Most helpful positive review
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Well-researched, worthwhile...but something missing?
on 1 September 2013
Please don't get me wrong - I genuinely like this book and would recommend it without hesitation.
I just can't help feeling there's something (I'm not even sure what) missing..
The first few chapters document the whys' and wherefores of the specification which led to the Whirlwind and gives an insight into the mindset of the RAFs' leadership, pre-war. It also gives some insight into the, seemingly, almost chaotic state of the aviation industry in the UK in the late thirty's with companies vying for orders they could not possibly fulfill.
One can only marvel at some of the design decisions alluded to in the aircrafts development and I would have liked a more in-depth and wider-reaching review of this aspect of the subject (perhaps this is what I'm referring to above?).
The majority of the book is an immensely detailed research of the service history of the type for which the author is to be congratulated. However, the book really needs the addition of some maps to show both the operational areas of the squadrons equipped with the Whirlwind and the bases from which they flew.
While 1000 were originally ordered, the final delivery of only just over a hundred always meant the Whirlwind would only ever be a footnote in history.Enigmatic, certainly. Interesting, definitely.
I've always had a particular interest in the Whirlwind and have to confess I think my biggest 'grouse' with the book was that I didn't feel that I 'knew' the aeroplane any better after reading it.
However, I DID have a much better appreciation of the aircrew who flew it, often in extremely difficult weather conditions.
To sum up - worth buying for the operational history alone, but a wider and deeper technical review of the aircraft itself would have guaranteed that fifth star.