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Heroes and Landmarks of British Aviation (Hardback)

From Airships to the Jet Age

Aviation Women of History

By Richard Edwards, Peter J Edwards
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781848846456
Published: 29th August 2012

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Heroes and Landmarks of British Aviation tells the dramatic story of a world leading aviation industry, from the sweat and grease of the workshop, to the board rooms and government nationalisations that ultimately fashioned its destiny.

The heroes are Britain's most innovative aviation pioneers and their aircraft, the men and women who persevered to be the first into the air, to fly the fastest, the highest and the furthest. This broad and highly accessible books ranges from the first man to fly across the English Channel from England to France to the development of the Spitfire and from the disastrous R101 airship to the development of the jet engine and ultimately the world's first supersonic airliner.

Each chapter looks at a different aviation pioneer and the flying machines that they designed, their engineering landmarks, their triumphs in the air and on occasion their disasters too. The book explores the great air races that were won and lost, the government contracts and political short-sightedness that cut short the development of leading aircraft designs and many of the dramatic air raids and sea battles from the First World War to the Falklands and the Middle East.

Many of the industry's most prominent names are profiled, including Ernest Willows, the Short brothers, Geoffrey de Havilland, Vincent Richmond, George White, Thomas Sopwith, Harry Hawker, RJ Mitchell, Herbert Smith, Charles Rolls, Henry Royce, Reginald Pierson, Alliott Verdon-Roe, Frederick Handley Page, Robert Watson-Watt, Robert Blackburn and Frank Whittle.rn rnBehind the personal stories are the histories of the aircraft companies that these pioneers created, from those that went bankrupt to those that lasted the test of time and have become indivisible from British aviation folklore, such names as Sopwith, Handley Page, Avro, Supermarine, Blackburn, Bristol, Fairey and Rolls-Royce. The book covers the mergers and acquisitions that led to the creation of two major aircraft manufacturers, Hawker Siddeley Group and the British Aircraft Corporation, and how barely two decades later, before the century was out, they were nationalised to form British Aerospace.

Heroes and Landmarks in British Aviation is an impressive feat of writing, and clearly crafted out of a passionate love of airplanes. As a technical and biographical compendium of British aviation history, it is an indispensable reference book for devoted enthusiasts – an aerohead’s bible.

Edinburgh Book Review

The book is a triumphant ode to British aviation as well as a proud tribute to the author’s late father.

Aviation Book Reviews

This is an interesting approach to a history of the British aircraft industry, focusing on the key figures who helped create the industry or designed some of its most important aircraft.

History of War website

This well-presented book certainly delivers all it promises in its title and on its cover. A number of maps detailing various noteworthy flights and battles. Equally gripping. The author's polished writing skills and his undoubted enthusiasm for aviation history is only too apparent as the story unfolds. Certainly this book should be on the shelves of any dedicated aviation enthusiast.

Aerospace Magazine

Heroes and Landmarks of British Aviation is a strong editon to general history and aviation collections, especially those with a focus on the United Kingdom.

Midwest Book Review

The book celebrates the pioneering men and women who risked their lives to be the first into the skies, to fly the highest, the fastest and the furthest, as well as those aircrews who flew countless sorties over enemy territory during times of war.

Southwater Life

A new book celebrates the ambitions, achievements, lives and deaths of the men and women who designed, built or flew machines that pushed the boundaries of what people and machines could accomplish.

West Sussex County Times

 Richard Edwards
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