Sydney Camm - Hurricane and Harrier Designer

    John Sweetman's excellent book, published by Air World at 25, at last fills a major gap in the published histories of British aviation, in particular, Hawker Aircraft Ltd. There have been previous books on Camm but they were more about his designs than the man. This book concentrates on the man, his family life, how he worked with his staff at Kingston, how he collaborated with senior engineers at suppliers, such as Bristol Engines and Roll-Royce, and how he used his reputation to persuade officials in the UK government ministries and armed forces to support his projects.
    All of Camm's life is covered from his birth in Windsor to his death at Richmond Golf Club; from the Windsor Model Aeroplane Club, through his apprenticeship and work with Martin and Handasyde Aviation, to the HG Hawker Engineering Co, Hawker Aircraft Ltd and Hawker Siddeley Aviation. The author has clearly carried out several years of meticulous research, as the eight page bibliography testifies. He has spoken to Camm's relatives and to people who worked for him, he has read letters and papers in private collections and archives and has referred to books, published and unpublished material and to newspapers, periodicals and journals - no stone has been left unturned.

This well produced, 320 page book is essential reading for HA Members or for anyone interested in aviation history and the men who made Britain a world leader in aircraft design and innovation. As John Sweetman shows, Camm's work was crucial to the survival of Britain, and therefore of western democracy, in the second world war.

Book Reviews


The Aviation Historian Issue 31

    The spectacular cover photograph, of a Swiss F-5 launching flares over the Alps, alone is worth the price (well, nearly). Inside Keith Hayward unravels the politics of the AFVG (Anglo-French Variable Geometry) strike aircraft project, and Peter Lewis tells us all about Switzerland’s Tiger force (complete with a double fold-out of stunning photographs). Your editor was also intrigued by an ingenious but ultimately unsuccessful French rotary wing aircraft which suffered a structural failure during ground running. in 1920, and by an article on the Bristol Hercules in which the complexity of the design is explained in excellent colour computer generated illustrations.

Hawker’s Secret Cold War Airfield - Dunsfold, Home of the Hunter & Harrier

Chris Budgen’s book will be     published on July 30th. With this Newsletter is a flyer offering Members a 25% discount.