The author served for nearly 40 years in the RAF as a navigator on Buccaneer and Tornado aircraft. A fascinating story supported by two photo-plate sections including some fine full colour photographs. – highly recommended.
NAME: Adventures of a Cold War Fast-Jet Navigator, The Buccaneer Years FILE: R2637 AUTHOR: Wing Commander David Herriot PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PAGES: 306 PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Cold War, super-sonic jets, air superiority, ground attack, dog fighting, guns, missiles, low level high speed flight, area rule, internal rotary bomb bay. Naval aircraft ISBN: 1-52670-659-8 IMAGE: B2637.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y8gm48yc LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The author served for nearly 40 years in the RAF as a navigator on Buccaneer and Tornado aircraft. A fascinating story supported by two photo-plate sections including some fine full colour photographs. – highly recommended. The author has covered his career as a Bucc navigator with readable text and some excellent images. This is an effective coverage of the Buccaneer's RAF service after the last RN fixed-wing carrier was prematurely withdrawn. Amongst some interesting Cold War aircraft types, the Buccaneer is particularly interesting. The Fleet Air Arm needed a fast jet that could operate from its carriers and deliver nuclear weapons or conventional bombs. This posed some interesting challenges in design for Blackburn, one of the FAA's long serving naval aircraft designers. The relatively small size of British carriers meant that the aircraft had to also be relatively small. It had to be rugged and capable of standing the weather conditions of aircraft that would often be parked on deck, withstand the stresses of catapult launch and arrested landing on a very lively carrier deck. That presented several challenges, but the aircraft also had to be able to operate flat out at very low level to survive in the hostile environment of likely target defences. Blackburn used area rule and a rotary bomb bay, producing a smoothly curved and sleek airframe. In FAA service, the Bucc performed very well and defeated an invasion of Belize. HMS Ark Royal (IV) was alerted to the threat posed by Guatemala and flew off Buccs at extreme range. Seeing this pugnacious naval aircraft flying low over the Belize capital was sufficient to persuade the Guatemalans to think again and stay on their own side of the border. With the premature scrapping of the last fixed-wing carrier (HMS Ark Royal), the Buccaneers and Phantoms transferred to the RAF and continued to provide excellent service for Great Britain. In its twilight years, the Buccaneer served in the Gulf War of 1990/91 with distinction and used its ability to launch laser- guided smart bombs to great effect. The author served as a Buccaneer S2 navigator through RAF service, transitioning to the Tornado which replaced the role performed by the Buccs. A nicely written book that tells a very interesting story.