15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
How did we survive the Cold War?,
This review is from: Empire of the Clouds: When Britain's Aircraft Ruled the World (Hardcover)This book was extremely painful for me to read. I come from an aviation family, and either knew a number of the featured characters or was related to them. The precipitate rise and fall of the UK's jet aviation industry in the fifties and sixties depended upon a fragmented bunch of constructors, a desperate shortage of money, and a bunch of dim-witted politicians which included Duncan Sandys. Denis Healey also bears a substantial responsibility. That said, it's worth reading this book if only to hear what the test pilots said about the planes they were asked to fly. In particular, John Farley, the Harrier's second test pilot, has some very sharp things to say about the design of the TSR2, which leads him to endorse its cancellation. I should add that my own father was a test pilot. It's a very well-researched book with plenty of personal anecdotes and reminiscences. Finally, it gives Bill Waterton the recognition that he thoroughly deserved. I'm delighted the book was written, but deeply sorry that there was no happy ending.
Tracked by 1 customer
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 22, 2011 1:16:15 PM PDT
Geoffrey Gunning says:
Stephen, I just read this book whilst on holiday in England. Funnily enough, I was just about to recommend it you on your Flickr site. My feelings were exactly like yours - very painful. I'll also add - very sad. The complete failure of Britain's post war politicians still carries on and on to this day. It wasn't just the politicians of course, BOAC and BEA were run by a bunch of muddle-headed pillocks, the former prefering American aircraft to British. BOAC deliberately flew the Brittania into tropical weather conditions that would cause the Proteus to ice-up, just to make a point. By then, your father in law had cured the problem, but BOAC weren't having any of it. I just read the article about the Dassault Mercure in Jets Monthly. Air France were afflicted with the same disease - they chose the Boeing 737 over the near-identical Mercure, thus ensuring its demise - only 10 were built at a big loss. Does Europe have a death-wish?
‹ Previous 1 Next ›