This book takes the refreshing approach to history of telling the story in the voices of those who lived through the period. The Fairey aircraft company had a long association with British naval aviation and the naval services of Commonwealth countries.
NAME: Submarine Hunter, Fairey Gannet
ASW.1 in service with the Royal Aus-
tralian Fleet Air Arm
CLASSIFICATION: Book Reviews
AUTHOR: Zbigniew Patynowski
PUBLISHER: Mushroom Model Publications
BINDING: Soft back
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: anti-submarine warfare, naval
aviation, turbo-prop, Pacific, carrier
This book takes the refreshing approach to history of telling the story in the voices of those who lived through the period. The Fairey aircraft company had a long association with British naval aviation and the naval services of Commonwealth countries. The corpulent Gannet was ungainly on the ground, it double wing fold making it look like a fat biplane with very short span wings. It was a first generation military turbo prop aircraft and it was designed to fill a role that was to be taken over by the helicopter. It was natural that the RAN should decide to purchase 37 of these innovative warplanes for operation from the carrier Melbourne to provide anti-submarine cover to Australian warships and convoys. What looked like a single engine aircraft was really a twin-engine machine with its double turbine engine driving contra-rotating propellers. The ability to cruise with one engine shut down was to give it excellent endurance. In the air it was as graceful and controllable as it was ungainly on the ground. It allowed the smaller British-built carriers to operate an aircraft that was at least equal to the much larger conventional twin Tracker flown by the US Navy. In RAN service, the Gannet was to serve from 1955 to 1967. In Royal Navy service, it was replaced earlier in its anti-submarine role before being adapted to provide early warning radar coverage ahead of the Fleet, serving until the decommissioning of the last true fixed wing RN carrier, HMS Ark Royal (IV). The author has concentrated on telling the story of the Australian Gannets and has made a very good job of interweaving his words with the direct accounts of those who supported and flew the Gannet. It is an involving story that paints a vivid picture of a period of naval aviation history for Australia and tells the story of an effective anti-submarine platform that provided aerial coverage until the helicopter could develop to the point where it was able to reliably fill the role. Mushroom Model Publications are a special interest publisher who have established a reputation for high quality titles aimed primarily at the modeller and the aviation enthusiast. They have been extending their market by developing into a worthy aviation history publisher. This book follows their format of lavish illustration with high quality reproduction of photographs and artwork. This format has been employed very successfully here and married to well-written text. The book will appeal to modellers, but it will also appeal to a much wider readership, covering an important aircraft that has been previously neglected. The illustration is first class and includes many rare full colour photographs from a period when most military aircraft were still photographed with bandw film. This book is good value for money and is highly recommended.