Britain's Cold War Fighters...

... from Fonthill Media

Title: Britain's Cold War Fighters
Author: Tim McLelland

Publisher: Fonthill Media
ISBN: 978-1-78155-630-6


A new paperback edition of a book first published back in 2013 and one I found a really interesting read.  It goes back to the end of WW2 and how the story of British jets moved on from those early flights of the Gloster Whittle prototypes.  It takes us through the development and service stories of the jets which followed, from the wartime Meteor and then the Vampire.  It is also worth adding at this point that it covers not just the RAF fighters but those used by the Royal Navy as well.

Some of the aircraft featured are of course well known, others less so.  Some went through various trials and tribulations during development, including very public crashes such as the DH110 at Farnborough, though the Sea Vixen which it became had a successful carrier career.  Others were bought as an interim measure, and the Sabre and the Scimitar are examples.  Equally interesting is how the wing of the Spiteful became essentially that of Supermarine's Attacker as well.  Other jets include the Swift, Buccaneer and the Javelin.  I am sure one section that is bound to make popular reading is the story of the Lightning.  So it goes on, including the Sea Harrier/Harrier, the Phantom, Tornado, Typhoon and does include the newest F-35 at the end.

The text makes for good reading and each chapter is well illustrated throughout, including some of those development airframes plus a colour section in the middle of the book.   In addition to the many photos, the text includes many accounts of their experiences from pilots, engineers and more.  If I was to pick out one as an example, then the report from test pilot Roland Beamont of his first flight in the Lightning prototype was one of the highlights for me. I am sure that anyone interested in the fighters used by both the RAF and the Royal Navy since WW2 will enjoy this a lot.

Thanks to Fonthill Media for our review copy.