This extensive work by FlyPast's Ken Ellis celebrates 50 years of the famous Wrecks and Relics book series - and it does it with style! Rather than looking at disused and out-of-service aircraft. which is the hallmark of 'W&R'. this special 50th anniversary issue focuses on UK aviation collections that pioneered preservation but then faded away and closed down. or changed direction.
'Lost' museums such as Strathallen, Southend and St Athan are among many others that are covered in detail and make for a most interesting read. The highly recommended book illustrates Ken's writing at its very best and is a must for the bookshelf.
--Flypast September 2011
This book in the 'Wrecks and Relics' series is a special 50th anniversary edition, which takes a nostalgic look at aircraft collections that many older readers will remember. The book is divided into 27 chapters, each one covering one or more collections.
I am sure that many readers will be familiar with at least one of the locations that are covered. My particular favourite, RAF Finningley, is now a commercial airport, but at least it is the home of the last flying Vulcan - at the moment.
The title of this book must not be taken to heart, because most of the aircraft have just moved to new quarters.
But there are I am afraid some items that we have lost, including the Cierva Air Horse, the Armstrong Whitworth Scimitar and the DH Flamingo to name three.
As usual with Ken Ellis you will find this edition packed with information, plus a large number of photographs, in both monochrome and colour, In particular the 'current status' list is vital for anyone wishing to locate any of these aircraft for further study.
This is a unique volume that I am sure will be of great interest to the huge army of enthusiasts who fill our airfields on Air Show days.
Ernie Lee --Model Aircraft
Still flying after sixty years there cannot be many aircraft enthusiasts who are not aware of this versatile machine.
This aeroplane spawned quite a few variants in its long life, all of which are explained in the extensive, but easy to read, text. The first chapter is entitled 'Design Definition' which discusses such problems as ground clearance and, a very important factor, wingspan, a mailer of vital importance on an aircraft Carrier when it comes to stacking on the hanger deck. The author examines the delta layout of the wings that enabled such a small aircraft to have a large enough wing area. These are just two issues covered, but the book covers all aspects of design and development to give a complete picture.
It then moves on to chronicle all the variants, from the prototype onwards. There is a lot to read and a mass of photographs to peruse, not just of complete aircraft but such things as ordinance, either in service or undergoing trials. Some of the latter, such as the Corus cruise missile and the Mk 12 nuclear weapon would certainly have made the Skyhawk `punch above its weight'.
This book is a lavish production that really does justice to the 'Scooter' and one I am sure will keep you entertained over the long winter nights.
Ernie Lee --Model Aircraft - Jan 2012
Not a flying boat book (although a Catalina features on the front cover photo if you look closely) but a fantastic reference resource is W&R Lost Aviation Collections of Britain by the indefatigable author Ken Ellis. Ken Ellis will be well-known to most readers as the Editor for many years of FlyPast magazine and the author of many books including the long-running bi-annual Wrecks & Relics title from which this latest book gets its W&R prefix. Wrecks & Relics has for many years been the `bible' for those of us interested in the comings and goings among preserved, instructional and derelict aircraft in the UK and Ireland. Over the course of 22 editions so far, it has not only detailed the movement of individual aircraft but has also seen some collections of aircraft come and go. What Ken has now done in between Edition 22 and the presumably forthcoming Edition 23 is to produce a 50th Anniversary book as "a tribute to the UK's bygone aviation museums and collections".
Through 223 packed pages he documents no less than 27 important collections of veteran and vintage aircraft that for one reason or another no longer exist. Each collection has its own chapter describing its history and the background to its demise, some sad and many inevitable.
It is not all doom and gloom, however as the tables at the end of each section detailing the collection's aircraft exhibits show that many went on to other collections and survive to this day. Scattered through the book are brief sections covering individual aircraft types that did not survive into preservation - the `ones that go away'. The book is packed with both black and white and colour photos and is east to navigate using the Contents and aircraft index sections.
Unlike the regular W&Rs, this title has plenty of narrative text that provides an excellent part-history of aircraft preservation in the UK and the characters involved in it. And the Catalina on the cover? - it is the former Royal Danish Air Force PBY-6A L-866 forming part of an amazing line-up of aircraft on the tarmac at RAF Colerne before the RAF Museum `out-station' collection there was dispersed. The Catalina ended up in the RAF Museum, Cosford where it remains still. This is a great book, available from Crécy Publishing.
--Catalina News Autumn/Winter 2011
CELEBRATING THE 50th anniversary of the biennial Wrecks and Relics, this special edition covers many collections which have closed. How many times have we wondered what happened to an aircraft, remembered perhaps as having been seen at Skyfame, Southend or Warbirds of Great Britain? Now we can see where they went.
It begins with "Horseless Carriages the Nash Collection 1934 to 1953", has 27 chapters covering locations and is copiously illustrated in monochrome and colour. Quite a lot of the aircraft have survived, some here and others abroad, although there have been some unfortunate losses due to accidents etc. Scattered through the pages are ones that got away, such as Bristol 170 G-AISU, Westland Whirlwind G-AGOI, de Havilland Flamingo G-AFYH (sadly axed in 1954) and Armstrong Whitworth Scimitar G-ADBL, so be glad that many have survived thanks to preservation societies and enlightened museums. This is an interesting volume to browse; an only observation is the small typeface, but making it larger would have doubled the price.
MlKE HOOKS --Aeroplane Magazine - March 2012