X-Planes of Europe II - Military Prototype Aircraft from the Golden Age 1945 - 1974, by Tony Buttler. A beautifully produced book in which the author presents concise development histories of 29 British, French, Italian, Spanish and Yugoslav aircraft. Every chapter is fascinating and the author has researched original documents, as well as reliable secondary sources, thus giving much new information. Of particular interest to Members will be the chapters on the Hawker P.1052 and P.1081 prototypes and the contemporary Supermarine Types 510 and 535. Rarities like the Hispano HA-300 and the Yugoslav Ikarus projects will surprise the reader. The photographs alone are worth the price of this 288 page hardcover book published by Hikoki (ISBN 9781902 109480) at 34.95. Tony’s equally good first volume covering research aircraft of the period was reviewed in NL.34.

Book Reviews

Toptop toptop

Hawker P.1103 & P.1121 - Camm’s Last Fighter Projects by Paul Martel-Mead and Barrie Hygate.

This very well written book not only tells the story of these two projects in considerable detail based on diligent research into original documents and interviews with survivors from the period but also gives an insight into the workings of Camm, his Project Office, the Hawker and HSA management, the engine companies and the various Ministry departments involved. The reader feels that the writer, mainly Paul Martel-Mead, has a good technical grasp of his subject and an understanding of the company and government politics of the day. Long-lost photographs of the mock-up, intake model and prototype under construction have been included as have many original Hawker project drawings augmented by the nowadays essential artists impressions of what might have been.

Also, Barrie Hygate has contributed several clear general arrangement and cockpit drawings. The development problems of the de Havilland Gyron supersonic turbojet are described as are those of the alternative Olympus and Conway engines.

Closely related projects also covered are the P.1116, P.1122, P.1123 and the P.1129, the troubled gestation of the latter making fascinating reading. A comprehensive technical description of the P.1121, its avionics, engines and weapons are included and an appendix covers the wind tunnel models, intake models and systems test rigs.

Model kits available on the market are described in another appendix. This handsome soft-cover book is published by Blue Envoy Press (ISBN 978-0-956195159) and with a cover price of 11.99 and is well worth every penny.
    Hawker Hurricane Survivors - A Complete Catalogue of Every Existing Hurricane Worldwide, by Gordon Riley. Surely a labour of love, this 225 page profusely illustrated and beautifully presented book appears to be exactly what it say on the cover. The Editor only read the eight page chapter on PZ865, ‘The Last of the Many’, which gives a very detailed history of the aircraft from build to today. The number of pilots who flew her surprised him. If this chapter is representative of the rest of the book then it is surely excellent. Published by Grub Street (ISBN-13: 9-781-909808-34-8) it is very good value for the Hurricane enthusiast at 25.

In his review of The Aviation Historian Issue 13 the Editor said that Portugese Hurricanes were used in the film ‘Battle of Britain’ - he was confused; the film was ‘Angels One Five’. TAH Issue 14, unusually, does not contain specifically Hawker articles but Members will find most interesting Prof Keith Hayward’s story of the Vickers 1000 and its cancellation, Philip Jarrett’s account of Cody’s and Roe’s pioneering work and Nico Braas’s history of Fokker’s Mach Trainer. There are 13 other feature articles as well as regular book reviews, letters and curiosities, all illustrated with high quality photographs and art work. Go to www.theaviationhistorian.com to subscribe to Nick Stroud’s first class quarterly.