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Flight Craft 18: British Military Test and Evaluation Aircraft (Paperback)

The Golden Years 1945–1975

Aviation > Post-WWII Aviation Aviation > WWII Colour Books Military > Modelling Military > Post-WWII Warfare > Cold War Photographic Books WWII > Photographic Books

By Malcolm Lowe, Neil Robinson, Edited by Martin Derry, Illustrations by Mark Rolfe
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Series: Flight Craft
Pages: 72
Illustrations: 100
ISBN: 9781526746719
Published: 7th May 2019



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It could be argued that the heyday of British military aircraft flight testing began in the 1940s, and continued throughout the three decades that followed, during the so-called Cold War period, and as such, the authors have purposely chosen the first 30 years, The Golden Years, 1945 to 1975, from the end of World War Two until the mid-1970s, as this was arguably the most exciting period with many wonderful and new types rubbing shoulders with wartime and immediate post-war designs that were utilised for development purposes, making for an eclectic mix of shapes and colour schemes.

Alongside the technical aspects of military testing and development, are the many and varied colour schemes and markings carried by the aircraft themselves – not only by the brand-new experimental designs, but by existing production machines, suitably modified, to greater or lesser degrees, to develop the technical advances in systems and weaponry.

Scores of different aircraft types are covered in British Military Test & Evaluation Aircraft The Golden Years 1945 - 1975, with over 65 rarely seen contemporary photographs from private collections, and, differing slightly from previous Flight Craft book formats, over 50 pages of specially commissioned full colour profiles and plan views, visually chronicling the diverse range of colour schemes and markings applied to these fascinating aeroplanes.

Compiled by Neil Robinson and Martin Derry, who have authored several other Flight Craft books, with informative background text by well known aviation historian Malcolm V Lowe and superbly executed illustrations by Mark Rolfe. As with other books in the Flight Craft series, although published with aircraft modellers in mind, it is hoped that most aviation enthusiasts will find something of interest here too.

Featured by

Royal Aeronautical Society

... it will be of great interest to modellers as well as enthusiasts fascinated by the many unusual (and often unique) schemes these aircraft wore.

Vulcan News, Spring 2020

This book will please test enthusiasts and aero modellers alike. The narrative is very good, describing each decade with excellent histories of the aircraft portrayed.

De Havilland Moth Club

Engines, weapon and missile tests, radars, in-flight refueling, weather research, Concorde or basic research, this small catalogue is as colorful as it is attracting with its many illustrations.

Cocardes International

Masterpiece in Book/Magazine format.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

As featured by

Aeroplane, October 2019

"This good first impression is maintained

Featured in

Ulster Aviation Society, September 2019

The FlightCraft series has proved extremely popular with model makers and engineers, but is attracting a growing readership because it covers subjects in visual detail not usually available. This series addition is described as ‘Special’ rather than carrying a series number. It is special tribute to the Golden Years 1945-1975 – Very Highly Recommended

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Overall this book is a fantastic resource for the modeller, again as with all Flight Craft books this should provide great references and inspiration to maybe get a conversion or two on the bench or look at reproducing some of the fantastic and rarely seen schemes the test aircraft of the post war period wore with pride. The photographs and profiles are good quality and the accompanying text and captions are informative. This volume is definitely one you should pick up if you like aircraft of the period.

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KitsandBits Blog, Mark Dale

This publication would easily make a single source reference for what could be a fascinating modelling project. Equally, the information within the pages is detailed enough to provide an interesting read for the aviation enthusiast. Highly recommended.

IPMS Magazine July-August 2019

The development of British military aircraft is examined in estraordinary and fascinating detail in Malcolm Lowe's spectacular book.

Books Monthly

This I find interesting. The texts are to the point, informative and good readable.

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Aviation Book Reviews

This is a very nice book indeed.

Reviewed by

Guy Warner, Ulster Aviation Society

Any book with a colour photo of the Short SB.5, WG768, on the front cover is already ahead on points. This good first impression is maintained throughout. The photos are well chosen and the line drawings are beautifully executed and perfectly reproduced on a high quality A4 format paper, which do them full justice – at a reasonable price... Moreover, modellers, at several levels of experience and skill, should find the colour schemes and markings quite irresistible, as well as being inspired to scratch-build some of the modifications.

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Flying in Ireland

A pleasure for the eyes of anyone who loves aviation. A book to buy absolutely!

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Well the profiles are generally beautifully drawn, many of the photos within are new to me, and most importantly just about every profile has its sources quoted. This means you can at least check the original source to see if the profile is accurate, but generally it is worth a good old Google image search before relying on any profile in any publication! It is a superbly varied collection of inspiring profiles at the end of the day, and reasonably priced. Certainly worth a look and a good jumping off point for further research.

Damien Burke, author of TSR2 - Britain's Last Bomber

What is not to like about this?

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Scale Modelling Now

The colour and marking schemes that are illustrated should give plenty of inspiration for modellers while the aviation historian will I think love this one as well. Rather as the sub-title of the book say, this period really were the 'Golden Years' of British aircraft design, when many of our designs really were leaders in the aviation world. A very good 'Special' in the series.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

There are many modellers who like to take a production aircraft kit and modify it to a variant of that aircraft. For those modellers, this book really must be in your library.

It has many interesting, one-off, aircraft from 1945 to 1975, an era when aircraft development was at its height and, in same examples, its wackiest.

The colour illustrations of test aircraft alterations and livery are beautifully aimed at the modeller to help to get that perfect model. This along with the description and photos of what, where and why these aircraft were developed will add to your knowledge and understanding of the golden years of aircraft development.

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Vintage Airfix

About Malcolm Lowe

Throughout his working life, Malcolm has been associated with aviation and military writing and research for a number of publishers worldwide. This includes contributions to such widely diverse magazines as Aeroplane Monthly in Britain and Popular Mechanics in the US. A child of the Cold War era, he has written extensively on Second World War history.

About Martin Derry

After leaving Midland County Publications, Martin Derry has been involved with compiling, editing, assisting with and subsequently writing aviation-related books for fifteen years or more, initially with Dalrymple and Verdun Publishing, Crecy and, since 2012, with Pen & Sword for whom he has written several of their Flight Craft series of books with the nostalgist and modeller in mind – Martin currently has other titles in preparation.

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