Adventures of a Cold War Fast-Jet Navigator, The Buccaneer Years

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.


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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was prematurely withdrawn.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.