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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It's always interesting to hear the opinions of those who were there and did it, and this is a pretty forthright account of our (if you are British) not always glorious past.
The aircraft involved are all reflected upon with honest subjectively, which I prefer.
The faults of government procurement and the foolish decision to farm out our jet technology to the Soviet Union and, indeed, America, reminds us of how a technological lead was tossed aside and the price we paid as an industrial nation.

I enjoyed this book very much
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on 2 February 2014
Anyone who is only a bit interested in flying will appreciate this book, its a lifes work on the edge, into the unknown without doubt. Stansted airport is only 20 minutes from my home to the east and De Havilland at Hatfield again about 20 minutes away to the west and my wifes uncle was a boffin at Hatfield and flew with the BA146 on test, despite this personal interest it is still a great read and will mean a lot to those familiar with the Comet 4 and that great name of De Havilland at Hatfield in peace and wartime (Later British Aerospace) a legend!! What i liked about this book is the test pilots own account of flying round the world to exotic places and not so exotic, at a time when navigation and cockpit aids were either not invented or were only in their infancy. This was a pilot landing big planes on really rough almost non existent landing strips all over the world, pushing the flight envelope much of the time.
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on 22 July 2013
This book tells the story of the career of Tony Blackman, test pilot. The book covers his early life, then his RAF career from undertaking National Service as an education officer, through pilot training, service in Germany as a fighter pilot and finally entry to the Empire Test Pilots School. The book goes on to cover his experiences flying aircraft such as the Vulcan and HS748. For me, one of the most interesting parts of the book was tale of his encounters with Howard Hughes. This is a very readable book, written in a simple clear style. Aeronautical terms are used as appropriate, but Blackman manages to explain the concepts clearly to the reader.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in aviation.
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on 9 December 2013
Tony Blackman was a test pilot in the halcyon days of British aircraft manufacturing. As such he gives a front line account of this exciting and demanding job test flying such iconic aircraft as the Vulcan. What I especially liked is the way he covers the whole aspect of the role - from the high profile and glamorous parts such as the Farnborough air display to the more mundane jobs such as the collection of performance data. Throughout all of this he is always stressing the vital importance of selling the product and some interesting stories as he travels around the world with the Avro 748.

A well written and very good book for the aviation enthusiast.
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on 14 March 2014
What a lucky guy! He was involved in Aviation at the right time, being fortunate to fly some of Britain's best military aircraft at their inception, including the iconic V Bombers. A very interesting book looking at test flying of military and civil aircraft. Gets slightly less interesting towards the end of the book when the author stops flying and becomes involved in "desk flying". Overall a worthwhile read.
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on 6 August 2014
Here is an exceptionally talented individual who was able to combine intellect with piloting skills and strong business sense in a way that made him a significant contributor to the success of the British aviation industry. Reading about the part he played in the development and testing of the Vulcan alone makes a gripping read.
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on 26 August 2013
An interesting sequence of stories. The main flying bit is covered well, but I found myself wanting to know more about the author, particularly in the later years. I felt the author was holding back (opinions on personalities, background info) more than was strictly necessary. Enjoyable enough read, though.
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on 19 November 2014
Worth reading, sometimes comes across as slightly big headed but on the whole a great insight from a man who has been there and got the T-shirt.
This book succeeds in placing human emotion into the equation of machinery and aviation
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A no holds barred account of what it takes to be a good test pilot, recognising that the project pilot not only has to fly the aeroplane, but sell it.

(From an engineer and pilot, with a lifetime in aviation).
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on 10 April 2015
I was fascinated to find out how the British aircraft of the 1950's onwards had developed. It is a book for the technically minded. But if you're interested in aviation you won't be disappointed reading this.
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