British Research and Development Aircraft: Seventy Years At the Leading Edge - Ray SturtivantHaynes, 1990, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Good+ — in Good+ Dust Wrapper. Gently bruised at the head of the spine and the top corners of the boards with commensurate wear to the dust wrapper. Leans slightly. Text complete, clean and tight.
Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Colour Photographs;
From the cover: “Every advance that has ever occurred in aviation has been the result of a new problem encountered and then solved. From the very earliest days Britain was in the forefront of progress by empirical means, and by 1917 it was already becoming the practice to build special aircraft for trials purposes to test some theory or line of research without necessarily any intention of placing those machines in production. Very soon this arrangement was formalized by the issuing of Government contacts to an Air Ministry specification.
The aircraft and designs encompassed within this system embrace most of the more important aspects of British aeronautical progress, and in this book Ray Sturtivant charts the history of such developments over a period spanning some seven decades.
The twenty years leading up to the Second World War saw research into every aspect of aeronautical theory, with projects gaining official sponsorship on a numerical scale which would be quite impracticable today. Early projects included investigations into the understanding of control in slow speed flight and the elimination of the dreaded ‘spin’ which had claimed the lives of so many pilots of the RFC and RAF.
These were the years of such aircraft as the Westland-Hill Pterodactyl which investigated the properties of swept wings, the knowledge gained being put to good use many years later in — amongst other developments — the Avro Vulcan bomber. Likewise the pre-war development of rotor-craft in the form of the Cierva and Hafner autogiros paved the way first to the helicopter and then latterly to the tilt-rotor aircraft of today.
Post-war, after enormous strides made as the result of the conflict, there were problems to solve afresh as the result of the adoption of the jet engine and the related increases in speed and height that became attainable. Similarly the jet engine provided the impetus to the many projects avidly seeking the solution to the Vertical Take-off and Landing conundrum unravelled so brilliantly in the Hawker Harrier.
Ray Sturtivant’s deeply researched text is accompanied by photographs or line drawings of almost every one of the numerous aircraft covered. These images — from the oddest to the sublimely beautiful — in themselves provide a fascinating chronology of seventy years at the leading edge of aviation technology which is now taking Britain into the 21st century.”