Crecy Publishing's British Secret Projects 1
334 pages, hardcover,
Over the years, the 'secret projects' books have been quite popular with readers, and while the Luftwaffe and Soviets have been major draws, we are now seeing books that cover other nations. This particular volume is on British Fighter since 1950.
An interesting aspect of this book as with others is that it pretty well covers all the various projects, including those that were successful. After all, most military aircraft projects are secret in their initial phases. This is the time when the designers and project personnel work with the requirements put forth in proposals from the end user. Which is the military. Often times, the requirements are more than technology can really handle, at others, they are difficult and sometimes, they are pretty easy to accomplish. Rarely are the last requirements put forth as the military nearly always wants something better than it had before.
The book has fourteen major chapters along with several appendices. It starts with naval all weather fighters to 1957 then does shipboard Supermaries, RAF day fighters, RAF night fighters, updated fighters, transonic research aircraft, high speed research, high altitude interceptors, the road to the Tornado and the current Typhoon are covers as are rocket fighters, VTOL, and other categories. Out of these come types such as the Sea Vixen, Hunter, Lightning, Harrier, Bristol 188, Fairey Delta 2 and a number of other types.
The interesting part to me is the development of these planes as rarely did the finished product look like the preliminary drawings. Then there were those designs which were never chosen. These, to me, are the really fascinating aspects of the book. Some of them look pretty far fetched, even today, while others appeared to be quite 'doable' if one can use current terms.
The author has obviously done a lot of homework on this as the book is crammed full of photos and drawings. It is also not what one would call a quick read, so you need to set aside a considerable amount of time for this one. I find that reading these in bits works the best as there is a ton of information contained within. It is a book that I very much enjoyed reading, long though it took. What's more, it is quite reasonably priced considering what all is in there. I know you will be as fascinated as I by this one and urge you to pick up your copy.
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