15 pages succinctly cover the development of the Harrier family, the many Harrier II upgrade programmes from GR5 to GR9, the Pegasus, and in more detail, the service history. There are a few technical errors. Wibault’s concept did not use a Bristol Orpheus with four ‘blower’ nozzles, but a Bristol Orion turboprop driving four rotatable centrifugal compressors. The writers also suggest that Camm had a hand in the initial design of the P.1127 whereas it was purely Ralph Hooper’s concept.
However, the book performs its main task admirably and can be recommended to anyone interested in the minutiae of the aircraft, its upgrades, its weapons and its service use. The text is in English and German and any ‘Kingston’ man reading it will feel justifiably proud of this supremely capable ground attack and reconnaissance fighter.
The book can be obtained from The Aviation Book Shop: (01892 539284, e-mail: email@example.com, website: www.aviation-bookshop.com)
Hawker Siddeley Aviation and Dynamics, 1960-77
With this excellent book Stephen Skinner has filled a gap in the history of Hawker Siddeley by concentrating on the companies rather than their products. However, the latter are covered but in the context of the history of the programmes and their value to the companies. For this he is to be applauded as technical details can be found elsewhere. Of particular interest to Members will be the Dynamics coverage which is little known to us. Excellently produced by the Crowood Press (ISBN 978 1 84797 739 7) and priced at £29.95 by Amazon, this book is good value and highly recommended. There are a very few minor errors in the aircraft chapters.
‘Aeroplane’ Icons - Hawker Harrier, Warfare with Vertical Velocity.
Recently issued by Key Publishing, this ‘bookzine’ is an historical survey of the Harrier from P.1127 to Harrier T12. It is very well illustrated but the text contains quite a few technical and historical errors which it may amuse members to spot (I found 34, Ed.). There are 1/72nd scale GAs of the main Mks of Harrier and a useful summary of all variants with engine models. You can buy it at Smiths for £7.95.