Author: Steve Bond
Publisher: Grub Street
Release Date: 2017-12-19
The Gloster Javelin was the UK's first line of night and all-weather air defence both at home and in RAF Germany. In the 1950s, when it replaced the Meteor and Venom, this revolutionary bomber/interceptor became the focus of many great stories told here in terrific detail. With an unorthodox aerodynamic design, the Javelin initially had major production issues, which involved a tendency for engines to self-destruct under certain conditions. Despite this and the criticism it faced - its nicknames included 'Flying Flat-Iron' and 'Harmonious Dragmaster' - the aircraft still receives much affection from its former aircrew. Starting from the first deliveries of Javelins in 1956 until the final withdrawal from RAF squadron use in 1968, Javelin Boys describes adventures in Cyprus, Singapore during the Indonesian Confrontation and Zambia during the Rhodesian declaration of UDI. In this period a total of 434 Javelins were built, with their use spanning across eighteen different squadrons. Steve Bond has interviewed a number of veterans, all with captivating tales of their time on the aircraft. Alongside their anecdotes is a detailed history of this unusual aircraft, accompanied by photography never seen before in print. This book is bound to appeal to all aviation fans.
Author: David Gledhill
Release Date: 2017-06-30
Genre: Political Science
The McDonnell Douglas F4 Phantom was a true multi-role combat aircraft. Introduced into the RAF in 1968, it was employed in ground attack, air reconnaissance and air defense roles. Later, with the arrival of the Jaguar in the early 1970s, it changed over to air defense. In its heyday, it served as Britain’s principal Cold War fighter; there were seven UK-based squadrons plus the Operational Conversion Unit, two Germany-based squadrons and a further Squadron deployed to the Falkland Islands. Phantom in the Cold War focuses predominantly on the aircraft’s role as an air defense fighter, exploring the ways in which it provided the British contribution to the Second Allied Tactical Air Force at RAF Wildenrath, the home of Nos. 19 and 92 Squadrons during the Cold War. As with his previous books, the author, who flew the Phantom operationally, recounts the thrills, challenges and consequences of operating this sometimes temperamental jet at extreme low-level over the West German countryside, preparing for a war which everyone hoped would never happen.
Author: David Hamilton
Publisher: Fonthill Media
Release Date: 2017-11-09
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
An insight into the daily exploits of a fighter pilot during the Cold War and beyond, both from the cockpit and in commandReflections on high level staff meetings, including briefing the Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Heseltine, during the formative years of the Eurofighter projectDetails of commanding a Tornado F3 squadron during Gulf War OneMemoirs of flying with the Red Arrows, including the 1993 tour of the USAProfusely illustrated with high-quality photographs Time Flies: Reflections of a Fighter Pilot is a detailed insight into the exploits of a RAF pilot from the cockpit and in command in the air, on land and at sea. Covering interceptions of Soviet bombers off Iceland to defending Saudi Arabia in Gulf War One, this gripping biography follows his thirty-year career operating Lightnings defending the UK, F-4 Phantoms from HMS Ark Royal and defending the Inner German Border (IGB) as well as commanding a Tornado F3 squadron, including a deployment to Saudi Arabia in Gulf War One. The author formulated the operational requirements for the Eurofighter Typhoon, flew with the Red Arrows, served as the deputy station commander at RAF Leuchars and led the Tornado F3 four-ship flypast over Edinburgh Castle as the Stone of Destiny was returned to Scotland on 30 November 1996. A serious study for the aviation enthusiast and military historian, this work is also sumptuously illustrated with rich and candid photographs to inspire modellers.
Author: Richard Pike
Publisher: Grub Street Publishing
Release Date: 2015-07-19
From Richard Pike, best-selling author of Hunter Boys and The Lightning Boys volumes, comes the newest addition to Grub StreetÕs popular Boys series; Phantom Boys. Originally developed for the US Navy, this twin-engined supersonic long-range fighter-bomber first flew in the spring of 1958. It then entered service for the US Navy in 1961, and in 1969 with the Fleet Air Arm and RAF in the UK. Regarded as one of the most versatile fighters ever built, the Phantom F-4 was the US NavyÕs fastest and highest-flying aircraft. It was flown by both US military demonstration teams (Navy Blue Angels and the Air Force Thundercats) from 1969 to 1973. It ended its service in 1991 with the RAF. But it continued to serve a variety of air forces across the world, with some still in service fifty years after its first flight. Throughout the twenty chapters of this book, thirteen contributors will take readers across the world with adventures in the Falkland Islands, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Far East and Germany. There are anecdotes of reconnaissance missions, encounters with the Russian Tupolevs, record-breaking flights and life on HMS Ark Royal. The scope, flair and pace of the writing in this book will appeal to the general reader as well as to the enthusiast.
Author: Tony Blackman
Publisher: Grub Street
Release Date: 2017-09-11
The V Force consisted of three four-jet bombers, the Valiant, the Vulcan and the Victor, all required as part of the nuclear deterrent in the Cold War following the end of the Second World War. The Valiant was less aerodynamically advanced than the other two and went into service in 1955. The Vulcan entered service in 1956 and the Victor a year later. The Valiant finished operating in 1965 and the Vulcan in 1984. The later Victors were converted into refueling tankers and carried on until 1993. V Force Boys contains a fascinating collection of previously unpublished stories by V Force ground and aircrew for all three V bombers. Among other highlights, the book includes a firsthand account of dropping the last UK H Bomb, a description of how all the aircraft navigated before the days of GPS, the training the crews received and an armorer’s account of how the nuclear weapons were moved with complete safety but not in the regimented way that might be expected. In addition there are chapters which tell of incidents that would not be found in the RAF historical annals but show how the vigilant guarding of the UK had its lighter moments. A must for all Vulcan, Victor and Valiant enthusiasts.
Author: Steve Bond
Release Date: 2016-11-04
Grub Street is proud to present Meteor Boys, the latest title in its ever-popular Boys series. As Britain’s first jet fighter, the Gloster Meteor has had a remarkably varied and lengthy life. But whilst many books have focused on its development and service history, the time has come to hear the personal experiences of its air and ground crews. By interviewing over thirty veterans, author and Meteor veteran Steve Bond has written an incredibly detailed insight into this iconic aircraft, which is supported by anecdotes and accounts from those who knew it best. One example is Alan McDonald who described the Meteor as ‘a bit unforgiving if you got it wrong, as many pilots found out to their cost, especially on one engine, but I must admit I got to like it very much – it was a great adrenaline rush.’ Alongside these entertaining anecdotes are details of the Meteor’s origins and developments. Starting with the first deliveries in 1944 working through to the present day, Steve Bond documents the diverse role which the Meteor has had. From use in operations against the V1, photo-reconnaissance missions, as a training machine and later a display aircraft – particular attention is given to its major service period of the 1950s through to the early 1960s. The book will also feature photographs never seen before in print. This detailed history of this iconic and much loved jet fighter will appeal to all aviation fans.
Author: Michael Napier
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Release Date: 2016-02-29
The RAF’s only delta-winged fighter – the Gloster Javelin was also Britain’s first true All-Weather Fighter. Based in the UK and in Germany, the RAF’s Javelin squadrons formed the front line of Britain’s air defences in the late 1950s and early 1960s. During this time Javelin crews pioneered the operational use of guided missiles and air-to-air refuelling by fighter aircraft. In the Far East, Javelins were involved in operations during the Indonesian Confrontation and the aircraft was also deployed to Zambia during the Rhodesian UDI Crisis. In this history, which is richly illustrated with many previously unpublished photographs, Michael Napier blends official records with personal accounts to describe the operational history of this iconic jet fighter.
Author: Mike Brooke
Publisher: The History Press
Release Date: 2015-01-05
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Following his success as a Cold War Canberra pilot, Mike Brooke was dispatched to become a flying instructor at the Central Flying School in the 1970s. After this interesting career spell, he moved on to undertake the demanding training regime at the UK's Empire Test Pilots' School in order for him to become a fully qualified experimental test pilot. This book follows his personal journey, with its many trials and errors, during five years of experimental test flying, during which he flew a wide variety of aircraft used for a huge diversity of research and development tests. Then Mike returned to ETPS to teach pilots from all over the world to become test pilots. Following on from his previous books, he continues to use his personal experiences to reveal insights into trials of the times, successes, and failures, and will prove fascinating reading for any aviation enthusiast.
'Thinking the Unthinkable' is the result of ten years of sporadic research, involving many visits to the former German Democratic Republic by a small Anglo/German team of military specialists. Their purpose was to explore the lives of RAF and East German fighter and fighter-bomber pilots, in the air and on the ground, at work and play, during the Cold War in North Germany. The book is based largely on personal testimony from these pilots, coupled with facts drawn from official archives and comment from other historical sources. Where possible, political considerations have been avoided and no outright criticism has been intended, readers being left to draw their own conclusions on the thinking, strategies, equipment and tactics discussed. Far from being an intellectual polemic on the Cold War, the text and photographs merely record a slice of history as seen through the eyes of a select few who took up arms in the defence of their respective homelands - and faced each other daily across the Iron Curtain. Nigel Walpole passed out from the Royal Air Force College Cranwell in 1954, and joined No.26 (Day Fighter) Squadron, flying Hunter F.4s on the front line in Germany at RAF Oldenburg. In 1957 he converted to the Swift FR.5, on No.79 (Fighter Reconnaissance) Squadron, and in 1959 began an exchange posting with the USAF at Shaw AFB, South Carolina, flying RF-101 Voodoos in the tactical reconnaissance role. On return to the UK in 1961, he was posted to the Central Fighter Establishment, where he was promoted to squadron leader and given command of No.234 Squadron, equipped with Hunter F.6 and Hunter DFGA 9 aircraft. He returned to Germany in 1965, to command No.2 Squadron, flying Hunter FR.10s committed to armed reconnaissance. This was followed by two years on the Fighter Command Tactical Evaluation team, before promotion to wing commander and an appointment to 16 Parachute Brigade, as the Brigade Air Support Officer (BASO) - this giving him a good perspective of the British Army's use of air power. Staff training at the National Defence College followed a short spell in command of No.12 Squadron, operating overland and maritime strike/attack Buccaneers, followed by a staff appointment at the MOD in London, before he returned to the front line in Germany as Officer Commanding Strike Wing, flying Jaguar GR.1s at RAF Bruggen. Promoted to group captain, he ended his military career in 1988 with four years as Assistant Chief of Staff (Offensive) in the NATO HQ at Rheindahlen, Germany. He then joined British Aerospace as its air weapons advisor, before retiring to take a university degree, and thereafter to write a series of books and articles on the Cold War - as seen from the flight line. He now lives with his Dutch-born wife in Suffolk, UK.
Author: Andrew Brookes
Release Date: 2017-05-31
The English Electric Canberra first came into production in the late 1940s and has since played a hugely significant part in world events. In Canberra Boys, Andrew Brookes takes us through its rich history with the help of those who operated this magnificent machine. Contributors include Roly 'Bee' Beamont, the English Electric test pilot who first flew the aircraft in 1949. As part of the expansion of the RAF's Bomber Command in the 1950s, RAF Binbrook was the first station to house four Canberra squadrons, starting with 101 Squadron in May 1951. Since then and throughout the 20th century, the Canberra operated across the globe in Europe, South America and South East Asia. It has served an array of air forces such as the USAF, Australian air force and the Indian air force - the third largest operator of the Canberra after the RAF and USAF. This led to the Canberra playing a crucial role as a photo-reconnaissance aircraft in phenomenal operations like the Suez Campaign, the nuclear tests of Operation Grapple and the Indonesian Confrontation. Other tales in the book include participation in the Sassoon Trophy competition, long-distance flights in Exercise Round Trip, and Operation Quick Flight. Concluding with the Canberra PR9's final RAF flight on 39 Squadron in July 2006, this book provides a detailed and fascinating history of an outstanding aircraft alongside illuminating anecdotes from the men who served with this aircraft. Vulcan To The Sky are restoring Canberra WK163 to flight in 2017/18.
Author: Bob Cossey
Publisher: Casemate Publishers
Release Date: 2009-01-19
John Howe started his flying career in the post-war South African Air Force, learning to fly on Tiger Moths, Harvards and Spitfires. He was posted to No 2 Squadron SAAF and sent to Korea to fly with South Africa's contribution to the war in support of the UN forces. This is his story.
Author: Tony Blackman
Publisher: Grub Street Publishing
Release Date: 2015-07-19
The Vulcan, the second of the three V bombers built to guard the UK during the Cold War, has become an aviation icon like the Spitfire, its delta shape instantly recognizable as is the howling noise it makes when the engines are opened for takeoff. Vulcan Boys is the first Vulcan book recounted completely first hand by the operators themselves. It tells the story of the aircraft from its design conception through the Cold War when it played out its most important job as Britainês nuclear deterrent; before unbelievably, at the end of its service life, also playing a significant role, with its bombs and missiles, in liberating the Falkland Islands for which it gained much celebrity. The individual accounts detail how hours at a time were spent on readiness, waiting to be scrambled to defend their country in the event of a third world war. In addition how their aggressive skills were honed by carrying out Lone Ranger sorties flying to the States and westward around the world, and taking part in Giant Voice and Red Flag, competitive exercises against the United States Strategic Air Command. The attacks in the Falklands using Shrike missiles are described accurately and in great detail for the first time including the landing at Rio de Janeiro alongside a vivid account of Black Buck 2. Vulcan Boys is a fascinating and completely authentic read reminding us of the Cold War, how it was fought and the considerable effort required to prevent all-out nuclear war.