British Secret Projects: Jet Bombers Since 1949 by Tony Buttler.
The recently published second edition of Tony Buttler’s book is even better than the now fifteen years old first edition. It is considerably bigger (over 350 pages) with extensive newly researched information and many new illustrations. There is much to interest the Hawker enthusiast in this book which includes some fifty Kingston projects. A strong point is that the book has mainly original general arrangement drawings, photographs of company models and contemporary photographs and ‘artists’ impressions. This high quality production is published by Crecy (ISBN 978 19108091905) at £27.50, well worth it for the amount of painstaking research that the author has carried out into original sources.
The Aviation Historian
In Issue 23 I found the article on the compressibility problems of Kelly Johnson’s Lockheed P-38 Lightning particularly interesting as was the piece on the politics behind Fairey Rotodyne project. The troubles of the unconventional SNCASO SO 8000 naval strike fighter also makes fascinating reading. A piece on the Armstrong Siddeley Viper reveals how they are used as snow blowers by the New York Metropolitan Transport Authority to clear railway tracks, not unlike the truck-mounted Avon used to clear Dunsfold‘s runway. This device, complete with its Trevor Jordan designed nozzle, can be seen at the Brooklands Museum.
Issue 24 has a very informative article by Gp Capt Tom Eeles on Brough’s Buccaneer covering design features, what it was like to fly, and development and operational histories. The author flew over 2,000 hours on both the RN and RAF versions. The tailplane and wing blowing systems, needed for operations from the small Royal Navy carriers, are covered in some detail.
Each beautifully produced issue runs to 130 pages and always covers a wide variety of aeronautical subjects by expert writers.